While I have countless times mowed around my hives without any bother from the bees, I made the mistake of doing this routine activity on a wet, misty day on Labor Day. Bees are not able to forage for nectar during this type of weather and instead focus all their attention on protecting the hives. Additionally, since no bees are out foraging, the number of bees in and around the hive are at their max. You can probably tell where this story is going……. Yes, I got hammered in the head and face by at least 15 bee stings while mowing! It was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever endured (and trust me, I have endured some very unpleasant things in my past). I was on my rider driving as fast as I could away from the hives with bees following and stinging me for a good 50 yards before they finally gave up. Despite being stung in the past, the quantity of venom I experienced resulted in a severe systemic allergic reaction. After consultation with a local allergist later that week, I am currently planning on skin venom testing and possibly a series of allergen immunotherapy shots for a very long time. I am still hopeful that my reaction was merely due to the amount of venom I received rather and a more serious allergy.
Newly painted hive bodies ready for placement
An active hive in front of one of the solar arrays