I managed to have an extended weekend due to my first bee handling experience. Every interesting...
I had gone to my cousins farm at Leongatha, Victoria, Australia because I had found out they had beehives. YUP! they had 4. wonderful!.
My Uncle and I geared up, putting on hats, netting, overalls, and gloves. We fired up the smoker - filling it with pine needles and papers, getting a nice thick blue smoke out of it, and wandered out to the top paddock, where the 4 hives resided.
The first one was a small one box hive, and we checked it for disease, and did some general maintenance - adding another box, getting ready for honey. The second hive the same, although we took 4 frames of honeycomb. The third hive was a big one, 4 boxes high, a deep resonate HUMMMMMMM of bees coming from it. We smoked it nicely and proceeded to start doing the maintenance, removing combs, replacing a few that had broken, taking out frames of honey. We forgot to keep the bees smoked. They got angry.
Attacking bees are quiet intriguing until one gets inside your face netting. Then all hell breaks loose. I managed to trap it amongst the netting, and telling my Uncle, wandered off to get it out. I thought I had moved far enough away. I was wrong. A number of very ticked off bees had followed me. When I removed my hat and netting (to get the bee out) a good half dozen of the following bees obviously went, "Ah, Commander, we have acquired target, proceeding to attack", and the attack commander went, "ATTACK SEQUENCE DELTA!" - and in they zoomed. 3 direct hits to the left forehead.
Sunday morning I awoke to a Quasimodo like face, a huge egg on my forehead, and my left eye all puffy. By Sunday night, the eye had completely swollen over. Around then i took myself off to emergency. They took a look at me, and gave my this kick arse anti-inflammatory tablet, which settled things down overnight and by monday mornings i was just 'puffy' - a really bad hay fever suffer. This 'look' has lasted 3 days now, but it's slowly getting better.
Can't wait till I get to play with them again!