Last night our group of four (plus Bill....) graduated from our beekeeping course. It was a mixed bag - the course, that is. First and foremost, the Bennington County Beekeepers Club, Ltd. was a gracious and generous host. These five classes were presented for free (you could join the club for $10 if you felt so inclined) and while there was quite a bit of wandering off-subject, there were many nuggets of wisdom offered by beekeepers who have plied their trade for almost 70 years between them. There was more information than one could absorb. There were props. There were powerpoint presentations. There were free samples. There were snacks! And, best of all, there were 5 opportunities to network and meet other beekeepers. We were even handed a certificate at the end of class! I was truly sorry to see it end.
Some of the topics that generated a lot of interest were bee pollen and honey for health and bee venom therapy. One of the presenters practices bee venom therapy and brought a few bees to class last night. I happened to be having a great deal of trouble with my right hand. Soooo....he stung me. Rather, the bee he held in his tweezers stung me. Of the myriad of woes afflicting my hand - arthritis, ganglion cyst, carpal tunnel - the carpal tunnel seems to be most painful right now. So he placed the stinger right dead center over the carpal tunnel. What happened? After the pain somewhat subsided (and, truth be told, the intensity of the sting took my mind off the pain of the carpal tunnel ;o), lo and behold, it felt better. But, even more amazing was that almost half of my ganglion cycst has disappeared! I will try it again. I am not allergic, and the discomfort of the sting and it's residual itchiness is a very small price to pay for relief. It has also boosted my esteem for the sweet honey bee to epic proportions!