But last week my bee-keeping days were brought to an abrupt end when I discovered that I have a serious allergy to bee stings.
I had driven the hive and 12 others belong to a friend of mine back from the moors, where they had spent the summer feeding on heather.I got back quite late and my friend Nick and I began working quickly in the growing dark to unload the trailer when we discovered that one of the hives had slipped in transit and was spilling bees. In my hurry I hadn't zipped my protective suit on properly and some of the bees crawled into my gloves whilst others got into my neck and ankles. I was stung about 10 times.
Within minutes I began to feel a numbness and tingling in my throat. I was itching everywhere and then began to feel nauseous. I tried to carry on as normal and set off to drive home but after 200 yards my vision began to go blurry and I felt very sick and disorientated.
Nick thankfully took the wheel and rushed me to York Hospital. Unfortunately the doctors advised that I ought not to take too many chances and so sadly I shall have to say goodbye to my bees - and all that free honey!