With your agreement, our partners and we use cookies or similar technologies to guarantee you a better browsing experience, for statistical purposes or to carry out advertising actions in connection with your habits and interests as well as sharing with social networks.

For more information on cookies, please click on the « More info » link.
More info 

Beekeeper: an essential profession for the environment subject to MSD

Beekeeping plays an essential role in the agricultural economy and the preservation of our ecosystem, both through the transformation of hive products such as honey, royal jelly and propolis, and through the pollination it ensures through bee activity.

However, the repetitive movements and binding postures necessary in the maintenance of hives, transhumance and harvest, sometimes under intense conditions, can lead to long-term muscle and joint injuries. We then talk about Musculo-Skeletal Disorders.

To preserve their well-being and ensure the vitality of their profession, it is imperative that beekeepers adopt ergonomic working methods and use suitable equipment.MSD

The 6 major risks inherent in the trade

1. Tendinites: Repetitive movements involved in the opening and handling of the hives can cause inflammation of the tendons, especially in the hands, wrists and arms.

2. Lombalgia: Raising and moving heavy hives or loads can cause lumbar pain due to pressure on the spinal column.

3. Entorses and elongations: The frequent torsion and bending movements during the handling of the hives can lead to twists and elongations of the muscles and ligaments.

4. Cervical pain: Beekeepers can develop neck pain due to prolonged postures, as they look forward to working on hive frames.

5. Bursites: Bursites are inflammations that cover the joints, and they can be caused by excessive pressure or repetitive movements around the joints.

6. Epicondylites: Also known as tennis elbow (lateral epicondylite) or golfer's elbow (media epicondylite), these conditions affect tendons near the elbow and can result from repetitive movements involved in the use of beekeeping tools.

Beyond Pain: Understanding TMS

Musculoskeletal disorders (TMS) are diseases that affect the joints, muscles and tendons due, in particular, to biomechanical overburden.

Given their high prevalence (they represent 87% of occupational diseases in France) and their impacts both for employees (sequelles...) and for companies (absentery, lower productivity, health insurance premiums...), it is necessary to put in place concrete actions to remedy them.

Among these, it is possible to turn to the exoskeletons.

The 8 preventive measures to be adopted

1. Receive training on the risks associated with TMS and be sensitized to good ergonomic practices from the beginning of their beekeeping activity.

2. Integrate appropriate lifting techniques, such as folding the knees rather than leaning to lift heavy loads, to avoid injury to the back and limbs.

3. Alternate bee tasks throughout the day can allow the muscles to rest and recover, thus reducing the risk of TMS associated with repetitive movements.

4. When handling hives and frames, beekeepers should have height-adjusted workstations to maintain a comfortable position.

5. It is essential that beekeepers take regular breaks during their working day to avoid excessive fatigue and allow their bodies to recover.

6. The quality bee combinations help to protect beekeepers from bees and heat, ensuring their comfort while working.

7. Investing in ergonomic material, such as tools with comfortable handles and trolleys to move hives, or exoskeletons can reduce physical stress.

8. Consult regularly with their doctor, their referral MSA, or CAP, to help them quickly detect any emerging injury or condition.

What is an exoskeleton?

Exoskeletal Physical Assistance Devices (PADs) are ergonomic solutions that, as their name suggests, aim to reduce the biomechanical demands of workers.

Carried on the body as a backpack, these exoskeletons are completely passive (no engines, cylinders or other electronics) and operate with a principle of storage-restitution of energy through composite springs.

Concretely, the exoskeletons developed by ErgoHealth make it possible to facilitate work, reduce fatigue, preserve health and maintain employment.

HAPO SD: the exoskeleton that relieves the back to the ground bending

The HAPO SD (Unlocking) is the simplest and robust passive physical support device in the HAPO range. Both light (0.9 kg) and discreet, the HAPO SD was designed to partially redirect the efforts of the top of the trunk (by pectoral support), to the thighs.

Working with composite spring rods, the HAPO SD reduces the lumbar physical load workers and thus preserve intervertebral discs.

Optimal situations for the use of HAPO SD exoskeleton are those requiring a complete bending of the trunk to the ground, static or dynamic.

In laboratory tests, it was shown that, compared to an exoskeletal situation, the HAPO SD allowed to reduce approximately -11 % the solicitation of back muscles.