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  1. #1

    Post

    I took my wife out today to treat bees that belong to somebody else. So far I have always worn just jeans and a homemade bee coat with zippered veil. I got stung like crazy today, and my wife with her new outfit and multiple layers remained very peaceful and rarely stung (for that I am happy). We ended up going to a large retailer to buy sweatpants and a denim shirt to compliment my outift.

    My thoughts on this today as I nurse my swelling and surely hundreds of stings (I wimpered like a baby) are that I need to get a new sting proof outfit and that I need to do a better job of washing my clothes.

    My questions are 1) Who offers the best bee outfit for sting protection and what else do you like or dislike about your gear? 2) Has anyone else noticed that a single washing does not remove sting scents or am I full of baloney?


    ------------------
    Joe Miller
    nursebee@juno.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elizabethtown,KY
    Posts
    260

    Post

    Hi Joe!
    Welcome to the forum. Glad to hear Beth is out there helping you! I don't have an answer, but I'm sure someone else will.
    Regards,
    Denise

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    21

    Post

    I would be more concerned about why the bees suddenly attacked you in such numbers. I never wear anything fancy--just a veil and a long sleeve shirt. The only time I have ever been stung by more than a couple of bees was the one time I forgot what I was doing and accidently wore my black shirt out to check a hive--they did not like that black shirt...serves me right for ignoring hundreds of years of collective experience. But really, as long as you wear relatively light colored clothes, smoke the bees properly and pay attention to the weather and time of day, I don't believe you need all the fancy gear. In fact, at least here with our hot Texas summers, a full suit can be dangerous--too easy to overheat.

    Just a thought...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,577

    Post

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't accept your statement:

    "as long as you wear relatively light colored clothes, smoke the bees properly and pay attention to the weather and time of day, I don't believe you need all the fancy gear"

    Bees, like any wild creature, can be very unpredictable, and typical smokings, light-colored clothing can be very little help on a truly aggressive hive. I started out beekeeping with a docile breed of bee and over time they became very aggressive and no amount of "technique" would have helped the situation. Successful requeening did, but dealing with the aggressive bees taught me the lesson that sometimes bees are just darn right mean! Since then, I always wear a full suit (Beemaster Suit from Dadant), which generally works very well, but is not completely sting-proof.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Post

    Kelly sells a nylon suit that they say is sting proof.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    I wear a nylon inspector jacket with zip-on hood. Blue jeans. No gloves. I rarely get stung. Maybe the bees didn't like the scent of your laundry detergent? I use unscented Tide to machine-wash my jacket.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    Mann-Lake makes a rip-stop nylon (very thin nylon). It's a full bee suit, but much cooler than the heavy suits. I don't use smoke ever, and sure the bees try to sting me but they can't, or won't. In the summer I use an ice vest that I made from blue ice sewed into a homemade vest, since it's very hot where I live. Love my bee suit though, rarely get stung and work bees lots.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Hi Coyote,

    For some reason I couldn't connect to the url you posted. If it wouldn't be too much trouble could you email me the picture please?

    I have a full suit that my neighbor gave me, but it's way too hot (feels like a heavy cotton). Usually I don't need a full suit, but I'd love to have something comfortable with decent protection as a backup.

    Thanks!
    Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    Bees are moody. Even the most docile hive has it's bad days. An all out attack can be a real surprise and not a pleasant one. I think you ought to always consider the possibility that any hive can be mean on a given day. If they are mean all the time, I'd requeen.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    mn, wi, tx
    Posts
    174

    Post

    Bee ready for anything! The stronger your hives the easier it is for even a nice hive to become agitated. If a skunk visited them the night before, expect an angry growl from your "nice" hive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Just as MB noted above, follow the link for a review of what I think is the best you can have.

    I have to admit though, I did get a sting once in the new suit. I forgot to tie the ankle string and one got up my leg and didn't like me trying to shake it out.

    I decided last weekend that I will have to start wearing more clothes under it as it gives no warmth and the breeze cuts right through it, burrrr.

    Follow the link, young nursebee, follow the link.

    ------------------
    Bullseye Bill
    Smack dab in the middle of the country.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Yup, that worked.

    You must have aweful nasty bees in NM!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arnold, Peoples Republik of Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    I did follow the link BB and really appreciated your excellent report. I just don't think I'll be able to convince my much better half that I need another $200 for what is supposed to be my hobby. (Maybe Santa will bring me one

    Bill

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Wink

    This is a good topic for the MB quote "it depends.." I normally only wear a veil and gloves (most of the time only the left one by the end of a season I have lost a the right after pulling it off and putting it in a hip pocket)and Long Sleeve shirt and Bib Overalls (very comfortable for fat people). My hives "tend" to be gentle but they are bees and this last Saturday some of the girls got under my veil and got me on the back of the neck. I'm glad nobody was around to see me run through the trees trying to get out of my veil and shirt. Maybe it was because I was wasn't wearing the engineer (light blue and white stripes) overalls - I hardley ever get stung when I wear the ones with the pattern.(?)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    College Station, TX
    Posts
    21

    Post

    To each his own, but I would sincerely rather trust good technique to an expensive suit anyday and with any bees.

    Maybe if someday I am attacked by hundreds of bees I will change my mind, but $200 seem awfully high for something I have done just fine without for many years.

    I would be interested in ya'lls preferences in a veil. I normally use a square veil--the kind made with the metal screen. Unfortunately the metal screen has a tendancy to get flattened during storage and over time the metal screening tends to tear. I don't like spending money on my hobbies...as you may have guessed...so I end up patching my veils with screendoor mesh. It gets rather hard to see out of it eventually.

    I noticed that some of the new veils are made with a cloth screen--how are they for wear and visibility? Other preferences?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I bought a full bee suit right after the first time I tried to remove a hive from an old house. I've never regretted the expense and have bought two more since then plus a jacket with a veil. I cant find, and haven't looked for, just my veil in decades, but I know I have one somewhere.

    I have trouble seeing out of all of them. I have considered a sheet of plexiglass.

  18. #18

    Post

    Thank you for all the feedback. A general consensus in the bee catalogs is that a blend of cotton (breathability) and polyester (for sting proofness) is best. I see them from $60 and up.

    I did follow the $200 link and will check my bee mags for more info. Did I get the right impression that they only offer 3 sizes? At 6'6" and 260#, I am not the kind of guy that fits most generic sizing as this.

    I notice a difference in gentleness of my bees with many things. My question came about after working for a large commercial operator. My wife and I did over 100 hives worth of fall treatments yesterday, and today 4 of us visited between 200-300 hives. While we were able to smoke more today some of the walk gentle, move slow, stuff is not practical when production work is the name of the game.

    Do the readers of this forum generally agree with a cotton/poly blend?

    Someone asked about veils. I like what I use, it is a cotton hat with attached round veil. It fits snuggly, closes well. The drawback is that it does not flip over the head in a small truck for easy driveability.

    ------------------
    Joe Miller
    nursebee@juno.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Post

    I have had cotton and nylon. The nylon are harder for them to sting, not just me, but the suit. This helps, of course, in the long run to keep the scent off of the suit. I have one of the thin nylon ones from Mann Lake. It requires periodic repairs because it's a bit flimsy. It is also the coolest suit I own, so I use it a lot when I need a full suit and it's hot out. I have a thicker nylon one from www.beeworks.com. It's better made, more durable but not as breathable. I also have jacket from the beeworks with a zip on hood. It's what I use the most, because it's easier to get on and off and it's durable. I had a pair of cotton coveralls that the mice chewed up. They were ok too, but the bees leave more stingers in them.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    27

    Post

    I must say that I love my Sheriff half suit veil. Kind of pricey ($120), yeah, but well worth it. I have used that veil very hard in the last two years and have washed it almost every week this summer and it holds up great. I especially like it because it's light green in color and not blah white. The zipper and the elastic is still in perfect condition. In the most recent Bee Culture, Jim Tew is modeling the exact veil I'm talking about.

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