Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm the one that gets stung

Kevin has thicker hair, clearer skin, can hold his breath longer, and beat me in almost every game/sport at which we have ever competed, there remains one biological arena in which I best him: allergic reactions.--

Mosquito bites have little or no affect on me.

I don't have cold-urticaria. (alright that's an easy one, 98% of humans don't)

And pertinent to this beekeeping blog, beestings to me are a minor nuisance.

I've been stung about 10 times now over the past year. I had never been stung by a bee before we had our hive. Stepping on a wasp at age 24 was the first "sting" I ever received. (I'm indoorsy)

I had gotten so lax about the stings, that this last time I was stung (yesterday afternoon) I didn't think much of the stings.

But some combination of factors led my stings to amount to more than tiny purple marks. I have a cookie-size hive at the locations of each sting. (I remember a similar reaction to a fire ant bite when I was a kid)
Was it the new breed of bees I caught and introduced to our hive?
Did I not remove the stinger fast enough / correctly?
Lack of ibuprofen / Zyrtec?
I dunno.
But I don't like the ugly spots on my arms, that's for sure and I'd like them to go away. So I googled and found this interesting article: The Best Bee Sting Remedies from Slate.
Really, click the link, it really is interesting!

(in this re-enactment, the part of "my arms" is played by a purple daisy)

I'm pretty sure more than 24 hours after the stings, alot of those solutions wouldn't really help me. I should just ice them, but they don't bother me that much that I'm going to hold packs of ice on/off my arms for a couple of hours.

How did I get stung this time, you might be wondering?

Well for starters, I was out there (by myself) because we saw that our big first hive had no new grubs (brood) or eggs.
Which means they have no queen.
Which is like bee anarchy.

So we had decided Sunday afternoon, after the honey harvest, that we should swap out a grub frame from the second hive for a honey frame in the queen-less hive.*
Which is what I was doing yesterday when I got stung. I was rushing, and I didn't cover my arms with enough layers to keep out stingers. And when I jacked up a super-full frame of honey, the "anarchists", who were already mad because of not having a queen, stung me through my sleeves. I still had to do the swap and put the hives back together so I didn't immediately tend to my stings.
And now, welts. Boo.

*How does swapping help our the queen situation?
The other hive can magically** transform those eggs into a new queen.

**Magically, seriously?
Um, no, it involves Royal Jelly which I don't like saying out loud because it sounds like knock-off of Dark n' Lovely or an altogether more unmentionable product.

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