Beekeeping in the Time of Covid19 (2)

Suiting Up to Go Grocery Shopping

Our only real outings lately are to the supermarket once a week. Like most everybody, when we go shopping we try to follow the rules by diligently focusing on three things. 1) Wearing some type of protective mask or breathing filter and not touching our faces, 2) Wearing gloves, 3) Social distancing.

As beekeepers, we keep the key to all three of these precautions close at hand. It’s our beekeeping suit, of course! Although the woven mesh on the screened head-veils is too loose to stop COVID viruses from slipping through, they are probably better than nothing. And besides, if you want added protection you could simply scotch-tape a Kleenex onto the mesh. Where the beekeeping head gear really comes in handy, though, is in its ability to prevent us from touching our faces. I suggest wearing a baseball cap inside the screen making it virtually impossible for your fingers to contaminate your eyes, nose, or mouth.

The thick leather gloves we wear as an integral part of beekeeping, on the other hand are surely COVID-proof. The rugged leather provides an impenetrable barrier to the hardiest and smallest germs. I can safely say that my old beat-up gloves have added protective layers of wax, propolis, honey and unidentifiable guck on them. The only problem with wearing my gloves to the grocery store is at the check-out when I have to pay for my groceries with my debit card. It is really cumbersome to land your finger on the correct password numbers after the cashier hands you the machine. Plus, once I got a dirty look from the cashier after leaving a sticky mess on the keys.

The final advantage of wearing your complete bee suit grocery shopping, gloves and hooded veil and all, has to do with social distancing. Trust me on this one.  You’ll look like such a weirdo that other shoppers will give you a wide, wide berth as you push your buggy down the aisles. No one will get within six feet of you.

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