First, wearing gloves while beekeeping is certainly not mandatory. I can honestly say that I’ve seen dozens of pros with gloves and dozens without. Personal choice.
I have always liked working without gloves because I like to be able to feel the bees (I know, but believe me… There is something amazing about it). I also like that I have more control and preciseness without gloves. However, I can’t do that kind of swelling and itching again. That was awful. By now, the swelling is done significantly and the itching is much better, but that was awful. And everyone at church was slightly horrified. 🙂
I guess I’m going to start wearing gloves. I have a pair (never used), so it won’t cost me any money. Both of my stings happened because I wasn’t wearing gloves, and it seems an easy way to prevent stings in the future. But I will miss the natural, bare-handed approach.