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I know. Those who are more macho than I have done this already. But quite unintentionally, I found myself without my gloves while adding syrup to the feeder and switching out several top bars with newly-crafted ones. I didn't want to walk all the way back to the house. So I just went for it. Picked up bars full of bees. Felt their soft little feet on my hands. Backed away a few feet if they seemed riled, and misted liberally, which was probably appreciated given the heat. I did not get stung, and was seriously psyched about the whole experience:D.
 

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So far our bees have been so gentle that I have no problem filling their top feeders with no protection at all. That may change as their population builds. Generally they don't mind me hanging around.

OTOH, visiting our mentor's hives often results in a sting, even if we're fully suited up. There are a lot more of them and seem to think he's up to no good.

After today, I'd say if you are taking a knife to the comb to cut out queen cells, might want some gloves.
 

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I've never considered anyone who tends to their hives without gloves to possess any level of machoism.
Funny, I feel the same way about people with tattoos.
Maybe some of them think they are macho, I dunno.
I guess that's because they have a need to feel that way.
More power to'em. :cool:
 

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I rarely use gloves but I do smoke my hands before I start. It helps to smoke the hive tool too. If you are slow and careful and don't go banging stuff around, new hives are generally calm about things. However, when they start really booming, they are a tad less tolerant. Still, unless I've got gobs of bees taking to the air, I avoid the gloves/suit/"this means war" mentality. It's all about noticing when their tone changes and not pushing your luck. BUT "macho" and "bees" do not work together.

JMO

Rusty
 

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If you are patient and careful, so as not to crush bees (how rude!), it is fairly likely that you won't get stung by an "ordinary" hive on an "ordinary" day.

However, after experimenting with various things, I concluded that a lightweight pair of leather bee-gloves was a nice thing to have. The fabric is breathable (no sweaty hands), and it keeps my hands clean of all the very sticky-stuff that's in a hive. The gloves get dirty quickly, and my hands don't.

In the same fashion, an ordinary "dickey suit" – a set of painter's coveralls with plenty(!) of pockets – is again worth the money because, well, it has plenty of pockets! And, for me at least, a veiled hat is a simple requirement. (I do not, ever again, want to be stung on my face. An unpleasant childhood memory involving a small wasp ...)
 

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The way I react to stings is kind of forcing me into wearing gloves. I wore the purple nitrile type during the last inspection. I could still use my touch screen phone and didn't really lose any "feeling". I just can't take several stings to my hands with the way I swell up. I'm a "large local" type guy I guess. I got two stings just below my wrist (wearing short leather gloves collecting a swarm). I swelled up to the point that I couldn't make a closed fist for a few days. And swelled about halfway up to my elbow too.

I don't think a bee sting really even hurts, and the after effects aren't particularly bad. I don't have much pain, the itching is managable, swelling is more of a nuscience. It just doesn't make sense NOT to prevent something that I can. I took the temperature of my hands and it was at least 102 degrees on the surface about 2-3 days after having been stung. I don't care if I get stung on my arms/legs. My hands just aren't the right place to risk it. I was really worried that my knuckles would "burst" with the swelling.
 

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I sometimes work with one hand gloved, the other bare. That way I have protection and the feel. If they get too rowdy, I can always slide my bare hand into my jacket sleeve
 

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I haven't been using gloves right from the start, because I felt more stings would be provoked by lack of dexterity. My hives are still small and gentile. My ideals might revise during the fall.
 

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I know. Those who are more macho than I have done this already. But quite unintentionally, I found myself without my gloves while adding syrup to the feeder and switching out several top bars with newly-crafted ones. I didn't want to walk all the way back to the house. So I just went for it. Picked up bars full of bees. Felt their soft little feet on my hands. Backed away a few feet if they seemed riled, and misted liberally, which was probably appreciated given the heat. I did not get stung, and was seriously psyched about the whole experience:D.
Are you not smoking them?
 

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I rarely use gloves but I do smoke my hands before I start. It helps to smoke the hive tool too. If you are slow and careful and don't go banging stuff around, new hives are generally calm about things. However, when they start really booming, they are a tad less tolerant. Still, unless I've got gobs of bees taking to the air, I avoid the gloves/suit/"this means war" mentality. It's all about noticing when their tone changes and not pushing your luck. BUT "macho" and "bees" do not work together.

JMO

Rusty
agreed. before i inspect i give a puff at the entrance and puff myself and hands too....i work slowly and just admire these beautiful creatures.

not macho at all...perhaps dumb is a better word? afterall, these are wild insects...one misstep will mean a sting for sure.
 

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also,

if/when i wear gloves i wear the nitrile disposable gloves...it allows me to be less clumsy and feel the comb
 

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+1 on nitrile. It gives me great dexterity and if I do get stung it isn't too bad, really no worse then getting stung through the normal bee gloves. Since I can feel the bees I am less likely to crush them.
 

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Nitrile, to me, "is simply a sweaty-hands problem." The same is true of rubber or plastic gloves.

The leather (beekeeping) gloves that I now use are very lightweight and flexible, do not trap sweat, keep my hands clean, are machine-washable, and do not interfere with my manual dexterity. You can get similar gloves at a hardware store.

I'm not worried about things being "sting-proof." That's ordinarily not a problem. Merely pay attention to what you are doing with your body. Move slowly and deliberately. Think.

Whatever you do wear, it's got to work for you. It should allow you to feel comfortable enough that you are able to concentrate your attention on what you are doing. I've worked my hives in shorts and a T-shirt, and when I did so I promptly ran out of pockets and never did get all of the grime out of that shirt. :scratch: So, coveralls with lots of pockets, and usually jeans and a long-sleeve flannel shirt under that. Always a veiled (old straw ...) hat, because "my face is off-limits." This lets me focus on what I'm doing and, normally, to avoid getting stung while doing it. :thumbsup:

If "an armored suit complete with phaser" :lookout: is what makes you​ comfy, then you certainly can buy 'em! Go for it. It's your comfort. Find your comfort-zone.
 

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I use Nitrile gloves for other things so I'm used to the sweat, and it is nice to be able to throw them away when you are done.

What are the leather gloves that you use today? My bee gloves are thin, but nothing close to Nitrile.
 

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I rarely get stung through nitrile, but if you do, pulling the glove off takes the stinger and venom sac with it. Keeping the venom you get to a minimum. Golf gloves and baseball batters gloves work OK too, its just hard to find pairs, and ones without black on it.
 

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+1 on nitrile. It gives me great dexterity and if I do get stung it isn't too bad, really no worse then getting stung through the normal bee gloves. Since I can feel the bees I am less likely to crush them.
Ditto, and only when Im going in deep, other than that, no gloves for me. Less clumsy. G
 

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Nitrile, to me, "is simply a sweaty-hands problem." The same is true of rubber or plastic gloves.

The leather (beekeeping) gloves that I now use are very lightweight and flexible, do not trap sweat, keep my hands clean, are machine-washable, and do not interfere with my manual dexterity. You can get similar gloves at a hardware store.

I'm not worried about things being "sting-proof." That's ordinarily not a problem. Merely pay attention to what you are doing with your body. Move slowly and deliberately. Think.

Whatever you do wear, it's got to work for you. It should allow you to feel comfortable enough that you are able to concentrate your attention on what you are doing. I've worked my hives in shorts and a T-shirt, and when I did so I promptly ran out of pockets and never did get all of the grime out of that shirt. :scratch: So, coveralls with lots of pockets, and usually jeans and a long-sleeve flannel shirt under that. Always a veiled (old straw ...) hat, because "my face is off-limits." This lets me focus on what I'm doing and, normally, to avoid getting stung while doing it. :thumbsup:

If "an armored suit complete with phaser" :lookout: is what makes you​ comfy, then you certainly can buy 'em! Go for it. It's your comfort. Find your comfort-zone.
i went the leather route as well but found it didn't give me the dexterity i wanted and i still had sweat in there (hot days are hot days...not much to do about sweat)

the rubber cleaning/dish washing gloves are pretty useful but again...for me...personally...the less bulky the better ...i've had a bee or two dive bomb my hands and i didn't get stung
 

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The best way to describe the material that these gloves consists-of is that they're quite similar to something that you might buy at a fairly high-dollar (non-beekeeping ... heh ...) store. It is certainly not "thick," or in any way "bulky." I've never wanted for dexterity ... never found it to be a problem.

My guess would be that it is "kid leather."

Quite frankly, when I'm looking for a pair of work-gloves, I'm not thinking about "bee-proof." (A honeybee's stinger isn't that long, anyway.) I'm thinking about something breatheable that will also keep my hands clean, and that I can throw into the clothes-washer.

My first attempt was rubber-gloves, which worked well enough except that they filled-up with sweat. Yuck. Well, these gloves breathe. "Probably no thicker, but, much better." (Hey, you probably don't need "thicker.")

Most of the time, you can work with a hive of bees with completely-bare hands. (Which is all well-and-good, until "yee-ouch!!") But, even so, there are just so-many things within a beehive that are: very dirty, or very sticky, or very both . . . My number-one concern is not whether-or-not a honeybee can succeed in jamming a stinger through it. (They probably can't.) I want to pull my clean hands out of those dirty-gloves, and then throw the dirty-gloves into the washing machine.
 
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