It’s hot. For the first time all year it is finally, seasonably appropriate. The propolis on my fingers and hands has stained them yellow-brown and as I lift the frame to inspect the colony’s progress, I am impressed by its weight. Lost momentarily by the productivity of the hive, I lose my focus and nearly my grip.
The bees buzz, audibly irritated by my carelessness and I redouble my efforts by gripping the frame hard with my tacky fingers. But my jostling has reverberated throughout the colony; the older workers buzz my unmasked face in zig-zag anger.
I’ve done it now. At that moment I feel something on my neck. My mind is whirling. Expecting, anticipating that at any moment, the female will plunge her barbed stinger behind my ear.
Bracing, and all the while clutching the frame, the lady walks past my carotid and toward my throat. Suddenly she picks up pace!
A moment later the bead of sweat has melded into my ever dampening T-shirt.
I’d be lying if I wasn’t relieved. Although I’ve been stung countless times in numerous places, it’s still not an experience that I openly warrant.
Smiling, I head back toward the frame knowing there are still another seven hives to inspect and super before the day’s done…