Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Drama in the Hive

As if we didn't have enough stress around here lately already, our queen died this weekend. We found her during a hive inspection, breathing (do bees breathe?) her last. And without a queen to lay eggs, the clock is ticking as far as the rest of the hive is concerned. They hadn't made another queen of their own, and of course if something like this is going to happen it's going to happen on the holiday weekend because that's how life works...

We got lucky and found a new queen to buy yesterday and while we were installing her, I learned something new about our expensive bugs.

They will warn you before stinging.

While I was holding things for my husband, a bee whacked into my arm, hard. It felt deliberate, so I asked him about it later since he's the one who's read all of the bee books. That thwack was a warning to back off.

I haven't been stung by one of our own bees yet, but now that we've got a hive in the yard I'm expecting it to happen sooner or later. There are worse things in life than a bee sting.

What do you do for bee stings?

The last time I got stung, which was a couple of years ago, I couldn't find the baking soda, we don't use meat tenderizer, and I didn't want to go to the car for the bee sting stuff in the first aid kit. So I tried pressing a penny against it. Everything I can find about pennies and bee stings on the web today says it's an urban legend, but it made me feel better at the time.

The bee books say to take a couple of Benadryl.

Honestly, I'm hoping that I don't have an opportunity to test any of these suggestions anytime soon.

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