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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question,
What are the best type of gloves to use. Will the surgical latex gloves keep one from being stung? What about nitrile gloves? The large leather gloves seem combersome and appears to me could crush bees? Am I worried to much? Thank you for your insight to remaining sting free.
JBees
 

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Latex helps. It doesn't always prevent. You're right, in my opinion, that heavy leather gloves get in the way. I use regular, thin leather beekeeper gloves if I'm going to mess around with a hive for a while or if I have a hot hive. If I'm pulling a frame or two to check on things or just adding syrup, etc., I don't bother. I always have them with me though in case I need them. A lot depends on the bees and the time of year. Cranky bees, late in the year can be troublesome and gloves can help you do a better job of working the hive.
 

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I have used the standard leather beekeeping gloves and didn't like the loss of dexterity. They crushed bees. Then I used the non-latex exam gloves and they worked well but the bees can sting through them if they want to and they didn't cover my wrist. I now use the yellow dish washing gloves. They are longer and still very flexable, and sting proof. The only trouble is finding a pair that is large enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanx Kbee and Ravenseye for the thoughts. I do have a pair of ventilated gloves coming from Dadant but I think I'll try the latex. I haven't jumped into playing with the bees yet but it's only a few months away before they start calling me to remove swarms. I use to refer people to the local bee keepers but we have so few in the mountain area where I live. And I've always had a desire to start a few hives. I've already purchased my suite, vail and smoker. I used to help my grandfather years ago without a bee suite and at a distance. But I still got stung.
Thanx again.
JBees
 

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... I use to refer people to the local bee keepers but we have so few in the mountain area where I live.
Are you up by Lake Isabella? I went kayaking up there long ago (mid-80's) when I lived in SoCal. Beautiful area.

Latex gloves work fine, as do the yellow dish gloves. My hands always get hot so I eventually started working without gloves - but - I always keep them nearby for those days when the girls are cranky.
 

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I also use the generic yellow dishwashing gloves. At 99 cnets a pair, when they get too sticky or dirty or torn up or lost, I don't feel so badly about opening another pair.
 

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the goatskin gloves like Mann Lake sells (I get size L but would normally wear XL) or soft leather goatskin "driving gloves" in a slightly tight size work well. Much better than cowhide leather. Plenty of dexterity for handling frames.
 

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What about nitrile gloves? JBees
Most of my beekeeping career I wore no gloves at all. Apiary Inspectors weren't supposed to. When I worked my own bees or helped other beekeepers work theirs I would wear gloves when the bees told me to, by their stinging. I mostly used leather gloves, but sometimes the canvas ones.

Lately I have been using the nitrile gloves and find that stinging attempts by the bees is less frequent. My hands come out of the gloves damp, but I like that better than propolized and damp w/ honey. You can easily wash them. They last me a good while for the price per pair that I spend for them.

Anybody want some? Let me know.
 

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Question,
...Am I worried to much? ...
I don't hink you are worried too much. You won't regret having gloves and not needing them. You will regret needing them but not having them.

I would get leather beekeeping gloves for when they are in a foul mood, but then use nitrile or no gloves normally. If you are fearfull of getting stung, you should wear some sort of glove until you get more confident.
 

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I tossed my beekeeping gloves in the box for visitors after the first time using them. The loss of dexterity ended up costing me bees. After not using gloves for a season I decided to try nitrile gloves. I have been stung several times through 2 layers of gloves but only once through 3 layers and that was when I accidentally pinched her between my hand and a frame. I do not experience a loss of dexterity with the 3 layers and I reuse the gloves several times.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Indy,
Wish I lived in Isabella. I fly fish the area quite a bit but I live close to Tehachapi. 13 miles out of town.

Thank you all for the comments on the glove issue. It helps. I'm a little fearful of the no glove think at this time but as some have said confidence is in the experience.

Thank you again.
JBees
 

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I could work about 10% of my bees w/o gloves. The rest ranged from bad to downright nasty. I'd collect hundreds of stings in leather gloves checking 10-15 hives at different locations. I think that is because leather gloves hold the alarm scent. Someone had given me a bunch of packages of the yellow dishwashing gloves so I decided to give them a try. I put elastic in my sleeves and would tuck them in. The difference was dramatic. The bees could sting through them but rarely tried. I might get a sting or two a day through the rubber gloves and that was usually my fault. The down side was that they ripped fairly easily and my hands would get really sweatty. I'd imagine that you'd get the same results from nitrile gloves. My conclusion is that with agressive bees rubber=less sting attempts=less defensive frenzy thus less overall stings in general. I'll never use leather again except for loading or unloading.
 

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I currently use the blue nitrile gloves for my routine bee work.

I used to use the heavy leather ventilated gloves from Dadant, until I got my confidence up. Then I chose to work with the blue nitrile for the increased dexterity. After a short while, I had the confidence to wear nothing and go bare handed.

But, my hands got dirty and sticky from propolis and honey. So, I decided to go back to the blue nitrile gloves. (They're nice when working on the truck, too!) After a day of beekeeping, I take the gloves off, and my hands are nice and clean.

Keep in mind: The bees CAN sting through nitrile gloves, contrary to what some people say. Are they less likely to? I'm not sure, but without the heavy leather gloves, you move a bit more carefully. And maybe that's the reason for less stings.

And, yes, I do still have the heavy leather gloves in the truck. (BTW, the "Deluxe Ventilated" ARE worth the extra money.) I still use them when doing cut-outs and whenever I know the bees are going to be testy.

DS
 

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I use my Tig welding gloves that I se for welding very thin aluminium were its not heat I am protecting my hands from but UV rays. they are very thin gloves so I can have very nimble dexterity with my filler rod. So i use that while working with bees very nimbl for me. Also I am so use to wearing gloves for my regular work wearing gloves with my bees I never seem to hinder me.
 

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I wear regular leather driving gloves tucked into the elasticized sleeves of my bee jacket. Seldom that they sting through them... but then seldom do they try to sting through them. But even more seldom that it gets through.
 

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When I use gloves [which is usually] I use the thinner goatskin gloves. There were also a little cheaper when I ordered them from Kelleybees. I don't usually find them to be a problem by interferring with my intended objective when I work bees. But sometimes I am to lazy to put them on. They have accummulated dried honey/wax/propolis, and I keep thinking I will get my wife to wash them, but just haven't taken the time. The stickiness is more of a problem to me than them being to thick or bulky to work with.
 

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I usually go glove-less but i also sting myself on purpose for pain relief:rolleyes:
For about five bucks you can get one-hundred light blue nitrile gloves with powder in them from any vet supply store. They do work well. Some brands are thicker than others so check them out before you buy.
If you think you may be getting stung a little more (as in AHB in Tahachipi:D) then simply put on the nitrile gloves under any leather bee gloves... They may sting you through your suit but they won't get you through the gloves.:thumbsup:
 

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No gloves, smoke the stings. I deserve every sting I get.

Plus I like getting stung. How can you do this job without liking it a little?
 

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Whether one wears gloves or not, the stings should be smoked, as that helps disguise/reduce the alarm pheromone and any sting scent...
Plus, it does help to be a bit of a masochist, being a beekeeper.
 
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