English for beekeepers

Wednesday word file: last sting-of-the-year

The last sting-of-the-year is what I got yesterday. I look a little like Rudolph-the-reindeer except I took it on the chin. I also had the last sting-of-the-year a week ago–or so I thought–when I got stung on the little finger. But at this point, that one simply turned out to be the penultimate sting-of-the-year.

Now, seeing as we still have nine more days left in 2010, I may very well get another last sting-of-the-year, in which case, these other two were not. Follow?

My point is simply this: bees are unpredictable creatures. Unless the year is actually past and gone, there is no way to predict the last sting. The upside of all this is that my bees are still feisty and bold, the colonies are still thriving, and the days are now getting longer. With only three more months until the vernal equinox, can spring be far away?

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  • I kept thinking my first sting would be when I was shoveling around the hive because a bunch of girls darted out at me faster than I could run screaming. LOL! I’m hoping there are no stings for me in 2010. Would it be silly for me to don my bee suit in the middle of winter? LOL! I hope you are feeling better.

  • March 9th, 2012. My first sting of the year. Then my second.

    The temperature went up to a record 14°C where I live and the bees busted out of the hives to make the most of it. Many of the bees landed on me and walked around my hands and arms. But two of them, on two separate occasions, got stuck under my sleeve (that’s my theory, anyway), and stung me. One sting on my left wrist. The other sting near the thumb on my left hand.

    A few hours later (now), the area around my thumb and my wrist are pink and swollen like a proverbial balloon.

    I’ve never had this reaction to a sting before. What’s up with that, man?