Bee Sting Count

Stings are a badge of honor for the beekeeper

by Anita Deeley at

They say you’re not a real beekeeper until you’ve been stung. Think that’s scary or painful? It can be, especially if you are allergic. But if you do not have an allergy to bee stings, every time you get stung by a bee you should say thank you (perhaps after a few choice words first).  You should be grateful that the honeybee gave up her life to give you the medicine that only she can dispense – bee venom. Bee stings have healing properties and are used as medicine all over the world.  The practice is called Apitherapy.

What is your sting count this year?  Here’s mine over the past few years of beekeeping without using gloves.

2019 – 0

2018 – Lost Count

2017 – 13 helping other people with bees Then I stopped Counting

  • 1 on my forearm
  • 5 on my hands
  • 1 one my knee
  • 1 on my foot
  • 1 on my ankle
  • 1 on my back
  • 1 on my elbow
  • 2 on my legs.

2016 – Too many to count.

2015 – 47 then I lost track.

2014 – 59 Stings

  • 23 Stings are from my hives.
  • I currently have around 30 hives
  • I usually don’t wear gloves.
  • One sting on my palm from a dead bee stuck to my ladder. Yes, dead bees still sting!
  • One sting on my palm from a hive who did not want to be checked on a cold march day.
  • One sting on my arm through my bee suit when a helper smashed a bee against my arm by mistake.
  • Three stings on my finger when the weather became overcast and a hive I was inspecting grew cranky.
  • Six stings on my fingers from a very cranky swarm!
  • One sting on my finger when I squished a bee by mistake during a hive inspection
  • 39 stings on my fingers during inspections without gloves (which I never wear)
  • One sting on my calf, wearing shorts inspecting a hive.
  • Two stings on my arms during inspections.
  • Three stings on my belly during inspections when some bees flew up my shirt!

    2013 – 144 Stings

    20 hives – 144 Stings (Most from being a State Bee Inspector)

    • 40 Stings are from my hives.
    • I currently have twenty hives that I inspect about once a week in swarm season and once or twice a month otherwise. Most are carniolan or mutts.
    • I usually don’t wear gloves.
    • Two stings on my palm when I smashed a few bees installing a package
    • One sting on my hip when a bee crawled inside my bee jacket.
    • One sting on my calf wearing Capri’s.
    • Three stings on my thumb no gloves.
    • Two stings on my finger from a queenless hive.
    • 7 stings on my back when a swarm was accidentally dislodged from a high tree limb onto my back by a friend. One sting on my thumb and one on my palm from that same swarm.
    • One sting on my thigh through jeans from an angry swarm.
    • One sting on my finger from a bee removal consultation.
    • One sting on my palm hiving bees from a removal
    • Two stings on my hand from a queenless hive
    • One sting on my calf when a bee crawled up my pants.
    • One sting on my hand from a bee removal
    • One sting on my ankle when a bee crawled in my boot
    • One sting on my arm when a bee got inside my jacket
    • Four stings in the same hand when I was inspecting commercial bees in the cranberries without gloves
    • One sting in the forearm when visiting another apiary
    • One sting through my jeans on the thigh and one sting on the wrist from a cranky hive
    • One sting on my lip when I was stung right through the veil capturing a cranky swarm. I was looking up at them, high up in a tree branch, and the veil was against my face for a mere second and one seized the moment. One sting on my rear end and one sting on my belly, when two bees from that swarm got inside my jacket, a fourth one got my hand. That was a very cranky swarm of bees!
    • Four stings on my hands inspecting a friend’s hives, one sting on my calf through my jeans from those same hives
    • 3 stings from a queenless hive on my fingers.
    • 1 sting on my cheek when a bee got in my veil during a bee removal.
    • Stung on knee during a robbing frenzy.
    • Stung on leg through jeans when moving a hive away to protect it from mosquito spraying
    • 1 sting on my ankle. 1 sting on my forearm and 94 on my hands, wrists and fingers inspecting hives for other people as the bee inspector.

    2012 – 27 Stings

    12 hives – 27 Stings and one Bee Bite (yes bees can bite you too!)

    • 22 are from my hives and 3 are from friends hives.
    • I currently have twelve hives that I inspect about once a week in swarm season and once or twice a month otherwise. Most are Italians or mutts. Squill and three others are Carniolan hives. Two are Russian hives.
    • I usually don’t wear gloves. The sting total on my fingers without gloves is 14.
    • Crocus – 3 stings on my fingers (no gloves)
    • Squill – 1 sting on the knee through jeans, 1 sting on finger no gloves.
    • Borage – 1 sting on hand without gloves.
    • Dandelion – 3 stings on the calf (wearing capris), 2 stings on my arm through the bee jacket, 3 stings on my fingers (no gloves), 1 sting on check through veil
    • Willow- 1 sting on calf through pants.
    • Top Bar – 3 stings on hand no gloves.
    • Queenless Nuc From Squill – 3 on finger and 1 bee bite too (no gloves)
    • Russian hive – 1 on palm, no gloves.
    • Went outside barefoot and stepped on a dead bee. Stung in arch of foot (yes, dead bees still sting!)
    • Joyce’s Mean Hive – 1 sting in the nostril through the bee veil, 1 sting on the wrist through gloves
    • Debbie’s Hive – 1 sting on the forearm (no jacket)

    2011 – 2 Stings

    1 Italian hive Crocus – 2 Stings no gloves.

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