Sunday, July 31, 2011

Removing the Bee Beard


I confess that having the bees put on and walking around wearing them was the easiest part of the whole beard experience.

[Photo - Janice a first year beekeeper and me]

If you keep bees you know there are good days and bad and some days the bees are just bitchy.  The hive we worked with just wasn't too happy.  I think it was the excessive heat wave we'd been experiencing that made them grouchy.

To remove the bees you shake and blow them off much like how you would in the bee yard.

First I stood next to the hive and quickly thrust my body forward.  Most of the bees fell off in a clump straight into the hive.  I repeated the shake and even tried jumping.  The shake worked best.

But by the fourth time the few bees left had decided they'd had enough.  I already had sting pheromone on top of my head and so I got tagged there a couple more times.

[Photo - me post beard with remnants of Vaseline on my chin and some bee debris].

I also got stung on the temple and on the neck.  Then two bees got me on the upper lip in a double tag.  Ouch!  Now I knew what bee-stung lips felt like.  Soon I'd know what they looked like too.

Thankfully the blower was then available and the rest of the bees were quickly blown off.

Inside my shirt was another matter.  There were about 10 more which I shook out.

A half hour later I found another bee inside my shirt wondering around and released her to fly away.

I soothed my stings with my favourite method:  Putting frozen freezies on them.  Then I eat the freezies.

I was also given an ice pack which worked great - a sponge is filled with water and frozen in a plastic Ziplock baggie.  It makes a nice portable ice pack which can be given away or reused.  Clever.

Daryl who won the competition said he only got two stings too until the removal when he got quite a few as well.

 My sister, the paparazzi for this adventure couldn't resist documenting the whole process, including the swelling from the stings.

I can report that I'm not getting the itchiness from stings like I used too.  The next day the swollen lips were back to normal--too bad because they looked like Angelina Jolee's.

She probably paid for hers.  Mine were free.

And I got a t-shirt.   So that's like a bonus.
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