I decided to do a little strimming in the apiary. Not close to the hives but the girls were obviously unhappy and I got stung through my strong denim jeans after a few minutes of strimming. Now these are the jeans I use with a white beekeeper’s jacket when I visit other apiaries or hives so I started to realise how vulnerable I am in that get up.
I read online of someone in America with a suit of three layers of mesh. He said it was cooler than most and the closest he had come to bee proof. We really should have gradings like cheese maturity – numbers indicating how likely or unlikely stings are. Of course all those long term beekeepers who are rather stalwart or who just tolerate stings will read this with scorn. But for most of us it is a big factor. Do the bees sense fear? If they do, there will be less of it coming from me if I am confident in my apparel!
Incidentally, I’d previously had stings round my wrists so have tried both gauntlets and different gloves. The good old blue marigolds see to work – but the gauntlet is not that long nor that impenetrable. I bought some of the Maisemore gloves that look rather like the kid leather ones but are washable. They are my new favourites and I feel that I have reasonable dexterity with them and high protection. I visited the Maisemore shop in person so I could try different gloves for size which probably also helped. And I have started to use talc inside so that the gloves can fit – well, like a glove- and still come off fairly easily.