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Author Topic: What do you wear when working hives?  (Read 1084 times)
Pete
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« on: August 15, 2010, 09:17:50 PM »

I am very new to beekeeping (Since Christmas 09) and i wear the full bee proof over alls and fencing helmet and big leather gloves.

I would like to be able to et to stage where i can at least work without the gloves. I just find them so cumbersome and prefer to have my hands free...is it just a matter of starting to work them without gloves and just deal with the stings, gaining experience the old fashioned way, or is there some tricks to learning to work them with less gear?

Anyone here able to work them with a veil only?
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Sparky
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2010, 09:43:02 PM »

The full siut and heavy gloves make your inspections in the summer a bit different. Because of them making you hot most will tent to rush things and it sometimes reflects in the mood of the bees. Each hive is it's own and you will need to feel them out each time you open them, of their temperament. Working without gloves helps you have good control when handling the frames and lets you pick up quickly when they get agitated by feel. Remember to be gentle and move slowly without crushing bees when you set frames down. The sheriffs jacket with veil is nice and gives good protection. If you feel you would like to transition slowly to no gloves try a pair of latex or more sting resistant nitrile gloves. You could work hives that are usually gentle to work with your hands and blow some smoke on the hands before you open and keep a pair of gloves in the pocket in the case that they are needed.
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lisascenic
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 09:46:05 PM »

I love the idea of wearing a fencing helmet.

I'm not about to give up my gloves. I wear protective gloves at my day-job, so I've got no issues with dexterity.  I was picky about finding gloves that fit, and that had elastic gauntlets.  I'm very happy with them.  Honestly, I don't find them hot or uncomfortable.  I also don't think that they make me a more clumsy beekeeper.

From my point of view, gloves are part of the wardrobe of safety gear that I wear to do a job.  I often wear a half-mask respirator at work, and while it is heavy and sweaty, I'm not going to be "macho" and take off the protective gear.  Likewise -- for me -- with the beekeeping gloves.  They may be a little bit awkward, but I value the protection that they offer.

Each person has their own comfort levels, and I'd rather be protected from stings.

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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 09:48:05 PM »

Veil only, yes, depending on what I am having to do with them and time and weather.  Or if the 4 year old wants to wear my bee jacket and not his full suit.  Otherwise I work them with a bee jacket on.   Sometimes with the full gloves or blue nitrile glove, and sometimes not depending on what I am doing.  When it is hot, I don't like getting bee glue all over my hands to spread to everywhere.  And I wear shorts in the summer 99% of the time.   Just to dang hot.   They go for your head more often than your legs.  I don't like stings to the head.  That is the reason for the veil or just the bee jacket which is easier to put on.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2010, 10:02:14 PM »

It is not what I wear that matters. It's what you are comfortable wearing. If you want to work without gloves, first go up to the side of a hive and sit down. Stay out of the line of flight. Place your hand near the entrance and let the bees fly around them and land on you and walk around. As you get comfortable doing this, you can start going into the top box only without gloves. Eventually, you will quit even thinking about them. It just takes time.

CAUTION: I work mine with street clothes only, no veil or gloves. BUT, I always have everything within easy reach. Sometimes they tell me to suit up totally, and I listen to them. I never work them without hooded jacket and gloves close by. I never work them without smoke.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2010, 11:46:09 PM »

I usually wear a jacket with a zip on veil and regular leather gloves (thin leather "doeskin" or "buckskin" typically) tucked into the sleeves.  These are easy to put on and take off if need bee and give pretty good feel.
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2010, 07:55:02 AM »

I wear shorts and a white t-shirt in this heat. Always have smoker going and close by. Bees will tell ya when they need smokin. Have veil on most of the time unless just refilling feeders. I like some kind of glove just to keep my hands from sticking together.
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 09:37:48 AM »

It all depends on the bees and your comfort level. Like Iddee, I keep protective gear nearby.


...JP
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danno
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2010, 09:44:41 AM »

Try baby powder rubbed on your hands.   I always wear a veil but until it time to rob them I leave the full suit and gloves in the truck.  tanktop, shorts tennis shoes and a veil.   
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