A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Apiary Inspection - 14/07/2012 (...and a quick trip to A & E)

Me, Steph and Lauren have been on holiday in Corfu for the last week so I haven't had time to post for a while. Since coming back from holiday I have done another inspection and done a bit of home brewing so I have plenty to write about in the next few days to catch up. It makes sense to start with the inspection I did just prior to going on holiday.

It was a lovely summers day, which made a change due to the horrible weather we've been having, so me and Steph went up to see the Bees. We also took Steph's aunt as she was interested in finding out how the hives work. Lauren was also present and to begin with Steph's aunt looked after her while me and Steph inspected the first 2 hives. The hive I checked was the one that I believe is either Queen-less or failing. This hive still has workers and small amounts of brood but not much other activity though there seems to be plenty of stores. The hive Steph checked was much better. Eggs, brood and Queen Bee-Atrix all to be seen with plenty of workers and activity. We didn't use smoke and by the end of it there was a few angry Bees but once the lids were back on the hives they all settled down.

After that Steph took over baby sitting duties and handed her suit to her aunt. Me and Lyn (Steph's aunt) entered the apiary and started looking through the supers. Everything was going well for the first few frames when disaster struck and one of our party got stung. I was stood behind the hive with a frame in my hand with Bees all over it... I didn't get stung. Lyn was stood just to my side peering over the hive, less than a half a foot away from me... she didn't get stung. Steph was stood a few metres away from the side of the apiary... she didn't get stung. Lauren was in her mothers arms, also a few metres away from the hive... she DID get stung, further more she got stung right on her eye lid!! The next few minutes went by quite quickly and I'm not sure how much I remember about it all!

Steph took Lauren much further away from hives, to the car. Lauren is screaming and saying "BEE...EYE!!"

Lyn went to the car and quickly got out of the suit.

I put the hive back together quicker than I have ever done and nearly tripped up leaving the apiary!

I ran back to the car, again nearly tripping up over raspberry bushes and the slippery path.

Back at the car I removed my suit and started the car, Laurens eye is swelling up and she seems to be hyper ventilating, I feel somewhat panicky and start going over any first aid training I have had in the past... my mind is blank other than making sure she can still breathe, which luckily she had no problems with.

I set off from the allotment at what seemed like setting off from the Formula 1 starting blocks (and then slowing down again realising crashing would do no-one any favours).

The next 15 minute journey to the hospital seemed like an eternity, with Steph sat in the back next to Lauren making sure her condition doesn't start deteriorating. She had got a lot quieter and was seeming to start nodding off, albeit it was approaching nap time and she does usually fall asleep in the car.

We managed to keep her awake long enough to get her into A&E where I took her and ran with her across the car park (later I was told that when I was running across the car park she was smiling and laughing but I couldn't see that).

Once inside the hospital, typically, she seemed to improve drastically. The nurse gave her some calpol and sent us back to the waiting room and when finally called in again she was given the all clear and some stickers for being such a  brave girl (although we passed on the sticker with a bee on it!).

When we arrived back home she was absolutely fine, just with a slightly swollen eye which later bruised slightly just in time for our holiday. Looking back we realised that taking her up to the allotment while we did an inspection was a little silly, though in the past she has been closer and seemed to enjoy looking through the netting at the hives. Next time we all go to the allotment she will be kept well away from the apiary until she is a little older and can have her own suit.