Newbie, tried leather, but can't get a good fit. If they fit my hand the fingers are way too long so can't grip properly, so now using Marigolds. However, having read Ron's horror sting story am contempleting going back to leather...
I buy nitrile gloves from German Swedish and French motorfactors.
Nitrile last longer than latex as they are stronger and my hands appear to sweat less: you also appear to have a larger range of sizes. Approx £5.5 for 100.
Most of the time with docile bees and little propolis I go bare handed as nitrile gloves do not prevent stings but only build up of rubbish on your hands.
When I photograph frames , of course I wear nothing: fortunately my camera is largely s/steel..
I have an emergency pair of thicker gloves I carry with me always in case of bee attack.
I started with Marigolds then moved on to nitrile long cuff with a view to being able to have more "feel". However this seasons personal bee experiences and those of a number of my friends have led me to realise that it is recklessly stupid to wear inadequate protection on your hands. All the waffle and nonsense about what marvellous calm bees you have and idiotic bravado about wearing no gloves etc. are totally misguided. Bees however calm can change demeanour at the drop of a hat and an individuals reaction to stings can vary enormously from sting to sting. I have been stung reasonably frequently with only a bit of discomfort but a recent emergency visit to A&E and having intravenous antibiotics administered led me to "wake up and smell the coffee". I dont want to wear clumsy leather but putting nitrile under marigolds seems to do the trick and I have now had several incidents where the sting punctures the outer glove but the double barrier has been effective.Those of you that think its clever to take risks with bees should take the time to read about the increasing number of incidences where even experienced beeks are getting into serious trouble or worse by lack of protection or over-confidence!
I use nitrile & so far have been lucky not to get stung. My wife has just given up using nitrile as she was getting stung. She's now using kid-glove leather & seems to be sting proof, but the bees do sting her gloves quite regularly.
I use nitriles under marigolds. They do occasionally sting through these but I cannot risk a bad sting that swells my fingers so I cannot work. Bravado over not using gloves can seem foolhardy after an event. Should we not all be encouraging beekeepers to act in a responsible way. You can wash the marigolds between hives and change nitrile ones whenever they split. I encourage any visitor to my bees to put nitr:hurray on over their gloves to ensure they do not cross contaminate and always wear a clean new pair when inspecting another beeks hives.
I use disposable latex gloves over the marigolds. then i just bin them after every inspection and it keeps the marigolds clean.. I'm fortunate though because i work for DARD(the DEFRA equivilent in N Ireland) so i get the latex gloves for free..
I use bare hands or nitrile gloves. With larger agressive colonies I prefer to wear gloves, for smaller ones and nucs just bare hands suffice.
Colonies don't "change on the drop of a pin", you can judge the bees reaction by the time you crack the crownboard, and furthermore you can also tell if they start bubbling up.
If the colony is a evil one, I'd double glove but thats incredibly infrequent, just once every few years and allows me to get in and sort the queen.
The issues described can often be cured by ruthless culling of the queens of colonies with bad temper. However I'm continually amazed at the lack of willingless to cull bad queens - they simply soldier on with bad temper. Or worse, they cease inspections - which just leaves the colony to keep launching drones into the local area.