I learned a new lesson today when I was working with the bees. Actually I learned two: 1) When examining the hives, be 100% present. Don't get distracted, and don't talk. 2) Don't exert an area after it's been stung. The first of those bits of sagacity probably doesn't need any explanation, but the second might be a bit more obscure.
I got stung four times in rapid succession today. The first sting was from a random bee that flew out of nowhere and maybe didn't even mean to sting me but collided with the index finger on my left hand and ended up stinging me on the underside below the first knuckle. If she didn't mean to sting me it was a tragic accident for her as he lost her life. I quickly scratched the stinger out and then went over and rubbed my hand in the dirt of the garden thinking that would take care of any residual attack pheromones from the sting. Apparently the dirt didn't work as I got stung right away three more times, twice on my right hand and once on my stomach through my clothes. These stings all hurt significantly more than the ones I've had previously, but the pain stopped pretty soon and I snagged the stingers out of all of them right after I got them. I also stopped doing hive inspections as I wasn't up to either more pheromone-driven bee frenzy with the rest of the hives or putting on a full bee suit and gloves to continue.
All was fine--minimal swelling, a bit of tingling itch--until I decided to weed a garden bed. John from Wicked Bee Apiary fortuitously came by to do hive inspections for me today as I was supposed to be in Montana and had forgotten to tell him I wasn't. So hung out and pulled weeds with my right hand for a good 45 minutes. By the time I finished my hand was all swollen on top and very painful from the venom being moving around from the exertion. Stupid move. The left hand--which I didn't use to weed--didn't swell. Now several hours later the right is still very swollen and very painful. We don't have Benadryl, but I did take another antihistamine earlier. Don't think it did diddly squat.
While I am sharing life's wisdom learned, I have another tidbit: don't drink coconut water from Thailand--even in aseptic containers--if it is six months out of date. So a miserable evening all around. But like Annie and Scarlett O'Hara, I look to tomorrow as a better day. A day when I might be able to use my right hand again. Glad I didn't have jewelry class tonight!