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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    12

    Default Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Hello all. Trying to equip some beekeepers in South Sudan, East Africa, on a tight budget. I can get the Tulle veil from Dadant at 10.95 (bulk pricing) (http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=587).

    Someone suggested I look at something like this Campmor head net at $5.99 (http://www.campmor.com/backpacker-no...head-net.shtml). There's also this Outdoor Research bug hat from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/751956/ou...PVmPaPAw.email).

    We plan to upgrade to better equipment once we get some revenue coming in from honey sales, but for the time being, is it unwise/unsafe to save money and get the Campmor head nets and wear them over a hat?

    It looks to me like the main disadvantage of the Campmor head net or REI bucket hat is that you don't have anything to tuck into your coveralls/jacket, so there's risk of bees getting in.

    Advice welcome.
    Last edited by DougOfTheNile; 02-13-2013 at 03:13 PM. Reason: new stuff has come to light

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    These work well if you have a zipper that goes up to top of the collar. Zip up and stand up the collar and place the elastic around the collar. A hat with a brim around the exterior will keep the netting away from your ears.

    I use them for for minimal inspections, working around the exterior, and feeding, but are marginal during the late season and honey removal. Elastic had better be snug around the neck or bees will find a way in!
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Thanks mgolden. I'm bringing over some polypropolene elastic zip up coveralls as well, so those should tuck in.

    I think I'll also get some velcro adjustable straps, or just tape, to help hold things down. Won't be the prettiest outfit, but I hope it'll work until we get some revenue to upgrade the equipment.

    - D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,379

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    If you have someone local (in Sudan) with some sewing capabilities available, you may be able to make a decent veil for less than you can import them. Check out these veil plans:

    http://www.klamathbeekeepers.org/Bee..._a_budget.html
    Graham
    --- HVAC design via ESP ... Who'd a thunk it ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Thanks Rader. With next Thursday as the departure time, that probably won't happen. Actually I plan to involve a local women's sewing group in the same community as the beekeepers. Provides work for two groups instead of one, cuts down on costs in the long term, and if something needs adjusting, they'll have the materials and experience.

    - D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    I also have a pair of gators my wife sewed up for me that go over my glove cuffs and up to near the elbow. Have a couple of pairs of heavy duty cleaning gloves, think they cost about $6. They are sweaty but bees cannot sting through them and they can be washed easily.

    Gators are white denim sewed into a tube with elastic in either end - upper end is a bit larger in diameter to fit over forearm.

    I tried the no gear thing and didn't like the stings so the net, gloves and gators are easy to put on and work well Have since seen posts where beekeeps have taken 300 plus stings when wearing no gear and a testy hive - risk is not worth it to me.

    Only dawn the pullover bee suite for testy hives, and later in the season but still usually wear the gators and cleaning gloves.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    I have been using a cheap bug net from Wally World that costs about $2.88 and a bug suit that I bought for hunting. I just wear the jacket part which has elastic cuffs and zip up front that goes over the lower part of the head net. I wear a ball cap that keep the net off my face and ears and it has worked so far.

    I plan on ordering a professional jacket this spring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    What do the local beekeepers use there? I know in Kenya they use hollowed out trunks that they hung in trees. Come harvest time they smoke the bees out, cut out the honey comb, and re-hang the hive. They use what they have on hand--mosquito bed nets are good for a veil as they are readily available, often for free, from NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and Ministry of Health/WHO/UN/CDC etc.. folks (the net not being used for it's intended purpose is another issue). Some mosquito netting over a firm rimmed hat and loosely tucked into the shirt would be what I would be thinking for cheap, sustainable, veils.

    Just a note: $5.99 is quite a bit of money for local folks there so I would expect the stuff to wear out and never be replaced. Even w/ revenue coming in they will find a way to not need it (or get some well meaning NGOs to give them new stuff). Quite resourceful folks if left to it.

    From what I remember, the african honey bees were nothing like what I expected RE: africanized "killer bees". Think the africanized hybrid is much more aggressive than the african stock. However, I wasn't a beekeeper until after I returned here so didn't pay as much attention as I wish I had. Work wise I was focused on insect borne diseases. Being in the South Sudan watch out for Kala Azar--the sand fly vector like the Acacia/Balantes woodlands there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Duvall, WA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    That sounds wicked cool Doug. I would love to be involved in a project like that someday. So far all I've done is given a Kiva loan to a Beekeeper. If your project is ongoing and I can do anything to help please feel free to PM me!

    -Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    I very shocked the keepers of the Tulle have not chimed in!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    When I first started beekeeping all I had to use was one of those bug nets. I used it previously just for turkey hunting. Worked fine until I bought a sho'nuff bee veil. -js

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Ya'll have some really great feedback. Right now most of the beekeeping is done in a very rudimentary way. We're down in the "Green Belt" area in the southernmost state near Uganda, so there's ample forest, wild plants, etc. The bees seem pretty tame, at least with my limited time near the hives looking at the plants and bees. The people mostly use hollow bark hives. They disperse the bees with burning grass, collect it in whatever buckets or bowls they have, and then decant through cloths into gas cans and plastic water bottles. Not much in the way of equipment, because everything is 2x as expensive in South Sudan as in Uganda or Kenya, and even there it's fairly expensive.

    I'm hoping the polypropylene coveralls, nitrile gloves and bucket-hat bug net, plus duct tape, will work for the time being.

    The immediate plan is to acquire some actual smokers and hive tools (brush, scraper, etc), start them building more top bar hives (they have lots of local wood available: teak, mahogany, eucalyptus, etc.), and get them clean seal-able, stack-able buckets. I'm bringing paint strainers, and we'll use the stacked bucket with holes in the bottom as a strainer for the first batches.

    Our website with the story, contact information, 501(c)3 Paypal contribution option, etc. should be going live. We'll want as much scrutiny and feedback as possible.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,459

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Quote Originally Posted by NasalSponge View Post
    I very shocked the keepers of the Tulle have not chimed in!!
    We don't accept just anyone into "the Order". We're only looking for "a few good beekeepers". Background checks, interviews, the list goes on. The Tulle is indestructible though. Here is a true story from within the past week. My helmet and veil blew off the back of my truck (yes brothers of the Tulle I am guilty of gross negligence) onto a busy highway where it spent the night on the center line. I discovered it the next morning on the way back out to the bee yard. It had not been hit by a single tire or even been hauled into a local pawn shop in the hopes of a $5 payday for someone. It was none the worse for wear....so I wore it. "There folks is yer sign"
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    [QUOTE=DougOfTheNile;896168]

    I'm hoping the polypropylene coveralls, nitrile gloves and bucket-hat bug net, plus duct tape, will work for the time being.

    The immediate plan is to acquire some actual smokers and hive tools (brush, scraper, etc), start them building more top bar hives (they have lots of local wood available: teak, mahogany, eucalyptus, etc.), and get them clean seal-able, stack-able buckets. I'm bringing paint strainers, and we'll use the stacked bucket with holes in the bottom as a strainer for the first batches.

    My time in Africa taught me that you will find some very creative people. You show them what is needed and then ask them to find a way to make it. You may be pleasantly surprised about the outcome. that maybe better than and outsider binging in outside things they can not produce or purchase.
    calvin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Doug, this is interesting that you are out there doing this and helping these folks. Thank you.

    How about this idea? Pool the resources of your group and have 5 people share 1 good quality veil that they purchase as a group. So if you have 50 people in the group you have 10 veils. Just make sure that they buy a good quality veil that will last a long time and hold up to a lot of use. As the industry grows, someone will see an opportunity in the increased demand for bee veils and start specializing in manufacturing them.

    The idea is to teach people to specialize in certain job skills that they can do in the most efficient manner possible. Some will be manufacturers of lumber, some will build hive bodies and related equipment, some will manage the bees, some will own and operate an extracting/packing operation, some will wholesale honey, some will retail it, and so forth. As the industry grows, prices and demand will fluctuate for those goods and services as people compete with each other to provide those goods and services.

    Help the group develop a business plan all the way from the supply side to the consumer side. In my opinion, helping them with business planning is just as critical as teaching them about how to manage bees, produce honey, produce beeswax, produce pollen, pollinate crops, etcetera.

    If you are the only one in the area with extensive knowledge of beekeeping you might need to develop that business plan for them as you study their economy and then present it to the group, work with them on ideas about how to refine it, and then implement it all the way from developing the network to financing the venture.

    Once people in that economy have more disposable income that is required above and beyond their needs then they can afford to be less efficient with how they utilize that income and then they can start to act like us hobby beeks who spend thousands of dollars creating a little bit of honey. But is sure tastes good!

    Keep us updated on how your mission is progressing!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Calvin and RichardsonTX, thank you that is good advice. That is precisely what we are planning to do.

    I do not expect my "quick start" bee suits to last forever. We have to get to the revenue generating stage first. The commercial partner will purchase a small amount of honey and that money can be used for better equipment. The polypropylene/bug hat/etc. should be just enough until that payment and in the meantime I am raising more for equipment and training through our 501(c)3 (Southsudanhoney.com, going live soon).

    As with any startup, if we can get through this first year, we'll have a revenue stream and some improved skills.

    - Doug

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Doug,

    Where are you at in Sudan?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    RichardsonTX,

    South Sudan, the part that became its own country in 2011. Down in a place called Kajo Keji.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Doug, good luck in S.S. I understand things are not very stable at the moment. What is taking you there?
    Calvin

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Calvin,

    There are areas along the North-South border, which are part of the north but want to break away, where rebels and Sudanese armed forces are skirmishing and civilians are suffering from the violence. Within South Sudan there are violent incidents between different ethnic groups (South Sudan has many different tribes: Dinka, Nuer, Murle, Bari, etc. - fascinating stuff). Where we are, way down south along the border with Uganda, is an area called Kajo Keji. It's primarily an agricultural area and so does not suffer from cattle raids or the current North-South violence.

    My father and I have been going over there since 2009, looking for ways to use trade and business to help the people set up sustainable enterprises and lessen their dependence on foreign aid. The roads are bad and infrastructure is fairly sparse in the rural areas, so it's been hard finding something to start with that was feasible to work with, and something that could interest commercial partners. The beekeepers there suggested honey and the more we looked into it, the better that looked. So here we are.

    - D
    Last edited by DougOfTheNile; 02-17-2013 at 10:41 PM.

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