Sunday, May 3, 2015


Yep!  They say a beekeeper will always remember his or her first sting.

It was yesterday at the Persephone hive.  I was putting the excluder between the honey super and brood box.  I didn't want to use the smoker because it was going to just be a quick in and out and I didn't want to upset the hives more than they would be but in retrospect, smoke would have been good.  Anyway, I had my bee suit on, but I still don't have the proper gloves.  I was wearing some gloves that have a latex coating on the bottom and fabric on the top.  I guess I wasn't quick enough and she popped me in the top of my hand, right through the fabric.

Image courtesy of
It hurt, I won't lie, but it was quick, like the needle when getting a shot.  It wasn't her fault, she was just doing her job.  I didn't panic, or flail about...I did however use a couple of profanities that I won't repeat here...but I kept working, gently but quickly, and got the hive finished and retreated to the porch.  The pain lasted for just a few minutes, which was unexpected (I thought it would be longer).  I had no swelling, no reaction, and now I can't even tell where it was.  I guess, for me anyway, that's a good thing to know, as it shows I didn't have a reaction to the venom.

Now I am going online looking for "proper" bee gloves.

It's been a good weekend (other than this, ha) but I'm tired for sure.  More updates during the week but I'll catch up on comments later tonight.

Hope you had a great weekend!


  1. Yep bound to happen. Good you had no reaction. I am with you its been a good weekend.. but whew I am tired.

  2. Aw, sorry about your bee sting! But as your last post said, “The bee is domesticated but not tamed.”
    You probably already know these natural remedies for bee stings but here are some I’ve learned:
    A paste of baking soda and vinegar or one of meat tenderizer or - I love the irony of it - a smear of honey.
    It was a beautiful weekend to be outside. I know you enjoyed being able to get things accomplished. I hope you also took some time to enjoy the lovely world y’all have created at the Farm!

  3. I smiled when I read the post title and I'm sorry for that. A red wasp stung me on the toe a month ago and it is just now beginning to heal. Everyone kept telling me a wasp couldn't do that; that it had to have been a snake. I told them I saw it flapping in my Croc and smashed it. Glad you didn't have more of a reaction. The bee gloves I was given are a heavy canvas, but I never did use them. I'm too chicken.

  4. Sorry about that, I've been keeping bees for about 3 years and only stung once! Let's hope this is your one and only. Love your blog by the way, I am reading back through it and catching up. I had to add that I saw a post where you created your new blog header. I'm not sure what the old one looked like but as a graphics designer myself, this is very well done.

    My name is Jeffrey by the way. Thanks!

  5. The last bee sting I had (lots of years ago) my arm blew up so far I couldn't bend it. I will continue to admire your bees from afar.
    Good that you had no reaction. My partner collected one on his adam's apple while riding his bike one day and also, fortunately, had no reaction.
    Sad for the bees though. Dying doing their duty.

  6. Well the first is out of the way and there's something to be said for that! You survived! Pretty glad that you're buying the proper gloves though! May it be a long long time before another of your bees just does their job!

  7. 1st,
    Sorry to hear/read of this encounter and glad to know you did not have any adverse reactions. I admire anyone who takes up bee keeping for this reason alone but your rewards will be sweet in the end. – G

  8. Glad you didn't have a reaction. A good lesson early not to get complacent.

  9. Oh, OUCH. Sorry to hear that the bee got the best of you and that you got stung. Do bee careful as we never know when our immune system runs out. A bee sting may not bother us for sometime but then next time around you could get very sick and will need medical attention; Quickly. It happened to my brother in law some years back and almost died from the sting.

    The difference between a reaction and a potentially life‑threatening allergic reaction

    Most people stung or bitten by an insect may experience swelling, pain and redness that may persist for up to a week and usually gets better without treatment. However, for those who have allergic reactions to bee stings, wasp stings or fire ant bites, the situation may become life‑threatening.

    If you’re one of those with a bee sting allergy, wasp sting allergy or fire ant bite allergy, consider taking these precautions:
    When you go outside, avoid wearing brightly colored clothing or using sweet‑smelling lotions, perfumes and shampoos
    Always wear shoes
    If you’re eating, keep your food and trash tightly sealed
    If your activity might expose you to insects or their nests (gardening or hiking, for instance), wear pants and long‑sleeved shirts

    Treating insect allergies
    People with insect allergies can be treated with standardized insect injections (immunotherapy), which may provide long‑term protection against insect stings. However, not everyone treated this way remains tolerant to insect stings or bites for life. You may still need to carry EpiPen 2‑Pak.

    In case of anaphylaxis triggered by insect bites or stings, administer EpiPen or EpiPen Jr (epinephrine) Auto‑Injector immediately and seek emergency medical care.

    More information here:

    Reactions that are cause for concern and for which immediate medical assistance should be sought are any that .............
    •cause difficulty breathing, either due to a systemic reaction or swelling of the airways
    •where the reaction to the sting occurs elsewhere on the body than at the sting site
    •or any which cause nausea or general feelings of illness

    Bee careful and stay safe

  10. It's quite possible that as time goes on and you get a few more stings your reaction may increase. Hope you get those gloves soon.

  11. 1st Man,

    The first sting of the year from your own hive. Yes, I would find a couple sets of gloves just for keeping the hives. Do you have an EPI Pen just in case something were to happen? I carry them in my first aid kits just to be safe.

  12. Braver man than me as they say. I don't tend to flap around bees when they fly near me as they are just looking for food. Wasps are different and seem to delight in stinging. Only been stung once by a wasp, boy did it hurt. Hours later (behind my knee) a huge red patch swept over my skin to about 8 inches in diameter!

  13. I winced and cringed for you. I am NOT one of the lucky ones when stung by bees. I look like the michelin man. It is so so very ugly. I am slightly less reactive to wasps. Stingy bugs and I are not friends... I am glad you are ok. Next time...use the smoker!

  14. tell the doc you are keeping bees and get the scrip for epipens.
    they are $$$.
    even if you never develop the allergy someone visiting may have the reaction.
    the epipen will save them
    give the pen to the ambulance guys so the e. r. doc will know what he is dealing with.
    keep the pen with you when at the hives since the sensitivity may not show up the first few times.
    might keep your cell phone too so you can call 911 as soon as you have dosed yourself with epinephrine.

  15. beekeepers inevitably get stung-sometimes multiple times. Eventually, its no big deal. Its definitely part of the job. beekeeping is fascinating and exciting.


  16. I've been stung once by my bees, too--I had gotten so casual with them that I wasn't wearing any protective gear at all, then one spring when I opened the hive for the first time, I got nailed--by just one. For the most part, the bees seem to ignore me when I'm working in the hive. I have gone back to wearing at least a veil when I'm with them.

  17. What about "bee venom immunotherapy" or like the "bee venom injection" by an allergist physician. Is that a good or bad thing to prevent future anaphylaxis?


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