Gloves or No Gloves

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by litefoot, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I am reading "Beekeeping for Dummies" and the author is definitely a proponent of not wearing gloves while inspecting a hive. I decided to follow his advice and forego the gloves during my last inspection. The good news is that I avoided squishing at least one bee when I felt her plump little body as I was grabbing a frame. The bad news is that I got a nasty sting on the wrist at the very beginning of the inspection which became very sore because I didn't mud it until after the inspection.

    So for now, I'm going to wear gloves and just be very careful where I grab. What's your view?
     
  2. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    For years I wore gloves, sweat clumsiness and all. Recently I switched over to working the hives glovelessly and find that I don't get any more stings than with gloves--perhaps even fewer. My hands are more sensitive, fit into smaller spaces and can manipulate more easily. On the flip side, my fingers pick up a lot of propolis that sometimes gets annoying. But, than again, gloves too pick up propolis, and they are a lot more difficult to clean off.
    Bottom line, unless I have to deal with a hive known to be temperamental, or during operations that set them off (like some methods of taking off honey), I'm keeping my gloves off. [But I'll have them available with me at the hives just in case.]
    For someone who doesn't feel confident enough working hives and having the bees crawling all over his/her hands without getting nervous, I would advise sticking with gloves till ready.
     
  4. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    For inspections at least, I am way too clumsy when wearing leather gloves. I prefer blue nitrile gloves (surgical gloves). They are thin enough to let me feel when a bee is under my fingers and keep my hands from getting sticky. The bees can sting through them though.
     
  5. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I have always used gloves, I started with some rather nasty Italian strain, and perhaps enhanced their behavior be being a newbe lol, but even with leather bee gloves, if you fail to notice one of the girls working on your hand, eventually you will start to feel the prick gong into your hand. I use goat skin gloves, so not very thick relatively nimble.
    Barry
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    for me sometimes it is gloveless and sometime (at least for the kind of stuff I do) it is (I guess) glove-right.

    some things in the commercial beekeeping world you definitely need gloves and something REQUIRE you NOT to wear gloves. for example(s) as far as I know catching queens with gloves on will never work and trying to make up packages without gloves were certainly be an extremely painful strategy.

    the real upside and often forgotten benefit of going gloveless is the natural antidote you are getting from arthritis.
     
  7. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    I generally don't wear gloves, but always keep them handy. Last week while doing some inspections I opened a colony and it was very testy - turned out to be queenless - and after a few stings to the hands I got out the gloves.
     
  8. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Dishwashing/cleaning gloves from Home Depot. Thin, cheap, durable and sting resistant. Wear them, love them.
     
  9. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I try to get by without wearing them it all depends on the time of year and what I am doing. I do take stings both gloved and gloveless. Stings are just a part of beekeeping.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Goatskin when doing regular work, trying nitrile for leisurely inspections. Only problem with nitrile is sweat and I always seem to tear them. Probably go gloveless except for the propolis.
     
  11. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I do both to keep the girls guessing! ;)
     
  12. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I have worn gloves since I opened a queenless hive and they let me have it on the hands but good. My hands looked like two big pork roasts for a few days. Now I use gloves but I also bought a frame grabber and it helps me be more gentle , just get the first frame out and then pry the remaining frames over and grab with the tool..no stings.
     
  13. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I wear goat skin gloves and will wear them everytime. Call me namby-pamby all you like. I don't care for the sting itself or the after effects that last three days. Personally, I can't afford to have a bum hand/wrist in my line of work. I picked up a queen and three workers by the wings last week, one at a time, without much ado.
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I let the gals tell me what I need to wear. For the most part it is no gloves or veil, but they are always close by in the truck. Some feel embarrassed to put on gloves and veil when they see you going with out, I always tell them to wear what makes them feel the most confident and comfortable, then point out that mine are not far away. A little smoke goes a long way most of the time, and if you have to smack one down that is head butting you, so be it. When I started out had a pair of gloves that were like plastic coated (yes bee gloves) and were so clumsy you could not even get a frame out of the box. I do take a few stings to the hands and fingers but then I expect it. As tec said really depends on what you are doing.
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i wear them, and have a variety....goatskin, a softer thinner leather, and a heavier leather, once in awhile i don't, depends on what i am doing. like g3 said wear (or not wear) what makes you feel the most confident and comfortable, and sometimes the race or demeanor of the bee or your colony will dictate this. gloves are not sting proof but afford confidence to work the bees. i sometimes have help from friends who do not keep bees, so gloves are a must for them. i want them to come back and help me out again:grin:
     
  16. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    If I do wear gloves which is seldom (dont wear a suit most time's either), I use the Blue Nitrile ones , yes they sweat , but work very well and do repel the stings, when working a hot hive I have felt them hitting my hands many times, so far , not taken a sting thro the Nitrile gloves
     
  17. rw02kr43

    rw02kr43 New Member

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    I've only done one inspection. I didn't wear gloves. I did okay I guess. Was a little clumsy with them. But maybe I'll figure it out.

    Jason
     
  18. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Well at around the second inspection I got stung on the left hand and 15 or less seconds I got stung on the right hand, so now I wear gloves. The left hand swolled up quite a bit and the right hand did not, don't what was the differents was, got no itch from either.

    kebee
     
  19. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    I wear nitrile gloves. Always one on my left hand. Sometimes one on my right, sometimes barehanded on the right. I wear them because of the sticky factor, not the stings. Although I will say that one of the ladies was trying her best to sting me a couple of weeks ago, but she couldn't get through the nitrile glove. It was purple, not blue. I don't know what the difference is between the colors. I just take whatever the wife brings me.
     
  20. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    letitbe said:
    "My hands looked like two big pork roasts for a few days"

    tec said:
    "the real upside and often forgotten benefit of going gloveless is the natural antidote you are getting from arthritis."

    i must have jinxed myself yesterday after my post because today i am getting much of the 'forgotten benefit' and 'natural antidote' from whatever arthritis i might have:grin:
    ever go to the doc's office and while your sitting their waiting, to entertain yourself 'borrow' a sterile latex glove and blow it up into a balloon? well, thats what my r hand looks like today,:lol: worst local reaction i have had in a long time.

    i did a couple quick checks on the progress of 2 queens yesterday, gloveless. all said and done, sat down off to the side of one of the hives just to watch for awhile. ZING, like a rocket she nailed me in the little finger. think i shall wear gloves AFTER i am done checking a hive:lol: