In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine
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Its official: I'm an idiot.

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Saturday, May 1, 2010

Well folks.  Its been a while since I've had to admit to doing something truly idiotic.  At least...as far as I can recall.

Today started out to be pretty normal.  We fed the animals and even set up our new movable electric fence that came in the mail yesterday.  So the goats and the chickens have been enjoying a little bit of exta special grazing/browsing which I think they are really enjoying.  We're finally going to be able to move the pigs out of their pasture, into a new spot where they can help us dig up all the pricker bushes while we grow pig food in their old pasture.

Kyle took off around 8 this morning to go help his sister do some demolition in her house in preparation of a new addition and I started getting another batch of syrup ready to refill the bee's feeder.  While I was waiting for it to cool down I spent some quality time over with the girls.  Chutney is just so ready to pop.  I'm glad she's only going to have to wait another two weeks or so because the poor girl is just so uncomfortable.

After a while I tested the syrup and the temperature felt good so I grabbed my beekeeping equipment and headed down the hill with the pot of syrup.  All was pretty quiet at the hive and I slowly donned my veil and gloves.  I removed the cover and pulled out the bucket that holds the syrup and started checking things out.  They're making good headway with the comb-building.  Had I brought down the smoker, I would have loved to take a better look at everything but it's tough to really handle a piece of wood covered in bees when they just really don't want to let go.  So I figured I'd leave that for another day.

I set the inner cover back on followed by the feeder.  Once the top was on and the buzzing subsided I stepped back and enjoyed myself.  I couldn't help but think how relatively easy this was going so far.  Thats about where my brain stopped working.  Much to my dismay I realized that, once again, I had forgotten to tuck my pant legs into my boots!  While the first couple times I did this it didn't prove to be a problem, this time was certainly not the case.  Sure enough I had a bee crawling up my leg.  This is where I lost all ability to reason and think like an educated person whatsoever.

I tried in vain to keep calm and resisted the urge to strip off my pants then and there.  While, sure, I had underwear on, I live here and I don't really need to have everyone and their brother (possibly even coworkers, bosses, you use your imagination) see me in my tighty whities!  I quickly untucked my shirt, unzipped my pants, and willed the (undoubtedly confused) little creature out.  But I couldn't see a damned thing with my veil on (see where this is going?) so I carefully inched myself a few more feet away from the hive (still pretty freaking close, though) and quickly pulled off the veil.

I don't think I had it off for 2 seconds before I realized that I had a mob of bees hovering around me.  And bees, being the curious creatures that they are, like to check things out.  SO one landed on me.  Not just anywhere, either.  The poor thing landed on my chin- I freaked- she freaked- I tried to carefully brush her off (which probably wasn't quite as slow, calm, and careful as it should have been) and she stung.  Of course my first reaction was to get the stinger out and, as I'm thinking of how I'm supposed to scrape it out of my skin instead of pinching it which would release the venom, I pinch the freaking thing.  Yep.  I am a college graduate, and a beekeeping moron.

So here I am, pants unzipped, jacket off, veil on the ground, probably not even ten feet away from the hive and I've got a bee sting on my face.  It hurts, nothing unbearable, mostly just a numb stinging feeling (no duh, right?) so I decide I should get up to the house to get some benadryl cream and check things out.  I take stock, can't feel the bee in my pants anymore (thank god) and slowly walk up the house.  I get on the porch and hear this frantic buzzing noise.  Sure enough, thanks to my brilliant revelation to take my veil off to see the freaking bee in my pants, I got a bee stuck in my ponytail.

So I sit down on the porch and put my head between my knees in an effort to keep my hair off my neck where this poor bee could just decide to call it quits and sting me, too.  It took something like five minutes of strategic jacket placement to get the bee something to hold on to in order to free itself.  As soon as I could tell it was released I looked back to be sure it was free from my jacket and fled into the house where I quickly applied the benadryl and admired my very first sting as a beekeeper.

I mean, sure I was kicking myself in the butt for being so irrational, but I guess I'm glad I got the first one overwith.  And I can guarantee  that I won't be forgetting to tuck my pantlegs into my boots anymore!


  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. Your Mom thinks you need one of these


    your scaring me! Glad your okay though!

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  4. Rebecca Says:
  5. Yikes! I just read this and I apologize for laughing because I know it wasn't fun when it was happening - - but it sure is funny from a distance. I'm so glad you're okay! Painful lesson learned...

  6. Melissa Says:
  7. For sure! And hey, as soon as I got inside the house I was laughing at myself, too! LOL. =D