I am sorry you have had such a bad experience and I hope the pain is subsiding. The comments from the others seem comprehensive and should be considered. The ‘silver lining’ is that your experience and the subsequent advice in this forum can make a great learning exercise for everybody. One important lesson is the need for an intact and properly sealed veil. Angry bees are very good at finding even very small openings. I had one bee crawl through a small tear in my veil and then sting me on the lower lip. The subsequent swelling gave me a permanent pout, which some people found very humorous. Finally, I have made a mental note that lavender in the smoker is not always efficacious in calming bees.
Oops forgot to add, that once the angry bees sting, you have been tagged with pherome to alert all other bees that you are an enemy , once targeted only option is to retreat, clean all items of clothing and yourself before you approach the colony again.
You poor thing.... but keep at it. I think you did all you could in the event (and who hasn't left the zip on their suit open once) and all the advice you have received has been very true.
The only thing I would like to add at this late stage is have you considered you may have been wearing a purfume, residual on your clothes? You may have been wearing a stronger deodorant, or maybe new shampoo, hairspray. Sometimes we don't think about what we did during the day. Also I have had experience of eating a ripe banana before working the hive can upset the bees.
I agree not to call the hive a hot hive. They have been calm before. think about the weather, time of day and the smells you are bringing to the hive.... then if all is lost think of the solutions offered.
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