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A blog following the beekeepers at the University of Washington.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting Stung

Initiation ceremony - it's not about the pain. Roll up yer sleeve, honey, this is for your own good!

The first activity on the first day of the Bee Course is to get stung. This is as much about how to avoid the pain as curing the anxiety about it and to test for allergic reactions. Advice: quickly scrape off the stinger to avoid maximum venom dosage. Don't squeeze it or you'll inject all the venom.
Yes, the poor bee will die, having left a good part of her innards behind. In nature, though, the attacker will likely flee or think twice before proceeding to harass the colony and one dead kamakazi worker out of thousands of 0.75 X identical twins is a worthwhile loss for the protection.

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