I’ll just get to the point – I’m going to continue my beekeeping journey!
Having spoken to the doctor, it’s ‘thought’ that the reactions I’m having are likened to a strong allergic reaction similar to severe hay fever. As a reaction to the sting, my body is releasing a disproportionate amount of histamine, with the suddenness and severity feeling quite alarming. As long as my tongue and lips don’t swell, I should be ok. Well that’s the theory!
Armed with this information, antihistamines, steroids, an EpiPen, marigold gloves and a lovely husband, we’re going to continue our beekeeping adventure together. Stuart loves beekeeping too, so he’s going to reduce my exposure to risk, by doing more of the manipulations. If the bees are aggressive, we’re just going to shut up the hive and walk away. Anything risky, we’ll review and work out the least risky strategy. Having felt really down about the situation, I now feel more excited about the season ahead. I have to admit, I now get a bit nervous before an inspection and I take antihistamines in advance as a preventative, but it’s good news!
With this new strategy in place, we inspected the Archerfield hives last Saturday and half of the Gosford hives on Monday. We’d hoped to go back on Tuesday to do the other half at Gosford but the weather turned before we could go back and it’s been cold and windy ever since!
Stuart in action at both Archerfield and Gosford!
We were looking for signs that they were building up the colony with a nice pattern of eggs, larvae and capped brood cells in the middle of the box. We were also checking to make sure they were building up stores, hoping they might have started making honey in the supers, looking for queen cells as a warning sign of swarming and any signs of disease.
The bees are working hard at building up their colonies and making stores. There were no queen cells so they’re not ready for swarming yet and there was no sign of disease. Because of the prolonged cold weather, compared to this time last year, they’re behind in terms of colony size and amount of stores available. There was either nothing or almost nothing in the supers so no honey any time soon. But, looking on the bright side, at least they are now able to forage on the plentiful Oil Seed Rape, pollinate all the trees and flowers and hopefully, if the weather picks up, make some honey for us soon.