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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water exposure?

    I've only had my top bar hive since around October last year, but am well used to handling the bars correctly during hive inspections. I had a small job to do in the hive yesterday (removing a bar I put in 3 weeks ago which the bees have not been at all interested in drawing comb on - most probably due to time of year) which I decided to do while not entirely clear headed (I have a head cold and am feeling quite dopey).

    Stupidly after I had placed a bar, bar side down, onto the top of my other bars in order to trim a bit of wayward comb, I picked the bar up and promptly lifted it incorrectly resulting in the comb snapping off about 2 inches from the bar. The comb was fully drawn and probably half full of capped honey, with the other half being a combination of empty cells and capped drones. Ended up with honey all over the place (primarily on the top of all my in place bars) as well as all over my bee gloves. I put the bar with the 2 inches of attached honey filled comb back into the hive for the bees to clean up. The rest of it I saved what honey I could and discarded the rest. The most distressing thing was the bee losses. There must have been a couple of hundred girls as well as some drones caught up in the mess. Thankfully, I am pretty sure the queen was not amongst this train wreck. Bees went off of course, and I lost quite a few more to stings to my leather gloves. Only received one quite nasty sting from a lone bee that was still on my bee suit when I took it off. I've had my share of stings since I got my hive, but this girl was really upset and got me clean on the pointing finger with great passion.

    I ended up having to wash my gloves quite thoroughly because they were literally soaked in honey. I have now dried them and they haven't turned out as stiff as I thought they might, but all the same I think a leather treatment of some sort would be a good idea. Of course I do not want to use any type of chemical treatment that could harm the bees (e.g. I won't use my Dubbin). Any ideas what I could use. If I rubbed in some bees wash mixed with some sort of natural oil, would the bees take more interest in my gloves than I'd like when tending the hive?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Try linseed oil. It is good for leather and elsewhere in this forum I see people actually use it to coat hives.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,010

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    I wash Mine in the washer. Then air dry a little until semi dry. Warm up 1/4 cup of synoil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush a liberal amount of warm synoil on the leather, allow leather to absorb for 3 tp 5 min. Then place in a tumbler with hardwood sawdust and golf balls for 20 minutes. They come out as soft as new kit gloves!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    I use goatskin gloves because they can get wet without getting too stiff when dried. I spray Ballistol on them when new. In the event that they do get wet, I'll sparay a little more Ballistol on them once they are dry. That same oil will soften them up if they get stiff. Any mineral oil will give you similar results.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,131

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    my leather gloves are like bricks everytime I put them on just from sweat from the previous inspection, they loosen right up after a few min of being worn.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    4,552

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Mineral oil..........
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Not boiled linseed oil. BLO will quickly polymerize and cure stiff. Raw linseed oil will polymerize very slowly. Polymerization is also an exothermic reaction (why rags spontaneously combust), so I would be careful about making sure anything I put it on can be hung up to cure.

    Personally I wouldn't do anything to them. Hang them up, let them dry. They'll soften up after a little bit of use.
    Zone 5B

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Thanks very much for the reply. I think they are goat leather and checking them out this morning I think they have survived the wash pretty much unscathed. They are still reasonably supple, so I may get away with no treatment after all, though I will look into some of the products mentioned to work out what the Australian equivalents are, e.g. never heard of Ballistol. I do have a food grade mineral oil that I use on my pizza peels, so that my be suitable in small quantities. Thanks again.

    P.S. Bees have well and truly got over the shock of the other day. I feel quite lucky to have the climate that I do, almost at the start of winter and yet large numbers of bees are out foraging this morning. Here in Brisbane quite a lot of people have a shrub called xanthostemon chrysanthus (Golden Penda) on their footpaths (verges) and these have come into flower in the last couple of weeks. The bees love them, but have to compete with the birds who are also keen on the nectar. I have a couple on my footpath, but am particularly keen on seeing a large tree sized plant that is in my neighbours place come into flower. It is in full bud but is a couple of weeks behind most of the others around the place.

    Golden Penda.jpg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Leather stiffens when wet, it's how to make hardened shaped leather for sheaths and the like. Don't worry about it!

    There's lots of good oils out there for leather to soften leather, neatsfoot is probably the best straight oil. I use Montana pitch blend or sno seal on most of my leather products (sno seal is actually a beeswax product!).

    If you just warm the leather and wear it around it will naturally soften a bit as well.

    Do not use linseed or boiled linseed (or Tung) oil! It will cure (you don't want that) and will hurt the leather in the process.

    EDIT: I see now you are in Australia so maybe don't have access to some of the products I use. Extra virgin olive oil works well too. When I make knife sheaths or axe sheaths for people, I use a blend of bees wax and EVOO for conditioning the leather after wet shaping it. Probably also good since it likely won't upset the bees.
    Last edited by friendlywithbears; 05-19-2017 at 07:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Thanks mate - that is helpful.

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    51,976

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    I buy the laxitive mineral oil (no smell like the Baby oil) and soak them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL, USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    There is a leather cleaning conditioning product called Leather Honey® but I wouldn't bother. Just wear them. I often get my gloves wet when employing the wet T-shirt technique doing inspections. In fact I think it keeps the bees off the gloves more. If you are doing it right you'll wear them out before long and get a new pair.(My fave is the pair I took the cuffs off of and made my own that go up over my elbow. Get them wet all the time.)And another, and another..... PS- Iv'e learned to always do TBH inspections with a cake pan or BBQ foil tray to quick drop "issues: into. Peace and bee well. PSS- I cut a crescent slit in my index glove finger at the 1st knuckle joint(palm side) SO I CAN POKE MY FINGER TIP OUT TO TAKE PICS. I TAKE A LOT OF PICS AND THUS EVEN USE A FRAME GRABBER ON MY TOP BARS. (SORRY FOR HITTING CAPS BUTTON BUT TOO LAZY TO RETYPE!) lolz

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL, USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I buy the laxitive mineral oil (no smell like the Baby oil) and soak them.

    Hey Michael, hope you get back to PBCBA Palm Beach Co in the nearer future. Hell I'll clean my gloves with bleach and throw them on the dashboard to try in the sun. It's all good.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL, USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    my leather gloves are like bricks everytime I put them on just from sweat from the previous inspection, they loosen right up after a few min of being worn.

    Xactly.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,199

    Default Re: Did a bad, bad thing! Any advice on treating leather bee gloves after water expos

    Yep. You wear them. When you get a hole in the thumb of one glove it's time to buy new ones.
    Use neatsfoot oil on anything leather.
    You can get it by the gallon at farm stores.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

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