Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
How to Clean Beekeeping Gloves Clean
Beekeeping is a strenuous job and because the beehives need to be cleaned at regular intervals. Beehives will gather propolis, old wax, dirt, debris of the hives and bad honey. Dirty hives invite pests, parasites and diseases. Cleaning their hives make the gloves dirty and sticky with the remains of the beehive and the stings that have been left by bees on them while you were doing your job. Here is a short guide on how to clean the dirty bee gloves.
Types of Gloves for Bee Keeping
There are three types of gloves that are available for beekeeping. A beekeeper may use either one of these pairs:
· Nitrile, rubber, neoprene or latex gloves
· Work or Garden gloves (fabric)
· Leather gloves
1. Nitrile, Rubber, Neoprene or Latex Gloves –
Latex, rubber and nitrile gloves are cheap and can be easily disposed after a session of hive cleaning. This way, both you and the bees are safe from cross-contamination.
Cleaning neoprene gloves is quite easy. You can throw them in the washing machine and they will be fresh and clean for you to use again.
2. Work or Garden Gloves (fabric) –
Cleaning fabric gloves is tough, but you can follow this process and clean the gloves.
· Use a spare spatula or something similar to wipe the excess honey. Avoid using a paper towel as you will end up smudging the honey throughout the gloves. If crusts are formed you can use a dull knife to scrape it out.
· Keep the gloves under hot water to loosen their stains. A prewash stain remover can also be applied over the stains to prepare it for washing.
· Wash it in hot water and use fabric safe bleach. You can try some natural bleaching agents such as white vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide.
· Wash a couple of time if the stains are tough. Dry it out in the sun – Sun is a natural sanitizer so your gloves will smell fresh and clean. It is also a disinfectant because its UV rays kill harmful bacteria and micro-organisms.
3. Leather Gloves –
Leather is tough and stings don’t penetrate easily which is why it makes them popular amongst the beekeepers. Honey has a viscosity and is very sticky. Hence it is very tough to remove.
· Wash the gloves with warm water and soap. Excessive wax, honey and propolis will be washed off.
· The stains are tough to remove from leather and thus you will require soaking it in chlorine water for some time. This will loosen up the wax, propolis or any other debris on it. It also works as a disinfectant. Chlorine is available in the market in concentrated form. You can dilute it with water as per the printed guidelines and then use it.
· Rinse them out and then dry them out in the sun. They take time to dry, but when they do, they become hard. To avoid this, you should use a conditioner or oil to treat the leather. It helps in protecting the surface. You can also use it a few times after they have dried just before you use it to clean, so it stretches and gets adapted to your hands. A hard glove may kill the bees unknowingly.
Always keep your gloves and other beekeeping instruments clean to avoid any harmful pest attacks.
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