Cindi said: "I leave the baby powder there too, in a ziplock bag."
What's the baby powder for?
Ah, come on, you know its for baby's rear ends...LOL.
Actually, an old beekeeper from our beeclub told me one time when he was helping me to catch my first swarm (they turned out to be very hot and angry tempered bees) that bees really like the smell of baby powder and do not take offence to it.
It may be along the same line thought about rubbing lemonbalm leaves (citronel, which can be derived from lots of sources), on your hands too, they like the smell and prefer it to the smell of a sweaty hand. Apparently bees DO NOT LIKE the smell of sweat. Be it human or animal. Maybe that is why they have been known to sting livestock that venture too close to the hive. I know that horses smell very strongly (and absolutely wonderful) when they are sweaty, (I love the scent of horses). About sweaty hands, he also said that a pail of cool water should be kept near the bees to plunge the hands into it prior to working with the hands to close the pores.
A book that was written many, many years ago, that I have read over and over, author, Eric W. Kelsey, advised anytime working with the bees to ensure that you do not stink of sweat. Now this is quite unlikely, considering usually working with the bees involves work, or maybe working and then going to see bees. Most people sweat (they may not know that they smell, but evidently the bees can tell this odour).
So, anyways, sorry for carrying on...I keep baby powder at the apiary, I have not been yet stung on the hands since implementing this lovely smelling talc, I even enjoy it. I don't wear gloves working the bees.
I grow many plants of lemonbalm close to the apiary as well, so will next year use that too. I also heard that in times gone by that beekeepers would lay a branch of lemonbalm around the hive to calm the bees, or rub the leaves on the hives. I have no experience with that, but, but it does make sense to me. Hope this clarifies why I like to keep baby powder at my beeyard. Great day. Cindi