I was at the home of Abeille a miel this weekend. It was great to see the gardens & the bees - I haven't seen her girls since they were in their mailer box! We're 40 miles apart, but totally different locales. My weather and vegetation is Mediterranean with mild summers and winters. She's in the Redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains with hot dry summers and rainy and occasionally snowy winters. We've been curious what the differences in our hives would be. I'm excited to see her pictures and hear her side of the story.
I was being nosy and pried out the mite board yesterday afternoon to see if it looked like mine. We saw lots of hive debris - cappings, pollen, etc. And unfortunately - a patch of mold. :( We decided we'd open up the hive today and take a look.
First, the hive is doing fantastic! There are tons of bees, they are defensive of the hive, and they have a lot of capped comb with stores of honey. Intoxicating smell! I don't know how we all resisted dipping a finger or hive tool in. We got the hive opened, and I lifted the top deep super off, and then carefully lowered it on to the old bottom board. I was totally using my legs & not my back to lift slowly, but as I rose up (and pulled my legs back together) I suddenly felt a hot burn high on the inside of my thigh. OW. I kept thinking, no, you are crazy, you are just being overly sensitive, but then OW OW OW. "I got stung!" I was passed the card to scrape out the sting, but that's kind of a hard spot to get a good visual on with a full bee jacket on. "Go!" I was told, I walked down the hill and almost into the bathroom, realized a bee was right there, so back outside. The hot pain overwhelmed any sense of modesty, and once I removed my veil, off went my pants to make sure the sting was gone.
The sting & bee were gone, there was a small puncture mark where I'd been stung. I stayed back for the remainder of the hive inspection for fear that any warning pheromone may cause problems for me & my friends. Once we were back inside they were laughing. "Oh, you should have seen it! Six bees flew straight out of the hive in a line right for you!" Goodness, I'm glad I didn't! We were also laughing at the awkward nature of helping a friend extract a stinger from the crotch of their pants.
I keep reminding myself of all the data that bee stings are good for the health, that I'm clearly not allergic, and that it's going to be awkward if this gets itchy in a few days.