I harvested the potatoes from the front of the bee hive quite a few months ago and gave a sigh of relief. Who is silly enough to have crops growing directly in front of a bee hive? In my defense the potatoes were there before the bees.
I was quite cautious when harvesting. I kept quite low to the ground, always trying to stay out of the flight path. A few flew into me but continued on their merry way. Lesson learnt, job done. So I thought.
Turns out when you are fearful for life and limb perhaps you don’t harvest every single potato. A heap more plants came up out of the ground. I let them grow, knowing that frost would probably take them before they were ready to be harvested. I did not hill them, I did not water them, I did not give them anything. I did not even tell the chickens off for digging around them.
On the weekend the temperature dipped below zero a couple of nights in a row. The potato plants died in the frost. I figured I would harvest the baby potatoes. FREE baby potatoes. My favourite! There was not a huge amount of bee activity as it is Winter. I think I was a bit laid back about it all.
Yes, those are frantic muddy clawing at throat marks on my top and neck. Yes, I panicked when it flew into me. Yes, I called my sister and told her if I was dead when she got home this was the reason why. Yes, I googled if I was going to die.
It did swell, I could feel it when I swallowed. It felt like I had a scarf wrapped too tightly around my neck, bearable but annoying. It was uncomfortable, pain wise, as bee stings generally are. The next day there was a 5 x 5cm red mark there. Plain as day for all to see. Swollen and puffy. It was more swollen the next day than on the day of the sting, I could feel every breathe. I figured if it got any worse I would try an antihistamine or just go to the doctor. Today, 2 days later, the swelling is significantly reduced. The redness is less obvious but boy is it itchy.
The rest of the potatoes remain in the ground. I think I will wait til it is raining or super cold before attempting to harvest those….
The rest of the garden did not like the frost. Some plants were perfectly fine others not so much.