Beekeeping Suit — Gloves or Not?

Like any hobby or profession, beekeeping has certain requirements. One of those requirements for anyone who wants to safely work around their bees is the beekeeping suit.

Whenever you get near your bees, wearing the proper beekeeping clothing is a must. Studies have shown that bees react differently to various types of clothing. The main reason you wear beekeeping suits is to keep you from being stung. Why would you subject yourself to stings when there is a way to avoid them?

Basically, you have three main clothing items to make up your suit: a pair of coveralls, a pair of gloves, and the beekeeper hat and veil. You can choose to buy all of these or you can have alternatives that will work just as well if worn the right way.

You can find beekeeping suits online or in specialty stores. Some stores and online outlets offer used suits. If you choose the used route, you will have to inspect the suit for any tears; obviously, you don’t want a bee to get inside your clothing and sting you.

One preferred suit comes with a blouse and netted veil. This netted veil is for the neck and face – to keep the bees off the sensitive parts of your body while allowing you to breathe properly and see clearly. Others prefer to use a windbreaker jacket. This works fine because most jackets have garters or rubbers at the end of the sleeves. This means it will be tight at the wrist, preventing the bees from coming in and stinging you.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using a glove. If you want to protect yourself from the sting of bees, you can opt for a thicker glove. However, this kind of glove may limit the dexterity of your hand when working with the bees. Latex type gloves are also available. While these gloves allow your hands to work freely and lightly with your bees, they do not protect you as much from stings.

Some macho beekeepers recommend that you don’t use gloves at all. This way, you will have your hand free so you can work more intimately with your bees. If you don’t mind the pain of the sting which will most surely come; dealing with the stinger is easier as you can simply remove it by scraping it with your fingernail. Now that’s macho!

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