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Girl Out of Water - Bees in My Pants!

| 8/4/2011 1:36:44 PM

Today we needed to check on the bees.  We had recently received 10 new colonies just two days before one of the biggest storms in decades blew through.  We needed to see how they were adjusting to their new homes, but also to see how they fared in the recent mega-storm.

Since we have them in three different locations, off we went to the first.

Location one had four hives.  Three out of the four were just not happy campers.  They were doing their best to get us to vacate the area.  It turns out that during the storm one of the lids blew off of one and boy, you could tell that something had really made them MAD.  The minute the top came off the others they were dive bombing me.  Usually you can just move slowly and calmly and the bees aren’t bothered.  But these girls were so irritated that some of them should have been flattened against my beekeepers veil like bugs on a windshield with the force they were throwing themselves at me.

Location two was much the same.  The minute the first top came off, the bees were just unhappy.  It can be a very intimidating sight when you pop the lid and hundreds of bees on the top layer of that hive are looking at you and crouching in a pre-flight check!  This time they were so unhappy that they didn’t stop at throwing themselves at me.  I could feel them stinging me through my jeans.  Right through!  That was a first.

Just a Couple of Thousand Bees!

The jeans that I threw on that day were not mine, but an old pair of my husband’s.  As happens in really old pairs of jeans (that SHOULD have been thrown out) there was a small hole in the zipper area that I did not know was there.  When these mad bees were acting like a whole squadron of diver bomber airplanes attacking and throwing themselves at my person, hitting and bouncing off, it turns out that one of them found that small hole in my jeans.  Much to my surprise, I got a very distinct and painful pinch right IN my pants on the inside of my leg!

If you do not know anything about bees, I will fill you in on one bee fact:  once one bee stings, it sends out a pheromone that tells all the other bees exactly WHERE to sting too.  So they all join the first bee and attack that spot, ready to sting instead of divebomb.  And it seems that all those bees got the signal at the very same moment.

Alison Green
8/7/2011 4:29:31 PM

Thanks from a new beekeeper for the coconut tip. Unrefined (and very coconutty) coconut oil has become my only moisturizer. I'll have to make sure not to wear it when visiting bees!

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