Put some warm water in a bucket, and with the gloves on, wring your hands vigorously in the warm water. Let the gloves air dry, then apply a generous amount of your choice of leather protector/conditioner.
I use nitrile gloves when working my hives, but I have a pair of leather gloves that I use for heavy work like moving hives and doing cut-outs. Cut-outs can get really messy, and I usually keep a bucket of water nearby to wash my gloves periodically during the process.
I live in AHB country, so I always use gloves! But NOT leather. I prefer the dishwashing gloves like my Grandmama used years ago. Mostly sting proof, but much better for delicate handling. DH uses the rubberized canvas gloves, as I can't find dishwashing gloves in his size. I may look at the nitrile gloves; good idea! Thanks!
As for cleaning sticky, I keep a small spray bottle of rubbing alcohol in my tool bag for that. I also dust my hands with baby powder before putting on gloves.
I've never had it happen while beekeeping, but . . . I practice martial arts, a form that uses lots of pins, joint locks, etc. And we always practice jewelry free. I have seen a broken finger with a wedding ring on it that had to be cut off to set the finger. Take your rings off first, and save yourself the trouble. A sting could swell up a finger just the same way and then what?
Lots of beeks don't use gloves. I do. You can always try without and see if it works better for you, since you are not dealing with AHB like I am.
After you become more comfortable working your bees, remove your gloves and work them bare handed. You will be surprised how few stings you will receive, a little trick smoke your hands first. It’s easier to work them bare handed and a little isopropyl alcohol warm water and soap will clean them up nicely.
Yep, I never use glove's. It's too cumbersome and you don't get a good feel for the bees. You are also less likely to piss them off without knowing it. Of course I only use a veil along with a short sleeve shirt.
Thanks to everyone. I know a lot of you don't use gloves...and my bees seem very gentle requiring just a couple puffs to work, so maybee I can try it...I think I'll transition to nitrile/dishwashing gloves first. I don't like the lack of touch at the fingertips with my leather gloves. Jim
I can work NUC's and weak or small hives without protective clothing, gloves or suit but going into a hive with two or more honey supers and lots of bees I have to suit up. I had four stings on the tips of my fingers that stayed sore for a week. I do a little picking on the banjo and guitar and the banjo picks won't fit with swelled fingers. Try a frame puller, works for me.
Always, always, "it's up to you." I choose to use disposable plastic gloves of some thickness which I can simply throw away when they've got the messy gooey stuff on 'em. I've never been in the bare-hands contingent and probably never will have any desire to be, but "that's me not you." I'd be curious to know what happens if you popped 'em in the freezer for a day but I've never had any experience with that. Whether I'm painting or beeking, dirty gloves get thrown out. The stuff that gets on your hands never really gets out of your clothes.
I like my goat leather gloves when they are hot after me (except I resently ran over one of them with the mover, bummer). I'm jittery when they crawl on me, so I switched over to the nitrile gloves. They get all the propolis and I don't freak out when the girls climb all over my hands. Plus the times they have stung me, a quick jerk of the glove removes the stinger asap.
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