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2019 almond shaking and sweeping

It is crazy to think we have been in almond harvest for two weeks now. Even crazier to think I am just now getting time to sit down and blog about it. But here we are...

We started shaking almond trees on August 6th, so more than two weeks ago. This year we started shaking more than a week later than we did the past several years. The almonds just weren't ready as early as they usually are. We have had cooler weather this year. Even to this day, there have not been as many 100 plus degree days as we usually get. I am not complaining personally, I have enjoyed this summer much better. The cooler weather just delayed everything.

The almonds need so many hot days to help them ripen and dry out for harvest. With cooler temperatures it just takes a little longer. I would say though, we are more on target to when almond harvest used to be. We only started harvesting in the end of July when the trees were more stressed from lack of water and hot temperatures. When the trees have more wat…

BEE careful, advice on handling a bee sting.

We farm almonds, live in the country and are outside A LOT. Seems like a great combination right? Well, if you follow my Instagram stories over the weekend you might know where I am going with this.

It's bloom, the bees have been in our orchard for a few weeks now. Its been sunny and beautiful between a few stormy days. So the bees have been busy buzzing around when its sunny outside. I have been stung a handful of times in my life, so I know I am not allergic so the bees are more so just annoying to me if they aren't working in the orchard.

I was outside playing with my kids on one of these beautiful afternoons last Thursday. I was holding my daughter with my right arm and suddenly heard a buzz in my right side in my hair. I didn't want the bee to get near my daughter to I swatted the bee in my hair away with my hand. As I pulled my left hand down, sure enough there was a stinger sitting on my left ring finger.

Lucky enough my mom was visiting, so I handed off the kiddo and ran inside to get this stinger out and inspect my hand. I got the stinger out pretty fast, well I thought I did. But my finger immediately was stinging, I took my ring off and ran my finger under cold water. I wrapped my finger in a wet wash clothe and went about my day. That night my finger was starting to throb so I looked through the bathroom and couldn't find any medicine. We are renovating our home and living in the small guest house, so most of my things are boxed up. I found some kids Benadryl and within 30 minutes of taking it, I was trying to keep myself awake on the couch.

Sure enough I passed out pretty early that night. I woke up in the morning and my finger was HUGE! It had swollen so bad over night I took to Instagram and WebMD for advice. I took a poll and asked for advice from my followers and received lots of advice.

I realized a little while later, that my finger was still in so much pain, because I didn't get all the stinger out. I asked my husband to use some tweezers to pull the rest out. I went to the store and grabbed cortisone cream and adult Benadryl. It took until Monday for the swelling to subside and I couldn't fit my ring back on until Tuesday. It is now a week later and my finger still is a little itchy but mostly back to normal.

I was so appreciative of all the advice and help I received from my followers I wanted to share it with you, because I made a lot of rookie mistakes.

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I offering medical help. Always seek medical help if you are in trouble. If you are allergic to bees, don't listen to me. I am purely sharing advice given to me**

1. Protect yourself
It is the bee time of year where blooms are everywhere and bees will be buzzing around. If you are going to be outside wear long sleeves and protect yourself and your kids. If you get a bee on you, remain calm and try to move away from the bee. TRY NOT to swat at the bee and make it mad. Use another object to try to get the bee off yourself, don't use your hands.

2. If stung, remove the whole stinger
Removing the stinger will ensure you are not exposed to more venom. I didn't realize I didn't get the entire stinger out and it prolonged my exposure and swelling. They make some pretty nifty tools for removing bee stingers. If you get stung frequently, or have strong exposure to bees, you may want to invest in one. I used the old fashioned tweezers the second time and it worked good too. The first time, I simply pulled the stinger out with my hands and missed part of it.

3. Wash you hands
After the stinger is removed, wash your hands with soap and water. Lather and soap up real good. You want to get any extra yuck off your skin.

4. Grab a cold compress and elevate
Use a cold compress and keep the sight cold to eliminate swelling. Also, elevate the area where stung to keep good blood flow and circulation.  I used a bag of peas and a wash clothe to keep my finger cold but it was hard to elevate. I should have done more of this! I think it is really key to help swelling go down faster.

5. Benadryl
I was having itchiness and swelling so the Benadryl helped with these factors, really I imagine any allergy type medicine would work. I also took Tylenol for the pain and stinging that persisted, probably from the prolonged exposure to the stinger.

6. Cortisone cream
My finger was so itchy that I needed instant relief. The Benadryl helped, but I also went to a wedding this past weekend and didn't want to mix the Benadryl with alcohol. I used a cortisone cream with aloe for bug bites. It worked great and helped to eliminate the itch almost instantly.

7. Seek medical help
This should be listed on the top, if you feel you need help then go get it. But if you are allergic to bees, please don't listen to anything I had to say, and go to the hospital ASAP. If you think something isn't right, go get it checked out. I thought at one point, my finger was going to explode from swelling, so I went to urgent care. They told me it wasn't going to explode of course and just reiterated what all my family, friends and Instagram followers were telling me. Never hesitate to seek medical help if you feel you need it.

I am NOT a doctor, I am just a farmer and blogger trying to share my advice. BEE careful!

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl Jenny


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