Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Baxter, TX
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    24

    Default Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    OK...im getting tired of dealing with hands getting stung. I've got (what I thought were some nice) goat skin leather beekeeping gloves. They are now three years old but still look good. That said I'm getting stung on the back of the hand, on my thumb and most recently on the tip of my index and ring finger. This is getting very old. Most of the time they are "prick" stings....not imbedding the stinger in my hand but definitely breaking the skin and stinging my hand. That said I did get a sting on my thumb yesterday where the stinger was set and would not subside until I pulled the glove off and removed the stinger.

    The dexterity of these gloves is already bad enough. Pulling bigger gloves over the beekeeping gloves just doesn't seem practical or functional.

    Anyone have any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Muenster, TX, USA
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    55

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    I've had the same experience with leather gloves. Last year I had a few hives that would cover the gloves with stingers, especially as I dug through them to kill individual responsible! This year I've been using heavy, disposable, nitrile gloves. I think they're 12 mil. I can't believe how well they work. The bees simply won't sting them. Many of my hives are fairly testy and you could never get away without gloves in them but these nitrile ones are close enough. I usually get several days (1-2 hours a day)use out of a pair too. Just peel them off and let them dry inside out, then turn them right side out and blow the fingers out like a balloon and you're gtg. Unless you work bees without a smoker this is the best advice you'll get to to minimize stings to your hands

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Baxter, TX
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    24

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Thank you so much. That's my plan.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Israel
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    20

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    after trying everything else i found nitrile gloves to be most convenient and providing pretty good protection.
    bees still can sting you through nitrile , but pulling out the stinger will be much faster and easier.
    even if you decide to wear double nitrile gloves, your fingers will have much better grip on frames than with most quality leather gloves.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
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    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Thin washing up gloves or nitriles give sufficient protection and much more tactile feedback ... they also don't absorb the alarm pheromone. The improved 'feel' makes a huge difference in avoiding crushing bees in the first place.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  7. #6

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muenster View Post
    Last year I had a few hives that would cover the gloves with stingers, especially as I dug through them to kill individual responsible!
    This exacerbates the problem. Any time you crush a bee defensive pheromones are released and if you are wearing gloves they are absorbed into the glove material. The accumulation of those pheromones draws attackers every time you open a hive.....compounding the problem.
    Once a bee has stung you she will ultimately die any way. No need to seek her out and kill her.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Muenster, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Sorry I wasn't very clear on that. The individual responsible is the queen and in a mean hive she always seems to be hiding on the box after you've looked at every frame twice.

    I do think leather absorbs odors and that nitriles lack of porosity is why it works so well. I would wash my leather gloves often but they'd get start smelling bad to the bees shortly after starting to use them

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    1,800

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    Thin washing up gloves or nitriles give sufficient protection and much more tactile feedback ... they also don't absorb the alarm pheromone. The improved 'feel' makes a huge difference in avoiding crushing bees in the first place.
    I'll second the use of washing-up gloves. For some weird reason my hands are uber-sensitive to stings - anywhere else, no problem - just the hands. So - you can often find me in summer inspecting hives in a tee-shirt, shorts and sandals ... but still wearing 'Marigolds' (washing-up gloves).

    I find such gloves have one problem - they collect sweat. So I always work with 3 pairs: one being worn; a second pair held in reserve; with the third pair inverted and drying-out in the sun. On a hot sunny day (remember those ?) I can usually inspect 4 hives before each glove-change.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Dover Arkansas
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    53

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    I want to buy the nitrile gloves but have a few questions. Does color matter? Do sizes correspond with hands or do you need to try first? You said 12 mil. Does 5 mil work?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    1,240

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    I use the Thickster brand gloves which are 14mil. Occasionally, you will get a sting through them but those stings barely penetrate the skin. My only complaint with them is they are hot and my hands get really sweaty wearing them. They are much better than leather gloves. I believe that 5 mil gloves would not protect your hands at all.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Dover Arkansas
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    53

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Do you have any details like where you buy your Thickster gloves and what color?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Essex, Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    The thickster gloves I have seen are all latex. Does it ever concern you selling honey to someone with a severe latex allergy? Probably highly unlikely to be a problem but I've avoided latex gloves for that reason.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Orange Grove, TX
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    272

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    All I wear, and I deal with hot bees all the time:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/7-mil-...rge-61774.html
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
    www.Facebook.com/SouthTexasApiaries

  15. #14
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    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by datsdajoke View Post
    The thickster gloves I have seen are all latex. Does it ever concern you selling honey to someone with a severe latex allergy? Probably highly unlikely to be a problem but I've avoided latex gloves for that reason.
    I handle frames while wearing the gloves, not the honey. Since I am not sticking my hands into the honey when wearing the gloves, I am pretty sure it is not an issue.

    Dover Bob, I get them from Amazon and they are always blue from what I can tell.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    1,119

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    12 mil an occasional sting might get through... barely, if at all. You don't have a lot of tactile feel with gloves this thick, but it's a lot better feel than leather.
    5 mil, most will get through, but sting doesn't get as deep as bare skin and it's easy to remove the sting. Just tug on the rubber near the sting. very good tactile feel, but still miss a few bees, those will get angry with you.

    some companies use color to differentiate thickness, the darker the thicker.

    Size corresponds with hands.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
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    91

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hops Brewster View Post
    12 mil an occasional sting might get through... barely, if at all. You don't have a lot of tactile feel with gloves this thick, but it's a lot better feel than leather.
    5 mil, most will get through, but sting doesn't get as deep as bare skin and it's easy to remove the sting. Just tug on the rubber near the sting. very good tactile feel, but still miss a few bees, those will get angry with you.

    some companies use color to differentiate thickness, the darker the thicker.

    Size corresponds with hands.
    How many mils are the marigold washing gloves?

    What about these bad boys at 18mil?
    https://www.northernsafety.com/Produ...sistant-Gloves

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Liberty Hill, Texas
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    696

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    I have a 40 to 70% Africanized bee mix in my hive. Estimated from the way I gauge the reaction from them. I use regular bee gloves that are leather. They cost $20 at the time. The construction is a heavy textile cloth on the uppers and leather gloves. They have a elastic cuff. Long length that go up to my elbows. A bit too long, but I have never had a stinger penetrate. I've got mean tempered bees, so no nitrile gloves are going to give me peace of mind. Do what works for you.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Muenster, TX, USA
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    55

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    frustrateddrone,
    I was working a pretty darn hot hive yesterday that's bound to be africanized with no stings on my hands. They stung my pants and my sleeves but with the neoprene its like they don't see the hands as a stingable object. As if your hands are a solid plastic object to them. I was pretty skeptical at first too and only wore them to work on known gentle hives or nucs, now I wouldn't go back to leather. You really should give them a try

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Liberty County, Florida
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    So I know everyone kinda has there on thing. I do like the Nitrile gloves but sometimes when i'm working the yard and handling boxes and staples and such splinters and metal have busted through mine.. I've become somewhat comfortable being stung in the hand, but i can't stand being stung in the wrist (Bottom). Best gloves i use are Tillman 24CM gloves. The leather is very thin and supple but strong enough to not break from normal work. and the thicker cuffs protect my wrist. You can still be stung initially because the leather is thin, but after working a few yards a few days they get so much propolis, wax, and residue on them the bees can't sting through them anyways. Thicker gloves are harder to work the hives with IMO, but these thin ones after a few days in them become perfect for what i do.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Wise County, Texas, USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Hands sting....gloves not cutting it.

    I use 9 mil& 12 mil to work on cars. I use goat skin gloves with my hives. I get both at Harbor Freight Tools. The nitrile are so cheap they are one use for me. I also used them as a Crime Scene Investigator. 5 mil doesn't keep much out.
    A tip I learned while working EMS was to double glove so if you needed to change gloves the sweat was inside the first set and you could easliy get a new pair over them.

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