While going through my grandmother’s old photos with her, we stumbled across a black and white image of my great-grandfather Phelps tending his bees on their Illinois homestead. His back is covered in a layer of bees—but his hands are bare. While I admire my great-grandfather’s dedication to beekeeping, we prefer to tend our bees wearing well fitting beekeeping gloves.
What beekeeping equipment you wear is entirely a matter of choice. You’ve probably seen photos of beekeepers wearing no protective gear, covered almost entirely in bees yet suffering no stings. For those of us who are slightly more into keeping a layer between us and honeybees’ stingers, wearing well fitting beekeeping gear—including gloves—keeps us feeling comfortable and safe.
Why well fitting gloves are crucial beekeeping gear
Most people think of beekeeping gear as having one purpose: preventing stings. But well fitting gloves, suits and other items have additional benefits, too.
- Prevent stings. Good beekeeping gloves should have thick yet flexible gloves with a sleeve that extends well past your wrist. An elastic or cinched enclosure at your forearm or elbow ensures bees can’t crawl into your gloves or top.
- Maintain dexterity. When you’re doing hive inspections or harvesting honey, you’re handling bee-covered frames and heavy boxes—so it follows you want your hands to be nimble. Well fitting beekeeping gloves ensure you keep the normal dexterity of your hands so you don’t drop anything.
- Keep bees safe. When you’re able to handle frames and boxes better, you’ll squish fewer bees. Your well fitting beekeeping gloves will allow you to gently maneuver frames and boxes, keeping your fliers alive.
- Feel confident. Calm beekeepers tend to aggravate bees less, so feeling comfortable in your beekeeping gear keeps honeybees happier—and you safer.
- Keep comb intact. Sometimes during hive inspections, you’ll need to move frames or half-built comb to check out your bees. You need the finger dexterity that well fitting beekeeping gloves afford to handle these delicate tasks.
- Eliminate hiding places. Too-big gloves end up having extra fabric, and bees can get tucked inside the folds of fabric. These stowaways may end up in your house, or end up stinging you, if you don’t realize they’re hidden inside the fabric. Well fitting beekeeping gloves have fewer folds—so fewer hiding places for bees.
Our beekeeping gloves offer the best fit
We work toward our guiding philosophy, beekeeping for all, in our beekeeping gear as well as our sustainable hives. Here’s how our beekeeping gloves measure up.
Men’s and women’s sizes.
Many beekeeping gloves on the market are one-size-fits-all, but last we checked, people have differently sized hands. (Shocking, we know!) What’s more, we learned in market research that women often had a hard time finding well fitting beekeeping gloves. Our multiple sizes, paired with a sizing chart, helps you find the pair that will fit you perfectly.
Our glove-making craftsmen use goat skin for the hand part of our gloves. This leather is supple and soft, yet durable, meaning these gloves are hand-crafted to last for years.
Made in America.
Our beekeeping gloves are made by hand in Oregon exclusively for Bespoke Bee Supply. Craftspeople in Salem cut, stitch and screen print our gloves, so buying our gloves supports American workers and small businesses.
Support adults with intellectual disabilities.
We have partnered with a company that employs and trains adults with intellectual disabilities to sew and screen print the cuffs of our beekeeping gloves. So buying our American-made beekeeping gloves also supports efforts to offer people with intellectual disabilities marketable skills.