I’m allergic to bees… or at least, I used to be.
The worst time I got stung was in sixth grade. We were scheduled to take a week long trip out to Catalina Island, off the Santa Barbara coast. We’d stay there for a week, learning about plants and wildlife on the island, and aquatic sea life out in the ocean. It was a pretty sweet gig.
Sunday, the day before we were leaving, I was swimming in the pool with my neighbor Jeremy. We were racing back-and-forth in my boot shaped pool on Foothill Lane when I slapped the edge of the pool, squishing a bee and being stung in the right pointer finger, just above the seam to my hand. I iced it but the following day, my hand was really swollen. Like one of those plastic gloves you blow into to inflate. If there was ever a question before, the answer’s “yes,” I’m allergic to bees.
Nevertheless, I took some medication and went on the field trip out to the Island. But while I was there, on the first day, I somehow managed to lose the medication. The island’s medical staff gave me some anti-inflammatories, but nothing was helping. It continued to swell and hurt. I honestly thought my skin was going to tear open.
One night I tied my arm above my body with a string tied to the ceiling of our bungalow (or whatever kind of tent we were sleeping in). When I woke up the next morning, the swelling in my hand had gone down… down into my lower arm! I looked like Popeye with my huge forearms.
Eventually, the swelling went down, and I’m happy to say, I haven’t been stung by a bee since. I used to carry an epi-pen, but even that’s expired. But in my time away from bees, I’ve come to appreciate them so much more…
For instance… did you know that pollinators (like honey bees) are directly responsible for 70% of the food we eat? Think about that for a second. 70% of our food. Bees do that shit.
This has only recently popped back into my head because of my job at Bee Thinking. We’re manufacturers and retailers of Cedar beehives. The founder of the company, Matt Reed, was on Shark Tank last year and Beyond the Tank earlier this year. It was exciting to join a company that is growing, as a creative business and a leader in “natural beekeeping.”
The thing that makes Bee Thinking different is our philosophy of natural beekeeping. Bees have been making honey for hundreds of thousands of years without our help or input, there’s no reason why they need us now. This means no chemicals, no queen marking, foundationless frames, screened bottoms, and the list goes on. Natural and treatment free. Other companies may offer these features, but Bee Thinking truly does it the best.
I’ve signed up to be a Brand Ambassador for Bee Thinking. I am excited about the company and I believe in it. They offer three different kinds of beehive, for the urban backyard beekeeper to the commercial apiarist. They’re made from Western Red Cedar which means they’re going to last a long time. They absolutely beautiful.
We also offer a large assortment of bee-related products. We’re talking candles, honey, books, glasses, stickers, if it’s got a bee on it, we might carry it. (Okay, may not that many things, but you should seriously check out what they carry.) But there’s some seriously cool and interesting stuff.
The part that I am most excited about is that we, as brand ambassadors, are generating reveneue for Pollinator Scholarships! Bee Thinking will pledge $10 for every order over $100 made using a bee ambassador code to be put towards the pollinator scholarship program. The more ambassador codes get used, the more funds are raised!
My ambassador code is “BeeChrisE” good for 10% off!
Here are some of my favorite offerings from Bee Thinking:
- Valhalla Horn Cup – I LOVE this cup. I just brought mine to What The Festival this past weekend and it was a lifesaver whenever I had to grab a drink of water! Not to mention you’re always feeling like a Viking when you have it on your hip.
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping – I read this book cover-to-cover and I found it absolutely enlightening. You don’t get weighed down in the science or the author’s opinion on how to keep bees. Simple language. Great spark!
- Pomade – The Bees Knees pomade is no joke. It’s super sticky so it keeps really well… sometimes a little too well.
- California Bee Sticker – Gotta keep up my home state pride! They also offer Texas, Oregon, and Washington.
- DIY Candle Kit – Super cool gift idea. Make your own candles at home!
- Baby Rattle – My friend Max is going to have a kid soon, and I am totally giving this to them as a gift. It’s beautiful and safe for the baby to put in their mouth. So Max, if you’re reading this, don’t buy this. Thanks.
- Mason Bee House – If you’re not into bees, Mason Bees are definitely the way to go. They 95% pollinators and they crash land! They’re really fun to watch and this is one chic house.
- Top Bar Hive Starter Kit – If I could have any beehive, I’d want the Kenyan Top Bar Hive. Look how gorgeous this thing is! The top bars, when filled with honey and wax, is only 7 pounds! And the display window is so cool!
There’s a TON more stuff over at their website and there’s new stuff going up all the time. But for now, if you want to help me save the bees, pick up something fun and use the coupon code “BeeChrisE” to save yourself 10%.
Don’t forget! Bees die if they sting you. If you just remain calm and don’t swat at them, they should leave as peacefully as they came. And be extra careful around open water sources… like pools.