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peteinwilts 

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This evening I opened up a very strange bait hive.

I caught the bees about two weeks ago, and moved them to a resting place three miles away.

As per normal, I wore a t-shirt with a full bee suit over the top, with descent rubber gloves.

The first thing that seemed odd was the bees were not building on the bait comb at all and made their own that was hanging on to the roof and sides.

As soon as I opened the lid there was a big flop as the comb hit the base of the bait box.

That was it! Thousands of little Satanesses flew out of the box and hit me from all sides. Hundreds had stings pushed into my beesuit.
Somehow, they had found a crease in my beesuit, and travelled down the glove and up my arm (have not found any holes yet!)

Several stung through my socks, and several on the inside of my trouser leg. I knew I was in real trouble when I started looking at bees on the inside of my hood (no idea how they got in!)

All in all, I have at least 26 stings, (26 still hurt anyway) mostly went through the suit into my arms so the suit probably pulled the sac out, but there were a few on the inside, several around my ankle, one on the inside on my neck and one on my armpit.

Completely my own fault. I could not help the comb falling, but after so long with no stings and have many colony's of very gentle bees, I was a little overconfident, especially in my full bee suit.
This is a warning to newbies particularly when approaching new bees. Even wearing full beesuits it is good to wear something long sleeved underneath, a baseball cap or hat and an extra pair of socks. :banghead:
 

the naked beekeeper 

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I can empathise with you mate.
Hope you get better soon.
I've been in the 20+ brigade through complacency.

Now I always wear at least one long sleeve garment under my suit, I always wear jeans, wear a baseball cap and sometimes where nitrile gloves under my marigolds.

You expect to get stung as a beekeeper, but I have been in that horrifying place before and it is a big wake up to make sure you're always properly protected, zipped up and act with caution. I don't ever underestimate the bees anymore. No matter what situation. Safety and due care first.
 

Midland Beek 

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The first thing that seemed odd was the bees were not building on the bait comb at all and made their own that was hanging on to the roof and sides.
Yes, swarms want to cluster and want to make comb. If you ever give a swarm the choice, this is what they will do. Nothing 'odd' about it because they cannot cluster if they are spread over frames. The frames divide the cluster.
 

peteinwilts 

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Yes, swarms want to cluster and want to make comb. If you ever give a swarm the choice, this is what they will do. Nothing 'odd' about it because they cannot cluster if they are spread over frames. The frames divide the cluster.
makes a lot of sense but would have thought they would be onto frames after two weeks.... especially as this swarm is huge!
maybe it was just odd to me as this has been my 6th successful bait hive and this has been the first to do this.... maybe I have just been lucky
 

madasafish 

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I had that -once. Always wear half length wellies now and check suit very carefully. Still use no gloves tho..
 

Rosti 

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Pete, my sympathies, I have small wrists and I've had similar, with folds in suits and entry along rubber gloves, fortunately I only got hit 10 or so times. One thing I did do (well the misus actually) was to take the gauntlets off an old pair of leather gloves, elasticate the cuffs and I now wear them over my rubber gloves to ensure a good arm seal (suit, then glove, then gauntlet). Has worked very well. As for the ankles, no option there, has to be boots dunnit!

Newbees reading this, a case in point. Your loving little charges can surprise you. Hope for the best, dress for the worst. I can't support this no gloves lets you 'feel' how the bees are - too right it does, especially when they are un-expectedly pissy!
 

Heather 

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With them being that volatile- was a queen present?? They sounded extra upset. Even with a comb dropping - that was a poor reaction.
 

MrB 

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Sorry to hear about your ordeal, however, a post like that just to remind people has to be worth typing.! hope you are ok.
 

Arfermo 

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Cetirizine Dihydrochloride 10 mg

Peteinwilts problem sounds dreadful. Fortunately I seem to be immune to beestings now. Had 6 or so recently on my arm just above the wrist which caused me no pain or discomfort after the initial ping. Just in case, I still take a pill that the quack recommended - Cetirizine Dihydrochloride 10 mg available over the counter, no prescrption fo cirac £3 for 30 - as they were invaluable when I used to have trouble. The recent stings were due to my failure to put the elasticated loop on the cuff of my smock over my little pinkies before putting on my gloves. As a result, the sleeve rose up my arm and the beesties took advantage. Motto dress more carefully.

Arfermo
 

Roy S 

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Ouch!!....I know how that feels, Just goes to show how quickly things can change with bees though. You'll laugh about it in future though, everything I get up to with my bees seems to make non beekeepers laugh...nervously!!!
 

madasafish 

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Rosti said "I can't support this no gloves lets you 'feel' how the bees are - too right it does, especially when they are un-expectedly pissy!"

I should add altough I do not normally wear gloves, I have in my suit pocket a pair of rubber gloves, covered in nitrile gloves... just for disasters... And a packet of antihistamines as well...

Plan for the worst, hope for the best...
 

plumberman 

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Rosti said "I can't support this no gloves lets you 'feel' how the bees are - too right it does, especially when they are un-expectedly pissy!"

I should add altough I do not normally wear gloves, I have in my suit pocket a pair of rubber gloves, covered in nitrile gloves... just for disasters... And a packet of antihistamines as well...

Plan for the worst, hope for the best...
I'm not sure I can reconcile a full on and sudden onslaught and the ability to pull gloves out of pocket before you actually get stung!

Antihistamines are far more effective as a prophylactic to prevent histamine release; once the histamine is released and has caused swelling they are of considerably less use.
 

peteinwilts 

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With them being that volatile- was a queen present?? They sounded extra upset. Even with a comb dropping - that was a poor reaction.
thanks all for your sympathies... as long as others can learn by my mistake.

The queen was present at least a few days ago as brood was present on the fallen comb.
I have had some very grumpoy bees before, but have seen nothing like this. My beesuit was polka dotted with bees with their stings in me before I had a chance to put the lid of the bait box down.

I picked the fallen comb down and put it in an empty super underneath the brood box. and knocked as many bees into the brood box as possible. I placed a QX underneath to make sure the queen does not abscond again (as I have lost this swarm before!)

By the time I had done this, with several bouts of slowly walking away from the hive before jumping around the field like Tigger on steroids, i just wanted to retreat as soon as possible..

i'll give them a couple of weeks, and if they are still hellish, her majesty will be de-throned!
 

kazmcc 

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I am so glad I have read posts like these before I got my bees. As a bee phobic, I take my safety ( and others ) very seriously. Some of the people I have encountered in my limited experience of bee keeping, are happy to examine a hive with no suit or hood at all. ( see my pics, the first album ) Each to their own I suppose, they are all adult so are responsible for their own actions, but I have insisted from day one that I am covered. I have a healthy fear of bees now, not an irrational one.

I hope you are better soon. Thanks for the reminder :)
 

shonabee 

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Kazmc, my OH used to be scared of bees, but now he gets roped into lifting supers off the hive for me etc.
I've had one horrific stinging - entirely my own fault. Think I got around 15 (moral of the story: if you use a smock, tuck it in!).
 

kazmcc 

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oh dear, I am not used to bee suits yet, and I am quite slim so the suits we have ride down my shoulder being very restrictive. I also realised after we had put the bees in the hive, that I had pulled the suit ( they are just the tops ) down, and it fitted like a dress.....leaving a big gap that bees could have flown under and into the top! Thankfully that didn't happen, and I have no idea why as they were buzzing around us and I had lots hitching a ride on my leg, beginners luck I suppose. I will be very aware of this in future.....as it was the first time I had handled the bees, if that would have happened I think I would have been that paniced, it would have put me back in regards of my phobia :O

I am bringing the suits home to wash today, and I am going to put one on and have a good think about where and how the bees could get to me. I think that is a better idea than doing it at the site, with the excitement and all.
 

tkwinston4 

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Fortunately I seem to be immune to beestings now. Had 6 or so recently on my arm just above the wrist which caused me no pain or discomfort after the initial ping.

Arfermo
Unfortunately being immune now does not mean you will stay immune. You may well become immune as many posts on here will back up. The more stings you get does not necessarily build up immunity. bee-smillie
 

miller 

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My cheap veil/hood held on with elastic over boiler suit allowed access to one bee, then another, then another... till I'm running through the under growth ripping hood & hair clip off, hive tool lost for good, bees totally tangled in mass of curly hair stinging away. I plunge head , shoulders & bees in our super deep paddling pool which helps but it appears they can hold their breathe too. Next few days I'm a bloated, shakey, flu like mess and the bees - minimum 20 lost in action.

Never saw the queen but hope to find the hive tool one day.
 

kazmcc 

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Hi Miller, sorry to hear that, hopefully you feel better now. Must have looked a sight though. Bee keepers are supposed to be the picture of composure.....and to see one running through the undergrowth, waving their arms about while ripping off the suit and then plunging their head in a paddling pool, well, it sound like a comedy sketch lol. At least it hasn't put you off :)

Hope you find your hive tool, and you get a nice new bee suit for an early xmas pressie :)
 

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