Friday, August 12, 2011

Revenge of the bees....

Alex suggested the title of this post.  Yes... On Wednesday I cut down the lavendar in the backyard, depriving the bees of their backyard pollen source.  Obviously, they had to look elsewhere.  In this case, elsewhere meant in Duncan's bedroom while he was putting away his clothes.

I heard the scream coming from upstairs. I arrived to see Duncan coming down the stairs, crying, holding his elbow and yelling.  In response to my query, he shouted, "the stinger is still there!".   Sure enough, I could see it sticking out of his arm.  Yahoo!  I headed for the tweezers, pulled him closer to the window (yes, my vision is starting to go), and drew the stinger out.  You could still see the poison sac attached at the end!  Very exciting!   Well... exciting to one who has my mother's blood coursing through her veins. I immediately ran for the camera to see if I could get a good close up of the stinger.  Yes.... I am my mother's daughter.  :-)   

stinger and poison sac
"Ouch! This hurts!"
My camera skills here failed me somewhat: the closer I got, the less focused the shot.  This is the best I could do.  But... up close, it was pretty awesome! Duncan said his arm, on the other hand, felt LESS than awesome.  You can see the bite here. We hadn't gone upstairs to see if the body of an insect was lying there dead, but Duncan said he did manage to flick it off his arm.  He also, with rage in his voice, spoke a curse upon the race of bees, swearing vengence against them.  We will see how that works out for him.

home remedies
Alex reminded me that, when he was young and got stung by a bee, I had put baking soda on it.  I had no memory of having ever done that, but when i sent my fingers off to the internet, the "home remedies" page did confirm that baking soda and vinegar would do the trick.  Of course, it would have been nice if we had those ingredients in our house, but so far, those items have not made it to our shelves.  Well... not quite.  I do have vinegar, but it is a lovely thick balsamic one, and I suspect that the remedy was anticipating something more like ordinary white vinegar.  I did, however, have a bag a frozen peas, so settled duncan down to ice his arm while I ran off to the local corner store for the ingredients.  No problem.  Or rather, it would have been no problem if I had remembered to bring my wallet.  sigh.  The guy there was great.  He told me to just take it and pay him next time I was by, writing 1.48 beside my name on a piece of paper by the til.  There may be riots and looting going on in parts of town, but there are also others around working a different kind of community spirit.  I ran home with the goods, got a little poultice on Duncan's arm, and headed back to settle my  bill.  Duncan says he was not too fond of this home remedy.  First of all, he says it smelled.  Second, it felt like acid on his arm.  Not pleasant at all.  Still... he admits that (8 hours later) the sting does not hurt anymore.  So... maybe the home remedy did the trick (or maybe it was just the cold ice).

Just to complete the day, we headed back to the Natural History Museum to learn more about insects and bugs.  How fun is THAT?!  :-) 


  1. I was reading the Canadian Living Magazine this summer and there was an article about home remedies for insect bites. One of the best ideas was putting a touch of ammonia on the sting. The trouble with that remedy is that not everyone has a jug of ammonia under the kitchen sink, as I do. I have it there, for it is such a good way to lift grease on my stove. Its value increases exponentially if I have a wasp or bee sting and can use it on medicine. I was wondering though, if the smell of the ammonia isn't worse than the bee sting, and that is what makes it feel so good ... when the smell goes away and all you have left is the pain from the insect attack.

  2. OMG poor Duncan, but soooo like you to have forgotten your wallet at home LOL. My mom use to put honey on the affected area (there is something ironic about that)and I remember it used to work really well managing to bring the swelling down.
    Miss you all :)

  3. We miss you too!... and yes... it WAS just like me to forget my wallet! hahaha


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