Best Nitrile Gloves For Beekeeping

When it comes to the sting of a bee, no one is more familiar than a beekeeper. Regardless of their years of experience or wisdom, beekeepers are not immune to the occasional sting. It’s all part of the job! However, it’s crucial for beekeepers to prioritize their comfort and safety by donning the right protective gear.

Enter nitrile, a synthetic rubber known for its resistance to chemicals and certain acids. It’s also latex-free, making it a fantastic choice for beekeepers with latex allergies. Plus, nitrile is up to three times stronger and more resistant to tears and punctures than regular rubber gloves.

So, what are the best nitrile gloves for beekeeping? Stick around as we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of using nitrile gloves and which ones would be the most beneficial for you, the beekeeper!

Nitrile: A Beekeeper’s Best Friend

Ask any beekeeper about their favorite tool besides the hive tool, smoker, and veil, and they’ll likely mention nitrile gloves! There are numerous reasons and situations where a beekeeper might find nitrile gloves indispensable.

Many beekeepers swear by the 14mil chemical-resistant glove as the best type of nitrile glove. These gloves are particularly useful during alcohol mite washes, protecting your skin from becoming dry and flaky due to prolonged exposure to alcohol.

One of the best features of these nitrile gloves is their ease of cleaning and disposability. This means that your hands will remain clean after working on your beehives, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of washing off stickiness or picking wax and propolis from under your fingernails.

If your gloves aren’t too dirty and haven’t come into contact with any chemicals, you can even reuse them. Just turn them inside out, as they will naturally do when you remove them after the first use.

According to BIP field specialists, a snug-fitting 6mil nitrile glove might be the best fit, literally! Tight-fitting gloves are essential to avoid any space at the end of your fingertips, allowing you to make confident moves, such as picking up your queens.

However, any nitrile glove less than 6mil tends to rip too easily and lacks durability. If your nitrile gloves rip and you need to put on another pair, it could be challenging if your hands are sweaty. All types of nitrile gloves will make your hands sweat, even if it’s not particularly hot out.

Remember, nitrile gloves come in many colors, so avoid black ones. Your bees may mistake you for a hive robber or predator and go into defensive mode.

The Perks Of Using Nitrile Gloves For Beekeeping

Reduces the risk of bee stings. (Well, sort of)

The most apparent advantage of using nitrile gloves is their ability to reduce the risk of getting stung by your buzzing buddies or at least lessen the severity of the stings. This is assuming that you’re already venturing into your hives without gloves and don’t own thick leather gloves.

While nitrile gloves won’t completely prevent stings, they can help prevent the stinger from becoming embedded in your skin. Despite being thin, bees rarely attempt to sting through nitrile gloves.

Of course, if you directly press onto a bee, the stinger may still get embedded in your skin. But why would you do that?

One theory suggests that bees might recognize leather and other gloves and try to sting through them, but nitrile is strange and foreign. They don’t seem to realize that they can sting it.

Nitrile gloves are clean.

Using nitrile gloves not only keeps your hands cleaner but also helps keep your bees cleaner! They expose the bees to fewer germs and potential diseases.

You can change your nitrile gloves as often as with every different hive check, ensuring a sanitary environment for you, your equipment, and, most importantly, your bee family!

Enhanced dexterity and sensitivity.

Nitrile gloves offer unrestricted movement. You won’t have issues with your nitrile gloves getting stuck under frames, and it’s generally easier to work inside the hive.

As a beekeeper, you’ll find it much easier to handle the bees because you can feel everything through your gloves. You’ll harm fewer bees, as you’ll feel them on your fingers and remove them before accidentally crushing them.

You’ll also appreciate being able to accurately feel temperature through your nitrile gloves, so you can still regulate the temperature of your bee smoker!

An excellent solution for stickiness.

Nitrile gloves are much easier to clean than leather beekeeping gloves. You can simply keep a bucket of lukewarm water nearby during bee or honey removals and dip your gloved hands in it when they get too sticky with honey or propolis.

The honey will wash off easily. This is in stark contrast with leather gloves, which become even bulkier and cling to your skin when wet, making it easier for bees to sting through them.

The Downsides Of Using Nitrile Gloves For Beekeeping

The issue of waste.

The amount of waste generated depends on the number of hives you manage and how often you inspect your hives. Nitrile gloves can result in varying levels of waste. For some beekeepers, especially those on a larger scale, the amount of waste can be significant, with up to three pairs of gloves used daily.

Some beekeepers have tried to address this waste issue by switching to dishwashing gloves. Dishwashing gloves are thicker and should last much longer than disposable nitrile gloves.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that the dishwashing gloves are thoroughly washed and sterilized after each use to prevent your bees from contracting diseases.

While dishwashing gloves don’t offer the same dexterity and sensitivity as nitrile gloves, the choice ultimately lies with the beekeeper!

Nitrile gloves can be sweaty.

Unlike leather gloves, nitrile gloves are not breathable. All your sweat will accumulate inside the gloves, creating a rather uncomfortable pool of sweat.

On a particularly hot summer day, you might find yourself wearing a balloon of sweat around your hands. It can be a bit unpleasant, but it’s something you can get used to!

Nitrile gloves often have shorter cuffs.

Most readily available nitrile gloves have short cuffs, which could leave your wrists exposed to potential bee stings.

However, there are nitrile gloves with long cuffs available, and those are the ones you should consider for beekeeping.

Wrapping Up

As beekeepers, we always want what’s best for our bees, but we must also consider our own needs. Your choice of gloves depends on what you expect from them and how well you know your beehives and bee colonies.

The top three types of beekeeping gloves are leather, goatskin, and disposable gloves. Among disposable gloves, nitrile gloves are undoubtedly the best choice for beekeeping.

Nitrile gloves are thin, comfortable, and bees tend to avoid stinging them. Always ensure that you’re wearing the right protective gear when visiting your buzzing buddies’ homes!

Title: Unveiling the Best Nitrile Gloves for Beekeeping


Beekeeping is a rewarding activity that can be both a hobby and a source of income. Like every other activity, safeguards are needed to ensure safety while tending to the hives. One of the staples of a beekeeper’s protective gear is a good pair of gloves. Over time, the nitrile gloves have gained popularity among beekeepers due to their durability, puncture resistance, and lightweight design. Herein, we will explore some of the best nitrile gloves for beekeeping that are available on the market today.

1. Vgo 10-Pairs Nitrile Coating Gardening and Work Gloves

Vgo’s nitrile gloves earn top spot due to their versatility and performance. They are made from flexible, durable materials that provide excellent grip and dexterity, as well as protection from bee stings. The gloves are coated with nitrile, amplifying their resistance to punctures and abrasions, and their thin layer doesn’t hinder tactile sensation. Furthermore, they are breathable, reducing perspiration and ensuring comfort during prolonged use.

2. Gloveworks HD Industrial Green Nitrile Gloves

These gloves are notable for their high visibility green color and the raised diamond texture, enhancing grip even in wet conditions. Made with industrial-grade nitrile, Gloveworks HD gloves are three times more puncture-resistant than latex, providing robust protection against bee stings. The gloves are also latex-free and powder-free, minimizing the risk of allergies, and they come in sizes ranging from small to XX-large, ensuring a great fit for all.

3. Maxiflex 34-874 Ultimate Nitrile Grip Work Gloves

Maxiflex gloves are renowned for their excellent fit and flexibility. These gloves are designed with micro-foam nitrile coatings that are compatible with light oils and ensure a good grip and excellent abrasion resistance. The gloves are tailored according to hand sizes and shapes, providing form-fitted comfort, and the knit wrist helps prevent dirt and debris from entering the glove.

4. Venom Steel Nitrile Gloves

Venom Steel Nitrile Gloves offer dependable, heavy-duty protection. They are thick and robust, providing two-layer protection against punctures, rips, and tears. Despite their strength, these gloves offer high tactile sensitivity and are comfortable to wear, even for long periods. Designed for one-time use, they are a convenient option for beekeepers who prefer disposable gloves.

5. Showa Atlas 370B Nitrile Gloves

Showa Atlas 370B gloves offer an excellent combination of protection, dexterity, and comfort. They feature a lightweight, seamless design with a sturdy nitrile coating that makes them robust and sting-proof. These gloves also allow for precise handling of hive equipment and provide superior dry and wet grip.


Investing in a high-quality pair of nitrile gloves can greatly enhance your beekeeping experience. The Vgo 10-pairs Nitrile Coating Gardening and Work Gloves, Gloveworks HD Industrial Green Nitrile Gloves, Maxiflex 34-874 Ultimate Nitrile Grip Work Gloves, Venom Steel Nitrile Gloves, and Showa Atlas 370B Nitrile Gloves, all stand out due to their superior protection, durability, and comfort. When selecting gloves for beekeeping, it is important to consider the fit, grip, comfort, and above all, the level of protection provided. With these nitrile gloves, beekeepers can enjoy the fulfilment of their craft, assuring safety and practicality.

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