Bumping into Dave
Some evenings, I climb the hill near my house to see if the sunset is going to be pretty or not. On my way back from last night's walk, I met Dave. He told me two interesting things.
Firstly, I showed him my stung hand, which was so pudgy that it looked like I no longer had knuckles. I am beginning to worry that I have some kind of sensitivity to bee stings — I wonder whether that kind of sensitivity gets worse or better with repeated stings... Anyway, Dave told me that plaintain, or fleawort, is considered a treatment for bee stings. If you don't have a pestle handy, you can make a poultice of it by just chewing it up and spitting it onto the sting. It's a weed and grows all over the place, including in my front garden, where it looks like some kind of extraterrestrial plant. It's too late for the sting I got on Tuesday, but I'll give this a go next time.
We also talked about the idea of a hive scale — Dave's been looking at Bee Hive Monitoring. He was telling me about a plot on their site showing their bees' response to fireworks on New Year's Eve 2017. The temperature of the hive drops rapidly, by a whole degree Centigrade. We were talking about that and whether it was a response to loud noises or something else. We're both really tempted by the idea of hive telemetry, if only to know a bit more about what's going on in the hives over winter, and it reminded me to try to hang out on OpenBeeLab's IRC channel a bit more.