Watch out for those BEES!!!

No one and nothing likes being stung by bees. Some aren’t too bothered, but I can’t imagine a creature who wouldn’t avoid being stung if it was possible.

My chickens used to wander in front of my hives (back when we lived in suburbia) calmly and happily and then, out of the blue, they’d high tail it out of there. I assume that’s when a bee started up her aggressive buzzing sound.

Chicken grazing near the bee hives

Chicken grazing near the bee hives

Anyone who’s spent much time around bees knows that warning sound. It can be roughly translated into, “get outta here or I’m gonna die and you’re gonna hurt”.

I don’t think Adler’s spent much time around bees. He certainly doesn’t have the necessary respect for bees. Recently I caught him playing with some who were checking out this nuc as a potential new home (swarming already?). Seriously, is this a death wish or what?

Bees are fun

Bees are fun

Catching Honeybees

Catching honey bees and/or a suicide attempt

Patchy certainly has great respect for bees – now anyway.  Yesterday, I had her out on some grass and a bee was on a clover flower – Patchy flinched and darted for the house.

30 minutes earlier, we had been in the back of the bee garden, behind all the hives, a safe distance away with a visitor. Our visitor was attacked – or at least accosted – by several bees. (She thinks it was because in the morning she was harvesting flowers. Her hair brushed against the blooms and picked up their scent and pollen which made her highly desirable to honey bees.) I was trying to get the bees out of her hair when Patchy went wild. I saw a bee on her ear and one near her leg and she bit at one and ran. Then she threw up 3 times. Then she couldn’t settle. Then 1 hour later she started to swell up around the eyes and snout. Then we took her to the vet for an injection of antihistamines. Then she started to get better. Here she is 30 minutes after the injection with the swelling on its way down. Poor puppy. The vet told her she looked like a Shar-Pei 😦 I suppose that’s better than comparing her to Rocky Balboa which was what I was thinking. So, not only was she in pain, but he beauty was marred and her pride was hurt. How much injustice can one little doggy bear?


Patchy with swollen eyes after being stung by bees

Patchy with swollen eyes after being stung by bees

I hope Adler watched what Patchy went through and learns a bit of respect before something like this happens to him. With a couple dozen hives on the farm, we have a lot of bees around and you ignore their warning buzz at your peril!


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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14 Responses to Watch out for those BEES!!!

  1. Glenn Rittenhouse says:

    I have lots of respect for bees and stay clear of them. That is I go the other way from where I think they are going. I haven’t been stung for a long time and remember it wasn’t a pleasant experience when I was stung I have some sting-kill in my desk drawer just in case. .

    • I’m really lucky that, though it hurts, the sting doesn’t really bother me. If it did, I’d have to move away. If I had a skin reaction, I’d probably apply honey – some beekeepers swear by it. Though I suspect your sting-kill would work better.

      We have an epi-pen on the farm just in case someone is here, gets stung and has a violent reaction. An epi-pen is basically an injection of adrenalin. We told the vet we had that and she said if Patchy ever gets stung again and goes into a seizure we can give her the human injection and rush her to the vet. We hope she doesn’t develop that kind of allergy!

  2. Bless her, poor Patchy. Looks like she’s learning her place in the pecking order the hard way. Hope she gets well soon.

    I was having an eye test last week, and the optometrist had been stung right on the end of his nose, which was bright red, swollen and hard, he had a black eye that was barely open (not an attractive look) – and he was getting zero sympathy from his colleagues, poor chap.

    • Patchy is learning she’s the bottom of the pack. Today she seems back to 100%.

      I feel sorry for your optometrist – stings on the face are the worst (IMHO). And no sympathy makes it double bad!

  3. vuchickens says:

    Poor Patchy. 😦 Did the vet say she has an allergy to bee stings? Or just a sensitivity? Sure sounds like an allergic reaction. 😦

    • The vet talked about a reaction vs a strong allergy. We all react to varying degrees. The allergy they worry about is the kind that causes seizures and that can develop at any time (in humans as well). One of the injections she gave Patchy was designed to prevent the body from building up that type of reactive behaviour. But she told us to keep her away from the bees for a while. Which is impossible as they’re everywhere!

  4. Poor Patchy but all’s well that ends well. I’m sure he’ll stay well clear now.

    • I know she’d stay clear if she could but it’s hard when they are all over the ground and in the flower beds. The sad thing is she was on her leash when I took her to the back of the apiary. She hadn’t wandered there on her own, I took her there. But she doesn’t seem to hate me for it, sweet thing.

      • Do the bees go for you if you are not near their hive? I’ve never been stung by a bee as I thought they only stung you if you bothered them.

        • No, never. These bees are very placid. I have been told that one hive is aggressive (or was in March when a few people got stung) but I am not sure which hive that was and I assumed it requeened itself as all the hives are full of friendly little bees. We’ve now had a couple of visitors get bees caught in their hair. I blame the shampoo they use which attracts the bees and then the bees get caught in their hair. I really don’t know what to think about poor Patchy who was standing there minding her own business and hasn’t been shampooed in a week. I can only assume it was the human who drew out then agitated the bees and Patchy was guilty by association.

  5. I love the picture of the cat swatting at them! Poor puppy :-(. Life with bees…although we love raw honey we will leave that up to other more able people and barter with them for the things we can do without major allergic reactions. 🙂

  6. Oh dear. Poor Patchy and Adler. I just they are as clever as the chickens and that they learnt a lesson, albeit a painful one.

    • OH DEAR indeed. I think Patchy has learnt her lesson. A couple of times since the stinging incident she’s darted away from an area and once I saw a bee swooping her so I’m sure that’s why she darted. It looks to me like bees hate Patchy. They go for her and leave me alone. I have no idea why. I don’t think she stinks and I’ve never bathed her (we’ve had her 1 1/2 weeks now) so it’s not a shampoo smell that attracts them.

      As for Adler, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t figured out those fun buzzing toys have claws of their own!

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