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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    New Lebanon, NY
    Posts
    6

    Default Checking hives without gloves?

    Folks,
    I went over to a veteran beekeeper's recently to check out how he did his stuff and when we went to the beeyard he didn't wear gloves! He said he knew many beekeepers who don't. I haven't even considered going into my bee yard without gloves. Are there reasons for people to not wear them? I can only think of dexterity, but my goatskins fit like a second skin so I don't feel I loose much there. Please let me know what you think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    oroville california usa
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I find I have a much better feel for what I am doing and I kill allot less bees yes I do get stung in the hands and fingers but I would not have it any other way no gloves for me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,819

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I am more careful with bare hands and thr bees reciprocate. Also, the hand is a long way from the heart and a few stings is good for my arthritis. If the bees are being irate I put on glove if there are mass attackers. But the vast majority of the time in spring til the honeyflow ends in September, I just don't need them. Today I lit a smoker but only used it on two or three of thirtysome colonies I went thru. When the flow is on bees are too busy to worry about a careful beekeeper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pine, MN
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I've never used anything more than a veil for protective gear

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I am a big fat chicken. I wear a full suite including gloves whenever I open a hive.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,731

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Gloves only when harvesting honey, otherwise, not needed.

    cchoganjr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Essex, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Try nitrile gloves. I get the odd sting through them, but not a deep sting. I have good feel and kill fewer bees. Also, my hands really swell with stings, so I do use traditional thick gloves when I am doing "deep dives" on all of my hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Amarillo, Tx
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    First year here. I haven't needed gloves either. My bees are so gentile that I can brush them aside with my fingers. I do like to smoke my hands and arms up more than I smoke the bees. I was using smoke to get the bees to duck so I could close the top bars. Lately I have been brushing them down with my fingers. It's faster. I still keep the smoker lit in reserve.
    Zone 6b; Elv.3,600 ft.(1,097m); AA Rain 20.36 in. (51.72 cm)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,079

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Better grip. Greater tactile confident feeling. What if I want to or need to pick up a queen. No gloves is cooler. Not cooler, but cooler. Know what I mean? Nitrile gloves get HOT.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    334

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I seldom use gloves, I'm with Vance G without them you are more careful and have better dexterity. I do get stung but usually it's my fault because I'm moving too fast and crush a bee. I consider stings to be like slivers from carpentry or cuts from sheet metal, I don't wear gloves for either of those jobs. You work with bees you can be stung it's part of it.
    Colino
    A Bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it rains.- Robert Frost

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I haven't worn gloves while working hives, since 1966. I rarely use a veil, either. Shorts, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and lit smoker are my usual bee-working garb.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Prestonsburg, Ky,USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I cant do it,,,,,,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,834

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I use gloves all the time. I make my living using my fingers on a keyboard and don't wish to make the job any harder than it needs to be. And I haven't noticed any goat-skin-glove-induced massacres during my years of beekeeping

    I've been called a wimp on these forums because of it. I've been told I don't know how to tend bees. I've been told I don't care about the well being of my bees. You know what? I stopped caring about what others say long ago.

    I get my share of stings, just usually not on my hands.

    Do what makes you feel comfortable .

    Wayne

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Nitrile gloves. Keeps the propolis off the hands and bees from licking the sweat.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri, usa
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I wear the nitrile gloves. "Nitrile gloves get HOT" -but their cool
    Charlie
    14 hives - 5 years (also had 7 hives in early 1970's) T as needed - zone 6

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    352

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I actually own very little "beekeeping gear" – no smoker, for example – but there are three things that I fairly insist upon:

    1. A veiled hat. (Mine is actually an old straw hat, with a veil that fits around it.)
    2. A set of white painter's coveralls – nope, nothing "armored" here – with plenty of pockets.
    3. A pair of long-sleeved leather beekeeper's gloves.

    The reason is simple: there are two places that I do not wish to be stung. One of them is my face, and the other is my hands.

    The gloves, being made of lightweight leather, breathe easily on a hot summer day (nitrile definltely doesn't ...), and they don't interfere with my touch. They're washable, and they keep my hands clean, dry, and free of sticky-stuff. Frankly, I find that they make things easier to handle, and I sometimes use them for non-bee related purposes for that reason.

    By all means, though, find what your own comfort-level and preference is, and "go with that." I've been known to work the bees in shorts and a T-shirt ... and a veil, and the gloves ... the main problem being that then you don't have enough pockets, and if you absent-mindedly wipe some sticky-stuff against your skin, you'll have a devil of a time cleaning it off. Instead, into the washing-machine goes the suit and the gloves, now and then.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Bloomington, IN, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Don't use gloves but have a pair and used them once in anticipation of a hive being grumpy. Learned bare-handed from other local beekeepers. However, agree with waynesgarden that a sting on a finger sure can impair your typing speed!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    I used to not wear gloves but I too make my living on a CPU it was rough sometimes but I finally decided to wear them when I almost had to cut my wedding band off, it was my grandfather's before he passed away and I don't want to risk it

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Dawson Springs, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    A very good trick if you don't want to wear gloves and also don't want to get stung.

    Use your smoker (you are using one right?) and basically "wash" your hands with the smoke. Puff it a few times and really rub the smell onto your hands. Sniff your hands to make sure they smell like the smoke and the bees with almost always never sting you or move off your hands when your handling frames very quickly.

    I have handled lose brood comb like this with very upset bees who were bombing my veil, they land on your hands and move about on them. But I have found they wont do anything more than that. My experience is somewhat limited to just this year, but every time I have smoked my hands, I never get stung when digging deep into the hives. Times I don't smoke them, I get stung multiple times on the hands.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Checking hives without gloves?

    Yes I smoke them and although you don't get the 6 that fly out and stick to the back of your hand like Velcro like you do with gloves you will still get the ocaisional sting

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