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My streak is broken.

August 7, 2015

So most of our data is observing bee behavior. However, we also need to weigh the hives to see how the colonies are progressing over the course of the experiment. The hives we have are neat in that they have these doors where you can shut them half way and bumble bees can enter the hive but can't exit. So technically, if you have shut the hives up properly, no bees should be able to exit and sting you. Now I need to preface this story by saying this: over the 4 years working with bees, I have only been stung one time when a queen bumble got stuck up my pant leg. I let her have that one. I have never had any undergrad get stung. So the next story really hurts my beekeeping pride. 

 

It would seem the bumbles have outsmarted me. I'm not positive how they made the doors no longer work as they should, but they no longer worked as they should. So when we went to weigh the "shut" hives Monday morning, a lot of angry bumble bees came roaring out of the hive. My undergrad Kevin got stung twice, once on the ankle and then once on the ear after an energetic chase around the field. I feel so badly this happened, but he handled it so well. Didn't slow him down the rest of the day at all. Then my other undergrad Isabel got stung by a paper wasp who just apparently had it out for her. It was just not our day.

 

 

I decided that weighing the hives at night when the bumble bees are tame and quiet (and can't see you if you use a red light) would be a better call all around. Plus there is just something really peaceful and rejuvenating about spending time at the field site at night, with only crickets and blind, sedated bees to keep you company. So it all ended up ok in the long run! 

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November 15, 2017

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