It could happen to you
First year bee keeper. Mistakes were made this year and in the making of this story.
One of those mistakes has been not locking up the now removed super that has about 12 pounds of honey in it while doing inspections. Did it twice before I realized I was creating a robbing situation.
Now robber bees have marked my hive and any time I feed they show up to wreak havoc. Reduce entrances, cover hive with sheet, soak sheet. Things calm down quickly.
However, loads of home bees congregate on the sheet in the early dusk.
So I shake it off in front of the hive and am gently brushing hungry, cold, wet bees from other locations towards the reopened entrance. Fanning bees come out and start calling the troops home.
I am in leather boots, heavy pants, bee jacket with veil, beekeeping gloves.
Feeling something on my lower legs and thinking I am imagining things.
Feel it again. Look down.
I am in a sea of crawling, weakened bees that now have access to my legs because of the broken seem between pant and boot from squatting down. They are using me to get higher to be able to get into the hive.
I keep my cool.
Knowing I am going to have to sacrifice the ones that are already nearing or on my skin, I brush off the ones that haven’t made it in and smash down my pants as succinctly as possible around the pant leg.
One sting on the upper calf.
Make my way from the hive calmly and remove my pants briskly but carefully. Hurts but didn’t get the full brunt of the poison.
Turn my pants inside out and thoroughly inspect them – twice. No more bees in there. Determined to help my weak bees back to food and warmth and not be pants-less in suburbia, I pull them back on.
I know I didn’t miss any bees on the pants, so one must have fallen off my jacket or flown in. Apparently, the back of the thigh is a very sensitive place. Now I am pissed, and howling like a wounded sailor bear.
Pants-less again and cursing at individual bees and telling them I was just trying to help “you people.” As I am taking my jacket off in my garage, somehow another gets in the fray and tags me near the armpit.
Definitely time to close up shop and let those bugs handle things themselves.
If I had had more than a drink at dinner or it had been any darker out, this could have been a way, way worse situation. I am currently not allergic so I did not need to fear for my life in any way but I am currently having a maybe not so irrational fear of things crawling up my pants and working their way towards crotch town to do unspeakable things.
Whatever safety gear you use is meant to protect you in a specific type of situation. If you change or alter that situation, you may be putting yourself at risk.
Time for some elastic around my pants at the ankles.