Deb's swollen hand (she doesn't usually wear a ring on her pinky!)

A Bee Got Her

Deb got stung by one of her uncle Doyle’s bees.

We spent a couple of days on the farm in Waco, Kentucky; and when we visited with her uncle Doyle, we all went out to look at his bees. He has only one hive now, but it’s stacked with six honey supers…it’s tall, and you can’t believe my envy.

The bees sort of gave us a warning that we were too close, so we moved back a little bit. But then Deb got stung. And while her uncle Doyle looked through his pocket for his knife with which to scrape the stinger out, Deb pulled it out. I think that’s why she swelled so badly.

Here’s the rule of thumb: When you get stung, don’t pull the stinger out…scrape it off. When you pull a stinger from your skin, you milk MORE venom into your bloodstream. That whole stinger is loaded with bee venom and it’s designed to pulsate poison long after the bee is gone…if you can keep your wits about you, try to grab either a pocket knife, or a hive tool, or a credit card, or something with a sharp edge to it…a good fingernail will do. Then scrape the stinger off where it enters your skin. This way, the venom stays in the stinger and not in you.

Deb will not be golfing today—her hand won’t grip the club. And after icing it all the way home and taking two Aleve, a couple of Benadryl, and some Tagamet (all antihistamines of sorts) she may not wake up today, either.

Deb's swollen hand (she doesn't usually wear a ring on her pinky!)
Deb's swollen hand (she doesn't usually wear that ring on her pinky!)

Where'd the Sun Go?

I’ve got no honey to harvest, and I don’t want to keep bugging the bees. I want to leave them alone to do whatever they do. So, I decided to harvest some wax.

A few weeks ago I needed some wax, so I melted down some of the extra foundation I have; with the leftover wax, I made some awesome lip balm: melted beeswax, almond oil, and a little bit of vanilla. I love it! I keep it in a little pan in the kitchen, and I dip into it whenever I want (Deb’s ready to get the pan out of the kitchen, though). I plan to buy some of those lip-balm tubes and fill them with my concoction.

So, here are pictures of my wax preparations (thanks to instructions from Linda over at Linda’s Bees).


Loads of wax saved from my several frames of honey (this stuff smells so wonderful. I wish you could smell it, Reader).

A Styrofoam cooler and a piece of glass cut to fit as a lid:

A plastic container with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom and covered with a doubled-up piece of paper towel.

The container goes into the foil-lined cooler, and the wax piles on top of the taut paper towel.

The glass goes on top, and the whole contraption goes out into the sun to heat up for the day.

Of course, the minute I set this thing in the garden, the sun disappeared. I’ll let you know how it works.