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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bye Bye, Bees

This has been a sad week for me because I had to get rid of my bees. While working with a friend and her hives, I was stung twice in two days and my body decided enough was enough.

I didn't think anything of being stung and was on my way home when I realized I was having anaphylactic shock, my body tingling, itching, numb in places. I looked in the mirror and my face was a big old blotchy red blob and my breath was coming out sounding just like an old wheezy accordian.

So two miles down the dirt road, I turned the car around and went back to Sue's place where I calmly announced, "I think I need your epipen." And then I went to the hospital and received more drugs to ensure the reaction didn't recur.

It was just a year ago I received my first two hives of bees.

I nurtured "the ladies" and became a confident beekeeper. I fed them up with bee tea that first summer and fall, worried about them all winter, tucked into their hives in subfreezing weather, but this spring they emerged healthy and busy. Last month I purchased a small local hive to make three, and looked forward to harvesting honey for the first time.

Beekeeping taught me to listen to the bees to see how they were feeling. With sunny weather they were busy doing their jobs and indifferent to a stranger opening up their home for an inspection. When the atmosphere became close with an impending thunderstorm, they could be temperamental, time to close up and give the girls their space. I learned that a calm demeanor made for a good beekeeper and became a confident, patient, and respectful bee steward, making a tiny difference in our world with my three little hives.

But the doctor said I should not handle bees since another reaction could be worse and we are 30 miles from a hospital. I carry an epipen in my purse now. Maybe I will explore desensitizing shots sometime in the future. I don't know.

Friday at dusk a local beekeeper came to pick up the bees. I know they will be well taken care of, but it's like a death, a lack, an empty space.

I stood there, looking at the truck driving away, taking the ladies to their new home, and I cried.


  1. AWWWW~~~ Bridget, it's OK. You'll find something else to nurture~ Jeanie

  2. It's been so interesting following your adventures with your bees, Bridget. If nothing else, you've given a lot of knowledge to a bunch of ignorant individuals. By the son recently found out he is extremely allergic to fire ants and just went through a rapid desensitizing program for them because of all the fire ants that live in New Orleans. He spent one whole day at an allergy clinic getting shots every few hours, while they watched him and increased the venom dose. He needs to go now once a month or so for a few months to become allergy free, but until then, he will be stable enough that he won't be in danger of going into shock. He's never had allergies before but suddenly bam.... epi pen time!

    Maybe there will be hives again in your future... :)

  3. Sorry about the bees. And with you making such a nice bee potholder(: Lost you with the google reader demise...sorry

  4. This is a sad story from many angles. I'm sorry for the loss of your "pets." I hope you find something to fill the void. And I'm very sorry for your allergic reaction. Certainly nothing to mess with. Do whatever you must to stay well. Thanks for finding a good home for your bees.

  5. I'm so sorry about your loss. I know you another project will come along with equal challenges. Î hope you are doing better. Lots of love, Judy

  6. So sorry to hear that you had to give up your bees.


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