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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    I never wear gloves and typically wear a short sleeved shirt when inspecting my hives. The other day during my second inspection of the year I took 1 to the thumb from a dead bee, 1 in the nose after I took off my veil, and 1 in the calf from a bee that managed to get up my pant leg. I do however suit up with gloves, my veiled jacket, and put on gaiters when I help another beekeeper in my area. Some of his hives are extremely HOT and I'm not the one manipulating frames, treating, or feeding inside his hives. I rarely ever get stung working without gloves or a jacket now because the bees have taught me how to handle them properly through modifying my behaviors with their stingers.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  2. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    If you gonna get stung, the best place is on the tip of the finger. Feels like you caught a sharp nail, but no real lasting effects . It took me a while to figure out that they weren't nails. Anywhere else and I swell up like an overstuffed sausage.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    covington ga
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    with some russians ..i took 1 to the outside of the lips then his buddy got me on the inside of the lip.....dag gum russians....greg

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    I tend to swell up dramatically when stung if I don't get the stinger out immediately, so i wear gloves. I have some large ones that barely go on, but are nice and snug once I wedge my hand in and I have no troubles. That said, back when I was in college and worked in the dishroom in the dorm cafeteria I could sort silverware (spoon or fork with one hand, knives with the other) through two pair of cotton gloves, so I have fairly sensitive fingers.

    Only sting this year was some kamikaze witch that wanted to die really bad, she banged me three or four times yesterday after I finished moving things around and got in my ear to day three times before she stung me and I smashed her, and I was at least 15 feet from the hive. I have no idea what was up with her, I've been standing beside the hives watching the bees all spring with no issues, although they do NOT like my new mower. Bees pouring out of the hive yesterday when I mowed in front of them.

    Hopefully that will be the last bee trying to die early this year, I always get one or two that head butt all the time for no reason.

    Last year all my stings were my fault -- if you mash a bee, she WILL sting, and I manage to smash two into my belly with a super and one into my kneecap with my too long shorts bending over to put a full super down. Not bad, only the last one swelled at all.

    Peter

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    I used to swell up all the time my first year in beekeeping. Now in my second year, aside from the first sting of the year, the 4 or 5 stings I've had caused absolutely no swelling whatsoever. They all still hurt like hell when they happen though. I've been averaging one or two stings a week since I caught a swarm and installed my new packages.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Got nailed smack dab in the middle of my forehead yesterday while just walking past a bee yard. I was at least 20 ft. away from the bear fence they had around it!! I looked like a Romulan (from Star Trek for all you non Trekkies out there) at first now my eyes are nearly swollen shut. Arrrgghh!!!
    They were ornery about something, in fact the whole bee yard was a mess the more I think about it. Boxes all over, piles of nasty looking frames and only bees in a few boxes. Sad looking place! I guess I understand why she wanted to end it all !!!😜
    I've gotta start remembering to keep Benedryl with me...

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Well Saturday I checked a few frames with baby powder on my hands, jacket & veil. Few crawled on my hands and walked off, I'll try the baby powder again when it stops raining and I can get in to a better hive inspection
    Just doing baby steps with bare hands so what better way than using baby powder "LOL"

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    ..., and 1 in the calf from a bee that managed to get up my pant leg. I do however suit up with gloves, my veiled jacket, and put on gaiters when I help another beekeeper in my area. ...
    Oh man, this last weekend, after feeling a gal walking up the inside of the back of knee, I quickly put a frame back in the hive I was inspecting, and did a bow legged walk into the house. I was able to get my pants off and shake her out with getting a sting! Glad my wife wasn't around to see me dealing with it though, haha
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Quote Originally Posted by Capricorn View Post
    Oh man, this last weekend, after feeling a gal walking up the inside of the back of knee, I quickly put a frame back in the hive I was inspecting, and did a bow legged walk into the house. I was able to get my pants off and shake her out with getting a sting! Glad my wife wasn't around to see me dealing with it though, haha
    Wooohooo lucky you, I wore army camo pants and now switched back to jeans since the army pants are looser t the ankle area... Been stung 2 times, one inside thigh and another above the ankle wearing the army pants

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Folks talking about inspecting hives in shorts and a tee shirt crack me up. I've been keeping bees for a long time. I remember the days as a child when my dad would rob my grandfather's bees and come back in with hundreds of stingers in his clothes. The first time I helped rob bees as a younger teenager I wore insufficient gloves and will never forget getting 20 to 30 stings in the hands. I have some hives that are so gentle you could work them with shorts and a tee shirt but I have some that just popping the top yields 50 sings in the pants and bees that will follow for 300 yards across a field head butting my veil. You need to know your hive before going in w/o protection. You also need to be aware that bees that are somewhat gentle during a flow can become very defensive in a nectar dearth. I wear the purple heavy duty rubber household gloves from walmart. I can pick up and clip and mark queens with them on but they are think enough that stings through them aren't consequential. Plus the bees don't attack them like they do canvas or leather. I treat bees like a pit bull. Some are nice and friendly, some are very aggressive but I have learned not to trust any of them.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    In that respect I agree. You've got to know your bees and know your environment and what's going on around you. My hive so far is fairly gentle and for the most part will leave me be unless I'm doing invasive work. Taking a look in and pulling up a couple combs do not bother them - at this moment. There's a nice flow on though. So for now? I don't mind quickly checking up on them without gloves or a jacket. If I've got to inspect all the bars though, I put on a jacket. If I have to adjust crooked comb? Gloves. I'm not one to grab a piece of comb full of bees just to push it around without a nice barrier from stings.. and stickies..

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    I spent the first 10 years wearing gloves. Only since the end of last season did I start going gloveless.
    I started doing bee research, a lot of the techniques require the dexterity of bare hands.

    You learn pretty quick what motions set the bees off. You learn when to smoke, and how much. You learn how to handle frames and how to handle bees.
    Your instinct to jump, flinch, or quickly retract your hand when a bee(s) fly at it GOES AWAY. Most of the time they are just pinging, or buzzing you and have no intention to sting. You learn that a bee crawling on your hand means you no harm. You become a less intrusive beekeeper that doesn't set off the defenses of the hive and I think that's important.

    Get stung occasionally, build up a tolerance to the venom. Then take off your gloves.


    Well that picture doesn't help make my point... but I can't seem to unattach it so I'll explain.
    These are a few stings I took while picking up 100s of bees and putting them in a jar, in the rain. Didn't swell all that much but left small blood blisters. Thumb got a bit sensitive. Typically I can inspect quite a few hives with only a few stings most of which are not in the hands.

    Bees instinctual go for the eyes and nose, where they can really do some damage.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #53
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Grant, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    It's not the sting that bothers me but the itching that comes later.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Last inspection I got stung right through my glove, on the tip of my thumb. Totally impressed me - she wasn't going to let me get off easy with those gloves. A couple of inspections ago, I got stung through doubled up latex gloves, and I actually think it made it worse because I couldn't pull the stinger out: the gloves held it in! Right on the side of my finger by the knuckle where it's bony. I had to sit there and take it while I gently thrashed about trying to scrape the stinger out that had been stuck into that glove and my finger. They usually don't bother me at all, but that one - it hurt like hell.

    Last week I got nailed on the back of the neck as I was prepping the bee yard, cutting some shubs back.

    Oh well, it's part of the program and I figure they earn a little payback for me messing with their house...I'd do the same if I were them! Every time it's been my fault, so maybe they'll teach me not to be such a klutz around them.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Went bare handed last night - got stung

    Quote Originally Posted by sako View Post
    It's not the sting that bothers me but the itching that comes later.
    Mine don't itch any more. Hang in there.

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