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  • Norbert Klose

The first Bee-Sting I can vividly remember.............

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

When I was about 5 years old my sister and I played often with two of our farm neighbors. We were a little gang always looking for new territory to forage on and explore. Mostly we were looking for food to harvest. We even had a Gang name: "AKB" (Apfel Klau Bande) in translation: "Apple Steal Gang". And this is how we looked like:

Left side my Sister Ursula and me. Right side Renate and Gerd. One day my mum had some freshly baked cake for us. And funny enough this time it was a type of cake called Bienenstich (which means Beesting, a common traditional cake in Germany). Its yummy cake with two layers and custard in between and some roasted almonds with honey or sugar on top. We were always hungry and hacked into it. After a couple of bites, my sister started screaming with her mouth wide open and I could see a Bee flying away from her mouth. She got stung from that bee on her tongue. I never forget that sight. Somehow my sister reached with her fingers to her tongue and got the bee sting on her finger. I was able to see the stinger with ripped out venom sack pulsating on her finger. She did not notice with all the pain and crying. To my surprise, the bee was gone and left so much behind. I could make no sense out of it. The Bee was after the sweetness of the cake and my sister did not see the Bee early enough to chase her away. So many tears rolled down her face and we all felt sorry for her. But she was lucky because she did not swell up much at all. It was a quite shallow sting but deep enough to rip the sting out of the Honeybee. That was my first bee sting experience not even on my self. In fact, I can not recall any beestings I had in the early years of my life. But I became more and more interested in the Macro world. And by the time I was 14 years I had saved up for my first microscope. A heavy Microscope made in Russia. And I was even able to take photos through the Microscope with the Canon F1. So the macro-world was not enough, it had to be the micro-world.......

So, there were plenty of new things to discover with this new toy. And in the coming years, I managed to get hold of a stinger from a Bee which had been ripped out just like I saw the first time on my sister's finger. I had to take three photos because the stinger was too big for my Microscope. My friend Michael developed the film and made the photos in his home lab. And here it is:

Bee-sting with Venom-sack and muscle. The muscle contracts to squirt more Venom out of the sack. And it all works without the rest of the Bee. That's why it is most important to get the sting out of your body as fast as possible. A year ago my son Eleus and I made a silly little Video about me getting stung by a bee. It was all stage played to make a bit more fuss out of it then it was for me. Here the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6coe3-0dQA&t=3s

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