Well, I got the bright idea that I would check a hive around 7PM on Wednesday, August 17, 2011. Just wanted to take a peek under the outer cover and look to see if there was any activity in the second medium super. You know, just check through the hole in the inner cover and move on.
Well, I got my smoker going and put on my hat and veil. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and long pants. Walked over to the hive, puffed a bit of smoke into the entrance, and also gave a few short puffs under the outer cover. Well, since I was just going to do a quick check, I made the mistake of removing the outer cover too quickly before the smoke began to work. Out came 20 or so guard bees from that center hole in the inner cover. The first one out of the box nailed me just below my left elbow, followed by a second guard that found my elbow to be the perfect spot. A third bee hit my shirt just above my elbow and my veil was now covered by the rest of the bees that had set out to defend the colony.
I quickly replaced the cover, and I did not get it on correctly. Once the cover was back on, I removed the first bee and her stinger, I then removed the second bee as I headed for the car. My wife and daughter watched me the entire time. Both wanted to go (one reason for the quick check) and I asked my wife to check for bees before I got back into the car. Once inside I told them I had gotten stung. My daughter wanted to remove the stingers, but I told her they were already gone. At this time, I thought I had just gotten a full dose of venom from only one bee. On the way home my daughter wanted to see where I had gotten stung. Once we got home I showed her the sting area. I was surprised to see a stinger still attached with the venom sac totally empty. My daughter was happy to remove it for me, I was not happy to see it.
By bedtime my arm was very painful, hot, but not very swollen. By morning, my arm was very red, starting to swell, and was very painful still. By Thursday night, my elbow started to swell up, things started to feel a bit odd; painful, squishy, hot, irritated. Friday, my arm from my elbow down to my wrist was swollen as much as my body could possibly expand. Itching was terrible, and by midday Friday, the back of my hand had swollen up, and things were getting more painful. I was starting to worry, but allowed things to progress through the various stages that I thought would be coming. Saturday morning, my arm was starting to feel better, swelling is down in my arm, but my hand is still swollen. I still itch from time-to-time, but I do fell better.