The gloves are off, but close by. I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking beekeeping philosophy with Corky of the Ballard Bee Company prior to starting up our apiary. We share a common interest in the care and consideration with which we approach beekeeping, and we both enjoy a little thrill. At his encouragement, I’m working to practice bare-handed beekeeping. This helps keep you more in tune with the bees-their temperament and mood. You become more keenly aware of your impact on the colony. Slow, deliberate movements help avoid crushed or angered bees-and if the bees are happy, the keeper is happy.
Of course the little adrenaline rush of reaching bare-handed into a hive might have a little something to do with it.
(You may note that I wear gloves at key times-on the very rare occasion that I work the hive in less than ideal weather, its a good idea, as the bees are less than excited to be out in it.)