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No Glove Bee Management (Almost)

I’ve been keeping bees for a short 12+ months now. We started with a bee package last year, and with some very helpful advice (thanks JeffH) i’ve now created 3 walk away splits. I’d like to move away from the heavy leather gloves but im not confident enough to go completely gloveless so i’ve been investigating options that will give much improved dexterity but will also protect against stings.

I suspect the thin disposable gloves are way to thin to protect against stings - but i recently purchased some Ansell “smart gloves” from woolies that fit very tightly on my hand and are thicker than disposable gloves but thinner and more flexible than the heavy rubber diswashing gloves. I haven’t used them yet - but they feel great and I think I could do anything, including picking up a queen for marking - without any trouble.

My question is - has anyone tried these - and, could I expect these to protect against stings?

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I use fitted surgical gloves, not the baggy exam gloves, I can pick up lots of delicate things with them. If you get some heavier “Ortho” gloves you can get several uses and even a few washes out of them.

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Hi Matt, I’m delighted to hear that my advice was helpful. I used to wear Ansell rubber gloves, bees can sting through them, however the sting through a rubber glove is not as bad as on the bare skin.

When you say “heavy leather gloves”, I’m thinking you mean the ones from bee suppliers. That’s what I use all the time now, & I’m comfortable using them. I’d find it hard picking up queens with them though, however that doesn’t matter because I never mark them anyway. The thing about the gloves from bee suppliers is the added wrist protection, which I really like.

I could never see myself going glove free bee management, because I just can’t stand the initial pain of a sting. On top of that, sometimes it might be difficult to quickly remove a sting, which only makes the sting worse. Another thing is, trying to avoid stings while glove free only slows you down.

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I’ve been using the Chem3 Nitrile/Neoprene mix gloves. They have a long cuff and are sturdy enough for multiple uses. I’m getting 10+ inspections out of one pair even though they are supposed to be single use disposable.

The bees can sting through of course but they don’t seem to realise it. Dexterity is great.

I’ve only taken 1 sting while wearing them in about 6 months and that was where I squashed a bee directly with my finger picking up a frame. The glove largely caught the stinger making it really easy to remove. Not much venom got in!

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