I have always heard that bees are gentle. Well, not in the same way a dog is when they are curled up in your lap, but in the way that a honey bee just doesn’t care that you’re around. Note the “honey” modifier – other kinds of bees are not so kind. Honey bees are too focused to care. As long as you’re not in their way of raising their young or making honey, you’re as interesting as a flag pole.
What I have begun to see is, that I can get within five feet of their hive and watch them without any protective clothing. Sometimes a bee buzzes around me after a few minutes warning me to back off, but in general, I can get close enough to watch them unaided by my full bee suit a.k.a. body armor.
This starts to explain why I see beekeepers not using gloves. These gutsy people go in with just a veil over their faces. No gloves, no fully body suit, not even a smoker. These are the true pros, and I am not there yet. But watching how calm the bees are, I can see how it’s possible.
Now if only I could get them to be that calm when I take apart their house…