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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've managed to get everything I need except the bees and the gloves. I believe I have the bees lined up though my local club. So, that leaves gloves. Ok, so I won't lie... I'm anti-leather (it's the whole "dead skin" thing). So there's gotta be some fully synthetic bee gloves out there somewhere, right?? "Rose pruning gloves" look promising, but they all seem to have nothing but woven nylon on the back of the hand... and that just seems like a big no-no to me. Might as well just put a big bullseye on what I would imagine would be one of the more sensitive places to get stung. Does anyone use some sort of fully synthetic glove? I've heard nitrile gloves are ok... but they're just so thin I have a hard time believing I wont get stung. I mean, I know I'll get stung eventually... but I'd like to avoid it as best I can! Isn't there some "synthetic leather" type glove for this purpose? There is for just about every other application on the planet... unfortunately it seems they're only concerned with protecting the fingers and palm. :)
 

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When I'm really getting into them, I use "dishwashing" gloves. Unfortunately, i cannot simply go to the local grocery store and get them as my hands don't fit into the gloves that must certainly be sized for the fairer sex. So, i purchase them at Home Depot or Lowes. A pair of them lasts all season. When i take them off, there is often sweat inside, so i stand them up with a stick in them and they are good to do next time I'm out at the hives. zero stings through them in a season

I prefer nitrile gloves as they give a better feel. the 9mil thickness gloves seem too thick for my liking (and they're more expensive) so I use 5mil thickness, which happen to be the most common. These are pretty durable, cheap enough to be disposable, and the bees don't seem to be interested in stinging through them. they CAN sting through them, but they don't. i was able to get one bee to sting through a glove when i intentionally started messing with her to see if she'd be able to. she stung, but it was a pretty mild sting with shallow penetration. I've had similar stings through leather unprovoked. After a full season with 6 hives, that was the only time i got a sting through the nitrile.

I haven't worked myself up to go bare handed yet, but I'll probably flirt with that a little bit this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow. Ok, maybe nitrile will do the trick then. I don't plan on antagonizing any bees, lol, so that should work. Thanks for the info. Hearing detailed info from someone who actually uses them is very helpful.
 

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I've used the woven gloves with rubberized fronts and got several stings in the back of my hands. I think these may have been my wife's gardening gloves so the woven fabric was pretty stretched. I tried the dish washing gloves but they were too small and got super sweaty. I used paper towel tubes inside when not in use to keep them open and aired out. I finally settled on some $6 PVC lined gloves from Home Depot they have fabric on the inside and they are slightly larger than ideal but they are so thick that they aren't very sensitive. They get sweaty too but because of the over size and fabric it doesn't seem to bother me much. I've had the pair most of last season, I've used them twice this week to do my first inspections and my hands and wrists stunk for hours afterward vinegary smell, yuck. I might try some bleach or peroxide inside to clean out the funk. The good part is that they are sting proof, I had a comb break off a top bar, topbar hive, I caught it and got a few dozen stings in the catch hand/glove but none made it through. I also play without the gloves some times it just depends on their mood (maybe the nectar flow).
 

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If you want a glove that you can't get stung through, you need leather... and even then,, occasionally a sting might find its way in at a seam or some such.

Gloves for sting protection don't allow you the dexterity you'll want when you are doing many tasks.

The good news is, that if you avoid sudden movement and banging things around, move fluidly an deliberately, you won't get stung too often.

I only wear gloves to keep the propolis of my fingers, and then I wear dishwashing gloves.
Even though they can be stung through, often bees don't identify their surface as "stingable".

Unlike wasp or yellowjacket stings, bees sting don't last long...and after the first one or two in a season, a tolerance is built up and the rest are far less uncomfortable.
 

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Go to a restaurant supply store and get dishwasher gauntlets. I pay $5-9 a pair depending on who they think I am. Get baby powder to dry out the fingers as your hands will sweat. The ones I get are stingproof.
 

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I use the Kimberly-Clark extra long cuff Nitrile gloves KC500, 50604-Extra Large and 50603-Large. These have extra length cuffs 12" total length 5.9 mils thick on hand and 4.7 mil thickness on fingers. I've never been stung through one. Here's a link to the large size CLICK HERE

Gloves.jpg Glove2.jpg
 

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The thicker nitrile gloves actually work very well. When I worked for ASU, we used nitrile gloves on Africanized bees. Every once and a while, the bees could start to get a sting through if they were able to get a really good position and bite to hang on. The one thing I did not like about them was that my hands would really sweat in them.
 

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I'm going to be trying out Atlas work gloves. They have a rubberized palm for a good grip. The dexterity is also good. When they get dirty or sweaty you can wash them. I'm pretty certain bees can sting through the material on the back.
 

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Tried the nitrile gloves, my problem was flicking the stinger out without tearing the glove. I guess it's easier to get the propolis off my hands.
 

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This blue rubber gloves are a sting ATTRACTANT! I read on here that people like to use the blue thick rubber gloves and were never stung. So I tried them. It's as if the blue gloves are a target. I got stung through the gloves three times in the first 30 seconds. My partner, to whom I was handing combs from a cutout to place in frame, kept using them. Before all was done, his hands swelled up like he had been snake bit. He lost count of how many times he was stung through those gloves. These gloves have good uses, but beekeeping isn't one of them.
 

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Depends on what you like. I didn't like the way my hands sweated and pruned in the nitrile and other of those type gloves. My latest pair is a pair of red lined chemical gloves from Home Depot. They are a little stiff, but I dare a bee to sting through them, they don't sweat inside, and the wash off easily. The bees seem to ignore red. They cost $4 or $5.
 

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So, I've managed to get everything I need except the bees and the gloves. I believe I have the bees lined up though my local club. So, that leaves gloves. Ok, so I won't lie... I'm anti-leather (it's the whole "dead skin" thing). So there's gotta be some fully synthetic bee gloves out there somewhere, right?? "Rose pruning gloves" look promising, but they all seem to have nothing but woven nylon on the back of the hand... and that just seems like a big no-no to me. Might as well just put a big bullseye on what I would imagine would be one of the more sensitive places to get stung. Does anyone use some sort of fully synthetic glove? I've heard nitrile gloves are ok... but they're just so thin I have a hard time believing I wont get stung. I mean, I know I'll get stung eventually... but I'd like to avoid it as best I can! Isn't there some "synthetic leather" type glove for this purpose? There is for just about every other application on the planet... unfortunately it seems they're only concerned with protecting the fingers and palm. :)
I don't like the big clunky bee gloves. I bought the thin disposable nitrile gloves, but they are too short. I ended up with the YELLOW Playtex living gloves. They are not overpriced, have a reasonably long cuff, and are not too clunky. Being yellow, they do not usually cause a big reaction. On the down side they are "sweaty". In the summertime they are not the most comfortable. I turn them inside out to wash off the sweat, but after getting some propolis on them, it takes some manipulation to get them turned right-side-out.

Hope this helps.

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone! This has been very helpful. I'll shop around and see what's available locally. I'm starting with just one hive... so I can't imagine sweaty hands will be TOO much of an issue for me this year at least. I've used the purple nitrile gloves for a million things (hair dye, delivering baby goats, painting, etc) and while my hands aren't perfectly dry when I take them off, it's not a bothersome amount of sweat. No more really than in my cloth garden gloves during summer. Downside is I do not like the smell of the gloves on my hands... but again, with one hive, I can't imagine I'll be wearing them long or often. I'm hoping to either build or obtain another hive sometimes this summer/fall and be ready for a spring split if all goes well, next year. We'll see. My goal is to have two hives... but starting out that way is just too expensive.
 

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My mentor told me it's necessary for a new beek to start with two hives. That way the comparison will tell him when something is wrong with one of them. Without the comparison, he may not know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know, that's my club's suggestion too... but already being in $400 and still needing to invest an additional $100+ on the bees themselves... I can't add another $200 hive and another $100+ in bees this year. A new $500 hobby is already stretching it. Definitely the most expensive hobby I've gotten into - even my goats didn't cost that much initially. On the bright side, the club members are very local and very supportive - and I'm in a very cental location... so if I have any inkling that my hive is not thriving, one of them will be happy to come take a look.

I'm also on a city lot, so need to see how crazy it is with one hive before I bring two into my backyard. I do need to be able to go outside without my beesuit. :D
 

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Does black color really attract stings?
I was wearing black gloves with a tree removal/cut out... the excavator was stirring them up good and I walked up to the tree to check on things and the girls followed me back as I walked away. I looked down and they were tearing up my gloves. I decided to throw the gloves down since they weren't going to help with all those alarm pheromones. I went back 5 mins later and more bees were still coming and stinging those gloves just laying on the sidewalk.

Not definitive evidence, but I won't be wearing black again. :)
 

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I use the Kimberly-Clark extra long cuff Nitrile gloves KC500, 50604-Extra Large and 50603-Large. These have extra length cuffs 12" total length 5.9 mils thick on hand and 4.7 mil thickness on fingers. I've never been stung through one. Here's a link to the large size CLICK HERE

View attachment 9719 View attachment 9718
Those things look too skin tight to me. Do you still get stung through them?
 

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I was wearing black gloves with a tree removal/cut out... the excavator was stirring them up good and I walked up to the tree to check on things and the girls followed me back as I walked away. I looked down and they were tearing up my gloves. I decided to throw the gloves down since they weren't going to help with all those alarm pheromones. I went back 5 mins later and more bees were still coming and stinging those gloves just laying on the sidewalk.

Not definitive evidence, but I won't be wearing black again. :)
I guess I'll have to keep away from that color then ;)
 
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