Hi Dawn, and all,
I don't know how to respond like you're doing... and please let me know if my sharing is inappropriate for this group.
The Flow hive system will arrive April 14. I'm quite sure I'll be able to put everything--conceptually, as well as physically.
This morning I went back to the home where I collected the colony yesterday. Quick collection, zero stings (I was calm, organized, and quick.) Installation (about 200 +/- bees. No big deal.
I have an ant problem now. So I trimmed the tree above them (some branches touching the compost bin) and cleaned the ants up... sprayed soap around where the ants were moving. I was wearing protection (forgot to smoke), but the bees are absolutely fine. Great little group.
This compost bin will go away when the new Flow Hive arrives--and I WILL have professional help. Ants.... dang it. I have "Tangle Foot" but decided to try soap for a bit.
Right now, I am 'suiting-up' if I need to work on the hive directly. They seem to be so incredibly calm, and the ONLY reason I got stung yesterday was because I was an idiot. New bees, no songs, wearing black, and bumped a few because I was moving too fast without thinking.
Yesterday I took a double-dose of antihistamine, and did the same thing this morning.
I believe I have had either four or five stings in my entire life. This is different. Today, the capillaries in my arm are breaking and blood is pooling at the crook of my arm. (looks like a very dark bruise.) I added Ibuprofen, and now ice to cool the inflammation. The sting on my finger isn't quite as dramatic, but still remarkable--my entire hand is envolved.
I may have crossed into the 'YOU do not EVER want to be stung again' category, which bumms me a bit.
A couple of kids from my neighborhood and I were observing/talking about the bees today--maybe 3' away. The bees were absolutely fine.
My current thinking is that if I need to do something in the back yard, it's probably fine, but anything working with the hive should probably require full gear.
I am sad about this, but it's probably true.