We can categorise bee gloves according to how they are made:
· Gloves made of leather.
· Gloves made of plastic.
Leather gloves last for a long time, but they are difficult to get and to sew, and also the leather is expensive. Plastic gloves are the cheapest, and you can get them easily. They are also simple to sew and the material can be purchased at low-cost. Here in Tanzania plastic tubes are available in the shops and from these we make useful, low-cost gloves.
Cut the size of the gloves you want by placing your hand on the sheet. Then cut out the shape, leaving enough to make a hem (about 20 mm all round).
After that join the seams. There are different ways of joining - you can sew the pieces together (you will need about two metres of thread), or by joining with heat (we use a beeswax candle).
The plastic glove is cheap because you can buy one metre of plastic tube for 300TSH (USSO.50) and from it you can make two or three gloves. Leather gloves cost about 3000 TSH (USS5) each.
Welcome to the Plastic Bee Glove Users\' Club!!
Rosemary Mngazija is a researcher at Njiro Wildlife Research Centre in Tanzania.
[Bees for Development Journal #43]