The MFA Honeybees and I had an altercation today, and I...did not win.
They've been bearding a lot recently, and have been piling up outside the hive in such numbers that I was concerned they were preparing to swarm:
I'd already added a super, as you can see, to help the bees not feel crowded (that makes them swarm) and give them a place to make honey if they want to make something, but inside the hive they were busy building brood-comb between the two deep hive bodies, HORIZONTALLY. Which means that when I separated the two "deeps" some larvae were exposed, and I had to scrape away the brood-comb that didn't belong with my hive tool.
In my Sustainable Beekeeping class, they did say that if you cut into any brood and release the larval alarm pheremone, your bees will get REALLY PISSED. Having now seen this in action, I think that statement ought to contain at least two more reallys. Because OH MY DAMN, THEY WERE SO VERY, VERY ANGRY! They covered me in an furious cloud and started stinging the everloving bejesus out of me. I totally panicked, which is the LAST thing to do in such a situation, but a sting waaaaaaay up high on my inner thigh was the last straw, and I did run for it. And guess what? THEY FOLLOWED ME.
So I am sporting ten stings on my feet, legs, and neck (the neck one was from a bee that found its way INSIDE my veil; she landed right under my eye, prepared to sting, and I brushed her off, at which point she shrieked BABYKILLER! and sank her stinger into my neck instead), and the stings are really swollen and painful, and I just woke up to take more Benadryl and put some aloe on the stings (we do not own meat tenderizer; I may buy a small jar for such occasions).
I think next time I'm going to have to use smoke, which I haven't needed to do since last summer, and wear much thicker clothes (the pants I wore today were apparently not thick enough to be of any help). Live and learn, I guess.