People may wonder, “What can beekeepers do to protect themselves from stings?” Folks without any experience might think of beekeeping as just an opportunity to get hurt. In actuality, beekeepers are often able to avoid stings. There are several precautionary measures beekeepers bring to their trade that protect them from the worst. Read on to learn how they do it.
Use a Smoker
The smoker is an absolutely indispensable tool for amateur and professional beekeepers. It’s a handheld device that blows plumes of smoke over the bees. The smoke convinces the bees to prepare for a hive fire. Thinking they will need the nutrition for a long journey, they start eating as much honey as possible. As a result, the bees put themselves in food commas, making them lethargic and less likely to sting. A beekeeper should have a smoker in hand every time they open the hive. This is one of the best tools for calming an aggressive hive.
Stand Away From the Entrance
Bees tend to build flight patterns around the hive’s entrance. The flight patterns guide them to and from the hive. If a beekeeper blocks their entrance, the bees trying to get in will become agitated. They may buzz close to the beekeeper and slam themselves against the beekeeper’s body. These are warning signs that they plan to attack soon.
Maintain Slow Movements
Bees register fast movements as a threat. When a beekeeper approaches the hive, they do so deliberately and slowly to avoid stings. They never want to give the bees a reason to attack. The last thing they want is for the bees to treat them like a bear or another fast-moving, aggressive predator. When bees suspect their hive is under attack, they will protect it with everything they have.
New hobbyists who want to know what beekeepers can do to protect themselves from stings need only look at beekeepers’ outfits to see their best line of defense. Protective suits and gear can greatly reduce a beekeeper’s risk of receiving stings. Beekeeping veils protect the face while still offering a full field of vision. Beekeeping gloves extend all the way to the elbows for added protection.