Tuesday, September 7, 2010
It happens. Every beekeeper gets stung at some point, no matter how careful they are.
It comes with the territory.
The more you get stung, the closer you get to overcoming your ingrained childhood fear of bees, or anything that looks like them, and that's a good thing. It's important to remember that every sting is a sacrifice for the colony; another worker that won't be coming home and has to be replaced.
Bees are not out to get you.
If you are stung by a honey bee, you've likely made a mistake.
Take a deep breath. Stings hurt, and they always will, but you get used to it. Carefully scrape the stinger out with the edge of your hive tool or your fingernail. Take a look at it. See it pulse? The engineering of it is remarkable. Use your smoker and smoke the the area that was stung heavily (it masks the alarm pheromones released with a sting.) Take a look around, carefully and slowly, and figure out what happened.
Were you just unlucky, or did you just roll a bunch of bees when you took out that last frame? By the time you've figured out WHY you were stung, you probably won't even be able to feel the sting, but you'll remember to be more careful next time.