I live in rural eastern NC - right in the middle of blue berry land. So I know a lot of beekeepers. Since my retirement from 36 years of teaching school- I have been intrigued with the idea of adding a coupla hives to add my heavy gardening activities. So I attended a nice weekend "Bee School" - up in the mountains of NC and came back filled with enthusiasm. Even though there were a number of beeks around here I soon found that it was a bit late in the season to get bees and most already had every hive they could get contracted to the blueberry fields, but after a coupla weeks of talking - one senior beek caled and told me that he had three hives ready for me (at the right price) - they were all one deep with a medium super on top.
So this is where my first "Lesson" started. Went tp pick them up and he took me about a mile in the woods to his bee yard and told me I'd have to help him load them - thought he'd give me a veil - but he had nothing. So he screened them in and called me into the yard where we lifted them onto my pickup, where I was promptly stung five times.....figured I could handle that. Well got them home about dark and started to unload them (don't have veil yet) - first hive I pushed the top super askew and was attacked by a horde of angry bees. Headed to the house and wrapped up in temporary protection and back out to unload the other 2 hives - each time I let loose a horde.
I just could not seem to keep from moving the top super askew (The boxes were very heavy and unweldy). Well to make a long story short - I wound up with about 35 stings
which swoll and put me down for about 2 days - just now fully recovered. I think I nearly had a dangerous number of stings. Didn't know these Buckfast bees would be so aggressive.
I started out awfully stupidly - and would never try it this way again - each box should
have been strapped. And I will never try to tackle these bees again without full protection and smoke.