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Beekeeping and appropriate protective gears

Updated on June 20, 2014


Beekeeping and Bee suits

Working with bees can be a daunting idea but once put into practice beekeepers find beekeeping to be a fulfilling self employment job. It is vital that beekeepers learn about the bees. They are very sensitive creatures and require care and understanding. Beekeepers need to be akin to the behaviour of the bees and to be as intimate as possible with his/her charges. Beekeepers need to be able to tell when something is upsetting the hive. Oh... I did not mention that it is important to have appropriate protective gears. Prospective beekeepers should ensure they have their bee suits and all the necessities.

One major fear of beekeepers and people on a whole is being stung by the bee. Some persons are allergic and may develop a nasty allergic reaction. That is the reason prospective beekeepers are told they need to be stung by the bees at least once before taking on the task of beekeeping. Getting stung is a way of gaining surety that the beekeeper is not allergic to the bee sting. Getting bees stung is an unavoidable aspect of beekeeping. Even seasoned beekeepers who have a good understanding of the bees and their behaviour and who would have had been stung many times, wear protective gears when they are dealing with their bees.

It is said that getting bees stung have medicinal benefits to us. It is said to aid in the prevention of arthritis. Prospective beekeepers are often told that the more they get stung the less irritating it becomes each time. This is largely due to the bodies reaction of producing antibodies to the venom each time an individual is stung. That allows the effect of a sting to lessen each time that the body receives a bee sting. This said however it must be noted that even seasoned beekeepers wear protective gears when they handle their bees. As was said before the bees are very sensitive creatures and it is important that the beekeeper develop a trusting relationship with his hive. Some keepers develop some gentle skills when handling their bee so much so that they sometimes do not wear a glove when doing so.

Interestingly bees are attracted to our breath and as such the defensive bee will attack our face and or neck. Getting stung in the face can be pretty painful as well as temporarily reconstructive or disfiguring. It is important that these areas are well protected. A sting can easily be removed from other sections of the body. Vinegar can be used on the hands to discourage bees from attacking. Another important detail prospective beekeepers would be told is that about the bees high sensitivity is that they can sense our fear. If the attendant is feeling scared it is best that they do not attempt to approach the bees. The bee hive must be approached calmly and the keeper can even speak to them coaxingly. Introduce yourself nicely and timely. Even though they are used to you sudden and strange moves can raise their suspicion and get them on the defensive.

A bee sting can easily and quickly be removed with a finger nail before the venom spreads further. There are full length jumpsuits which are beekeeping suits worn to protect the beekeeper. These suits are usually light coloured in contrast to the bee predators such as bears and skunks. The beekeeping suits are usually white and made of a smooth fabric. That too is a contrast to the hairy predators. The beekeeper is saved by the suit as some of the stings will lodge in it reducing the amount of venom entering the body. The stings in the suits are still actively passing out the alarm hormone pheromone which is meant to send a signal to the other bees that they should attack. To avoid having just that happen the beekeeper should ensure that the suit is thoroughly washed after each visit to the hive and before the next visit.


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