Had a wonderful weekend away with the family in our VW Westfalia motor home. Decided to follow up my first foray (see previous Busy Bee One post) with the bee hives and my plan was to take some infrared photographs of the hives and to get really close (inches from the hive entrance) with my Canon EF-S 10-22 mm wide angle lens and capture the bees flying in and out of the hive.
I had Lucy (a beautifully funny boarder terrier who is now two years old in the photo above she was just 6 weeks old ahhh) with me and had just finished photographing some wonderful poppies in colour and infrared having got them in the can. When I have processed these in Photoshop CS4 I will be putting them up on the website
I walked over to the hives. All the hives there were busy as Saturday was a perfect sunny day but still had fluffy white clouds in the sky always makes a more interesting photograph.
So there I stood with my camera set to a suitably fast enough shutter speed of 1/1000th to freeze the bees in flight. I must admit the thought of been attacked by a swarm of bees did cross my mind but was quickly dismissed as I was not doing them any harm was I?
The next thing I knew was that there was is a very very angry bee bussing very close to my face and showing a particular unhealthy interest in my nose! I tried in vain to get it away from its intended target. The next indication that this was going to really end in tears was the very strong and distinct warning smell the bee gave off. All alarmed bees will release a pheromone that stimulates the attack response in other bees.
Oh dear I was in trouble and quite a walk away from the van and sanctuary. The chain of events had been set I then felt the inevitable excruciating sting go in I immediately felt like I had been punched straight on the nose and within a few seconds I could feel a intense headache and huge pain around my nose. I retreated pretty quickly from the obvious danger I had put myself and the dog in tears streaming down my face with the pain as I stumbled away. I was left just hoping and praying none of the defending bees little friends were coming after me as well!
Of course when I got back to the van both Sophie and Nick thought it was hysterically funny and could not believe how daft I had been.
I had bought one of those insect bite pens from the chemist obviously a long time ago as it had use by 2005! I must say that they really do help take some of the sting away although the nose was not happy for many hours after.
So what have I learnt from this little adventure? Go with my first instinct? Easy in hindsight. Sometimes your first instinct is not necessarily the right and best choice.
Well clearly as far as the bee was concerned I was obviously a big threat to the hive. My perception of not being a threat to the hive was clearly not the same as the bees! It sacrificed its life to save the whole hives future generations and survival. I have learnt a very painful lesson and sometimes it takes a bit of pain to re focus us on the things in life that are really important we can all end up wandering off on our own a bit like the lost sheep. Thank God for the good shepherd eh?