Hive Inspection–July 5, 2011

So let it be written and known that today, the day after the birth of this nation, was the first time I’ve been stung by a bee. I’ve heard many people say that it feels like a hot matchhead on your skin, and I’d have to agree. The pain starts interestingly, like a pulled hair, but with a few seconds turns to a burning acidic–though very localized–pain. I pulled the stinger quickly, and now, about 25 minutes later, I feel fine. Very little pain at all, though it is red, swollen, and warm. And of course this all happened with only two frames to go in the last hive. Isn’t that life?

Here’s a picture of the sting from just a few minutes ago.

Notice the wonderful location of that shot. Right on the wrist. As I’m typing this, the red welt has grown to several inches across, which is pretty standard. A little painful, but not unbearable. And no allergic reaction yet. 🙂

On to the inspection then….

Hive 1 was calmer today for the most part, but I did note that it became more and more agitated the deeper into the hive I got. I think that’s because the lower frames have a lot of bridge comb and I was pinching bees. I was more careful than last time, but that bridge comb makes it hard to put frames back in.

Hive 2 was quite calm, even though that’s where I got the sting. The sting happened because a bee was crawling on my wrist, and I bent my wrist, which pinched the bee.

I did not find the queen in either hive, but I did see plenty of eggs and larva throughout both. Tons of capped honey as well.

The day was calm, no wind, about 90 degrees, and slightly cloudy. That seems to be a good combination for a good visit to the hive (minus the sting of course).

And for your joy, here are pictures:

My friend Jeff joined me today sporting my new veil. Good luck on you, Jeff. In other news, the apartment building right behind us was where I first met Jeff over ten years ago. How’s that for a coincidence?

One of the newer frames. Lots of honey in that top corner, a few brood cells on the right.

I can’t remember if this is Hive 1 or 2, but another happy frame.

Some newly drawn comb with, in a few cells, nectar.

And there you have it. Like the first scratch on a new car, I can finally stop wondering when the first sting will happen. And like that first scratch, I’m still a little annoyed that it happened at all.

The price we pay for fresh, raw honey.

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5 Responses to Hive Inspection–July 5, 2011

  1. Robert says:

    A momentous day of ponderance has come upon us.

  2. Anthony says:

    If you ever need help, just an observer/photographer I’d be happy to drop by sometime when you’re doing another hive inspection. I used to help the guy in our ward who had two hives on our property when I was a kid and I remember it being cool. Who knows maybe some day I’ll get my own hives! You can call/text (best)/email/google chat/facebook chat/facebook message/ facebook wall write/comment on my blog etc (probably half or more of those methods you refuse to use 🙂 ) and I’ll get instant notification on my phone and I’ll hop on over if I’m available!

  3. daveloveless says:

    I will take you up on that offer! I love showing the hives. And I’d especially appreciate the higher quality images. Your camera is significantly better quality than mine.

    I have a short list of people who have requested a visit, and I only go every two weeks, so probably in August. That’s okay because the hives will be 50,000+ each by then. More exciting.

  4. He keeps surreptitiously scratching the sting, very gently of course, whenever he thinks I’m not looking. 😀

    By now, his wrist is quite swollen compared to his other arm and we joke that he has a sausage for a wrist.

  5. Anonymous says:

    yay—you got stung! welcome to the club! and now you can say it! and i like that it was your fault…like most of the stings you get will be:) it does hurt like a mother and the skin being warm is so weird, huh? anyway… your details of weather and such in this post!

    trav is so sad that he can’t to hp with you on monday:(

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