Beekeeping for a hobby has become increasingly popular over the past few years as people want to help save the planet, make their own honey or just engage more with nature.
Last month 24-year-old Grace Randolph from California decided to get involved getting a hive for the first time.
Thankfully Grace had some experience as her mum had been a backyard beekeeper her entire life with Grace helping out with the harvests during high school.
Grace was really excited to start as she loves ‘the feeling of giving the honey [she] harvests as gifts to friends and family’.
Unfortunately though Grace’s beekeeping adventure didn’t get off to the best start as she ended up at the hospital thanks to a painful sting.
Speaking exclusively to UNILAD, Grace explained what happened:
I was transferring bees that I purchased from my local beekeeping store into my empty hive. My mum was talking me through the process as she stood a safe distance away.
The bees, though usually gentle, were swarming around me as I got too close for comfort to their queen bee.
However, the bees were acting just as expected, and I was not worried about getting stung because I had my beekeeping suit on. It took me about five minutes to complete the transfer and I went inside my house.
After about 20 minutes, I went to go collect my tools that were close to the hive. I got the tools without my suit on which was a mistake since the bees were still flustered from the transfer.
I went to grab one of my tools about three feet from the hive when suddenly about 10 to 15 bees surrounded my face. That’s when one of the bees stung just about one centimetre below my left eye.
Startled and in pain, Grace made a beeline for her house screaming for her mum who used a credit card to scrape the sting out.
Over the course of the next six hours though Grace’s face swelled up resulting in her visiting the hospital.
Prescribed some Benadryl and an EpiPen, just in case she ever goes into anaphylactic shock in the future, Grace made a full recovery by the end of the week.
She added to UNILAD she is thankful she isn’t allergic to bees and has learnt from the mistake:
Getting stung is very common in the realm of beekeeping. However, getting stung in the face is rare if you are wearing your beekeeping suit.
I got stung three other times that day. Two of them were through the suit so the stinger barely poked my skin and one was on my wrist from a bee crawling up my glove. Those stings did not have nearly as much swelling.
When you get stung on your face, the fluid has less space to dissipate, so the swelling is more intense.
When I first got stung I was a little startled, but as my face was swelling more and more, I just thought it was the funniest thing!
Deciding to share her experience on Reddit, Grace posted a photo of her swollen face writing:
I’m a beginner beekeeper and I am told that a sting to the face is a rite of passage… so I have that going for me.. which is nice.
People showed Grace their support with her post going viral receiving over 122,000 upvotes at time of writing (July 19).
We hope your future with beekeeping is more pain-free Grace!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.