master of the obvious

When I first heard the story about a beekeeper friend getting stung on his left nut, I laughed so hard I almost cried. It wasn’t just the details of the story but the way his wife, an animated story-teller, absolutely delighted in telling everyone about her nut-stung spouse – the part where she re-enacts how they scraped the stinger out is my favorite. She’s told the story repeatedly and I’ve howled every time.

I’d say it’s not so funny when it happens to you, but that’s not entirely true. It’s only not funny when you are stung in a mundane location.

When you are pissing off bees by opening up their home and being a pain-in-the-ass, it stands to reason that bees will try to sting you. I’m putting this firmly in the category of “obvious shit” but really, bee stings are pretty sucky. Kevin and I each got one the other day when we were sprinkling the bottom box with powdered sugar.

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Why were we sprinkling powdered sugar, you ask? It’s actually a way to check for mites. The idea is you dust bees with powdered sugar, the sugar loosens mites, mites fall down to the bottom of the hive where you have a board with oil on it to trap them. And then you count the little buggers. We will remove the board and count mites tonight – exciting, right?!!

So, here’s what I learned this weekend:

  • Don’t open a hive at 7pm when all the bees are chillaxin’ at home – do it during the day when most of them are at their 9-to-5, punching time-cards and slogging pollen.
  • Bees can and will sting through jeans. “They” say that bees are attracted to dark colors. I believe that bees just like going for the genitals. The white bee-keeping pants are in the mail, so I’ll be able to test out this theory in the future.
  • One little bee sting isn’t enough to deter me from beekeeping. It’s possible my husband was a *bit* concerned that I’d swipe all their honey and tell them to screw off. I may have considered it, but only briefly.
  • Lastly, apparently Kevin is immune to bee stings. Say it with me people: “of course he is.”

Stings aside, it was awesome to get to look in all the boxes. Here’s what brood looks like:

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