For the sake of any American readers, what I mean by pants is underpants – but this should become apparent as the story unfolds.
On a Sunday morning in July, this Summer, I went for a run, had a shower and then put on my thickest pair of pants as I was to inspect the bees later in the day. Despite it being another hot day there was still something comforting about my thick pants.
I considered sending my mate Anthony (who was to join me later for a bee inspection) a jokey text about wearing armour plated pants, but I thought this was just going overboard as I had texted him earlier telling him to bring some cotton wool for his ears and nostrils. Okay, these thoughts amuse me during my moments alone.
I showed Anthony and his son some empty supers and explained how a hive worked and then stepped into my full bee suit and wellies, secure in the knowledge that I had three layers of protection in the most sensitive of places should the bees attack me. I gave my mate the ‘guest half suit’ and it did cross my mind that his trendy jeans looked a bit on the thin side.
Here we are, all excited:
I assured Anthony my bees were friendly seconds before he became my first guest beekeeper to get stung. He made a lot of noise about it – these actor types like the attention. I kept calling him to come back and to be fair he did come back for 30 seconds to get a look at the bee eggs and larvae. We then headed home for some antihistamine ointment.
I popped up stairs to change out of my suit and jeans and get the ointment. Anthony was keen to show me his bee sting and came up too. It then also became evident he didn’t have any pants on (“he’d forgot to take them to his brother’s where he was staying the night”).
Let’s assume he wears pants 364 days per year out of 365 days and that he just got very unlucky to find himself dropping his trousers, showing me his sting and applying cream. Or perhaps the exhibitionist in him got lucky?
So the moral of this story is, if you are going to inspect some bees with a friend, best to wear pants. Not just for that triple layer of protection, but so that in the event you do get stung on the upper thigh and want someone to look at it, it’s a bit less embarrassing for all concerned.
You can read more about this inspection in my hive notes from 21 July 2013.
All looks good. None flying as it’s too cold. They buzz when I tap the hive. No dead bees on the floor (amazing).
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