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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Please. Call Me Odin.

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Please. Call Me Odin.

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The Fambly and I left for Charlottesville on Thursday afternoon after the students were gone for the day. Bobby and I rushed home, as we still had some things to do before leaving. One of those things was feeding the bees.

'Tis the season to feed the bees in our area. We've been feeding ours all summer, on the recommendation of more experienced beekeepers in the Carroll County Beekeeper's Association, so that they could expend more resources to draw comb. But this time of year, feeding is especially important so that they have adequate honey stores to get through the winter. The past few weeks have, as documented, been very rainy, which means that the bees haven't been able to forage, and we haven't been able to feed them.

It was drizzling Thursday afternoon. I should have known to put on my veil, but I was in a hurry. I paid for my haste.

I rationalized that I only needed to slide the inner cover back an inch to pour in enough sugar water to get them through the weekend. Unfortunately, as soon as I slid the cover back that measly inch, some angry bees came out. One flew into my face and stung me below the eye. Two others got me: one on the back of my upper arm and the other on the inner part of my knee. I went into the house to get the bee suit, not realizing that I brought three bees into the house with me, one of which whipped through the ceiling fan, smacked into Dad, and stung him in the neck.

My priority was, of course, getting the stinger out of Dad's neck, then catching the remaining bees, so I didn't get out the stingers as fast as I should have.

A baking-soda paste kept the swelling down till after dinner. By the time we arrived at the hotel, though, my eye had begun to swell.


By the next morning, my eye was so swollen I could barely open it.


On my 18th birthday, a tropical storm hit that knocked out our power for eight days. I knew Mother Nature would have a nice present for me to unwrap on the big three-oh too! But I'm not quite sure how to interpret this one.

I spent my birthday with my eye swollen--it didn't hurt a bit, but it was awful to look at--and in sunglasses most of the time in public because it looked so horrible, I was anxious about grossing people out while they were trying to eat or go about their everyday bee-free lives. I asked my family to call me Odin, but since only Bobby knows who that is, that wasn't a very successful campaign on my part. The swelling started to recede that evening and was almost gone midway through Saturday. Now (Sunday), I just have a handsome shiner. I'm not going to try to feed the bees again in the autumn without a veil--lesson learned!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • There is a reason why I never ask for warnings. I see one and I have to click. OMG! That is horrible and especially for someone who is bee-phobic like me. I swell up like that and call it being allergic to bees and rush to the ER. Apparently, I am actually just a wimp.
    • I have scared my poor flist in the past with my wanton spider and bee posts, so I warn for their sake and tempt the rest of you all. ;) You could be a wimp, or I could be reckless. I have to be dying or in extreme pain before I seek medical attention for anything. I do swell and itch when I get stung, but I don't have any respiratory symptoms or anything troubling. And I don't normally swell that bad; it was just a really bad spot.

      It's all better now; I just look like I have a plain ol' black eye!
      • You do have to be careful with an insect sting or bite around the eye. I was told by a doctor relating to a mosquito bite that Baby Fingon got last fall that looked like that (he IS actually allergic to mosquito bites--was in the hospital later last fall for almost week for another one on his finger). They kept him overnight for the eye swelling, because they say it is very close to the sinus cavities and therefore the brain and the eyes are quite sensitive to damage also. Mother Janet, says wear the gear next time, please!
        • Yes, Mother! :D

          It'll be at least the veil and possibly the full suit for me through the rest of autumn. 'Tis cranky season for bees!
  • Oh good lord! I sympathize with you...I am also allergic to bee stings, hornet stings, what have you...and it's bee season right now around here, so I am being very careful. Poor you...that looks bad...did you take antihistamines. Couldn't help laughing at the 'call me Odin' part. :/
    • I am lucky that I am not allergic; I just swell up and itch a bit for a day. :) This is the worst I've swollen, and it's more the location of the sting than anything, I suspect. I was stung behind the ear earlier this year, and that didn't swell at all.

      All I did to treat it was put a baking soda paste on it, which helped keep the swelling down at first. I probably should have taken benadryl! But I didn't want to be drowsy for my trip. :D
  • Heavens, sweetie, you look awful! I hope you'll fee better soon, and that your shiner will be gone. I can imagine you trying to explain to your students-- though being guys of a certain age, they will probably think it's cool.

    You know what else works on bee-stings? Wet tobacco. The DH used to be a pipe smoker, so we usually had some on hand when he or our son got stung. Works a treat! Takes the swelling out and eases the pain and itching very quickly. He doesn't smoke at all any more (though he rarely smoked even then) but a friend gave him a small pack of cigars a few years ago, which we keep on hand in case of future stings. Of course many people don't smoke at all nowadays, so that's not as useful a home remedy as it used to be.
    • The face I'm pulling doesn't help the overall impression of the last picture. ;) The swelling is all gone now, and there is just a bit of a dark circle under my eye, mostly from scratching it when it itched. Luckily, I won't see much of the students for tomorrow or Tuesday, since I have training both days. Some will think I was in a fight; others will want to beat up the person who did it. ;)

      I've heard of the tobacco trick and will keep that in mind! :) My mom smokes, so that would have been an option for me. The baking soda paste worked great but eventually flaked off; then the swelling started. I also delayed too much in getting the stinger out because I was more worried about getting the stinger out of my dad; his sting didn't swell up at all, and he kept the baking soda on all night. (I scratched mine off when we stopped for supper, vain creature that I am. ;)
  • Poor girl. :(
    As I said in the previous comment, I hope you'll soon be just fine. ;)
    • It's barely visible at all today; I only saw a few of my students, but none even noticed my shiner. ;)
  • Oh, you poor thing! I am not bee-phobic, I like them, but that is spectacular! I am glad it has gone down
    • It was a really bad spot for a sting! There's lots of skin there to puff and swell up. It didn't hurt at all, surprisingly. Today, I can barely tell anything was wrong at all.
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