the stinging hex


I was so cocky– out at the beehives, in my beesuit, checking through each frame in preparation for the honey harvest. Yes, the bees were angry, but I congratulated myself on my calm demeanor and the fact that I was well protected: hat, boots, full-body white jumpsuit, veil and gloves.

Inspecting beehives is a great pleasure. At this time of year the frames are heavy and bulging with gorgeous wax-capped honey. Other frames are filled with eggs and brood, nurse bees and emerging babies– it’s like peeking into the workings of a new world.

As I moved into the lower boxes the bees became more and more furious. I felt a tickling on my face– this is normal, it’s impossible to be surrounded by that many bees without feeling a phantom itch– and then, almost like they’d synchronized it “one, two, three, go!” I was stung five times on my face.

I ran to the grass and rolled, squashed the renegade bees between my fingers, and went back to the hive to replace the boxes and lid– but there, another one!– I rolled again and sprayed myself with the hose until the buzzing ceased.

How did they get in? I don’t know. Maybe that miniuscule space by the zipper? Or through one of the grommets in the hat? An angry bee can wriggle through the tiniest spot. Next time, I won’t be so smug. I’ll leave when they get mad or smoke the hive.

Masses of Benadryl and Advil got me through the night, but I awoke to my left eye swollen shut and my right cheek the size of a grapefruit. The older boys were frankly terrified by my appearance and offered quick goodbyes.

me & Harry, we’re like twins

But Gabe and Mary (who leave 90 minutes later) had a little time to process it.

“I still think you are beautiful!” crooned Gabe.

“Even though you look scary, I still love you.” offered Mary.


I’m just grateful it’s temporary. And I’ll tell you what– I can hardly wait to steal those bees’ honey tomorrow!

September 14, 2011
September 18, 2011



  1. Shelah

    September 16, 2011

    oooh, ouch. I’m so sorry. That looks miserable.

  2. Judi

    September 16, 2011

    oh michell…that looks very uncomfortable to say the least. but you are always beautiful! hope you get better soon…

  3. Lisa

    September 16, 2011

    You are right…it does look like the stinging hex! We are SO thieving their golden treasure tomorrow…notice how I said we…I’ll be the one in the house cheering you guys on! Or maybe I’ll be out in the coop with the other chickens.

  4. Linn

    September 17, 2011

    Um, maybe it is suddenly okay I am very allergic to bees and will never have a chance to own them. That looks painful. I’m sorry it happened!

  5. Tracy

    September 17, 2011

    Too bad it’s not closer to Halloween! Also, now I have another reason not to get bees. Not that I ever thought of getting them. Send honey. xoxo

  6. Selwyn

    September 17, 2011

    Whoa. That’s kind of taking awful to a whole new level!

    Who knew you could look that scary?

    Hope the puffing goes down quickly!

  7. Rachelle

    September 18, 2011

    Go get that honey, honey. :o)

  8. michelle

    September 18, 2011


    But those are some sweet statements from your little ones.

  9. Sharlee

    September 19, 2011

    Oh, Michelle! Hugs and brownies!!

Comments are closed.