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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    Starting another year of cutouts (2 scheduled already and there was snow on the ground yesterday!). I'm insured, experienced, and I charge. I kept the prices lower in the past because I just wanted the bees and the experience, but now that I'm doing queen rearing, and have a lot of other things going on, my base price is around $600 depending on the job. (At some point, I may bump it up even higher if I really don't want to do as much work.)

    My question is about the suit. I wear boots,gloves to the elbows (sometimes going through 3 pairs), and full coveralls with a zippered veil. Something about taking a sawzall to cut the wood lathe tends to cause the bees to be more aggressive than most....


    I've been stung through the suit on a rare occasion - elbow, or right at the thigh. Not a big deal. However, the suit's getting a bit worn now. I have a jacket for the initial prep work and cleanup, and wear the full suit for the real action. I would like to get another. Most suits are for strolling through the bee yard, or doing commercial work. Not leaning against a ladder or on your stomach, or pulling comb out of the ceiling or a soffit.

    Any recommendations? The one I have came from Mann Lake, and I've been reasonably happy with it. I had to make some minor modifications so I could switch out veils (one is better for overhead work than others).

    I've considered the EZ breeze, but don't think it would be good. Many times I'm squeezing bees against myself in between tools or tight places (have had to take out 2 hives in kneewalls) Also, my next suit must have zippers at the legs. I always wear boots (once had the elastic pull up my jeans and got stung through the socks in just a normal bee yard experience.

    So, giving all that, and that sometimes I soak the suit in sweat, what would you recommend? I had thought about also having my wife add chaps type covers to the front of the legs, and at the elbows.

    Rob.
    www.mongrelbees.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    I have an EZ breeze jacket and it is durable. Front zipper could be better, but if the zipper could voice an opinion it would say the fat guy just needs to drop a few pounds. The jacket gets hot if there is no breeze, but it is virtually sting proof. Does pick up dirt easy.

    If I've got to do a lot of crawling around I just use the cheap white coveralls, otherwise I wear shorts or jeans.

    Next jacket I buy will be the ultra breeze. It looks well worth the extra money.

    Don

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    I have a ultra breeze that I have been using for three year and very happy with it. Do 5>;7 cut outs a year. I bought before all of the copy cat ones came out. So I can't speak on them.
    David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,744

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    I know I am going to switch to an ultra breeze when mine is worn out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    As a follow up. 90% of the time a jacket is fine. Thinking of a knockoff suit for the other 10% of the time. It is no fun doing a cut out on your belly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cameron, Texas, USA
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    My pigeon mountain knock-off ultra breeze has been outstanding, but no zippered legs. Me personally I tape my suit to boot with duct tape when I will be around crawling bees problem solved.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    I got a pigeon mtn suit last year and can't say enough about how poorly designed it is. I am not tall 5'7"and cant lift my arms much above horizontal before the sleeves pull way back. I sew for a living and I have never seen a worse arm attachment pattern. I am planning to cut it appart and resew it so I can lift my arms up for cutouts and swarms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    I always wore double-fronted Carhartt pants (for the lean-on-ladder stings and general durability) and a Golden Breeze jacket. Heat management is a big deal with our brutal sun here; I would worry about bibs for range of motion and for heat. I worry about heat stroke a lot more than a few stings... for the jobs the jacket pulls up I had a small bungee-style elastic that went from front hem between the legs to back hem. With the heavy pants it never was, er, uncomfortable. For jobs where you end up reaching in to tight spots yes you'll snag the material with a ventilated suit on nails etc; for those I sucked it up and used a canvas bee jacket and hat/veil. If temperature is an issue and you can't use the ventilated suit there are vests made for EMTs/firefighters etc. that keep your core cool. They're not cheap but doing a cutout 18' up on a wall that's reading 153F in the sun you start to think about it . Did you say you go through three pair of gloves?! I still have in rotation the first pair of gauntleted gloves I started doing cutouts with.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    On a hot day, you can't beat the Ultra Breeze suit. Even on a warm day... I also have a Golden Bee Products suit, which is as good. They seem to have moved the zipper to the size on the new ones, though, so I might prefer the Ultra Breeze.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida, USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Recommendations for a suit for regular cutouts?

    Seconding Ben's mention of vented suits and snags... I tend to snag my vented jacket a lot more than my non-vented jacket or full suit. Also, regular canvas is easy to chuck in the washer. Starch it and it will be more sting-proof, I bet...I've thought about it but haven't tried it.

    I keep my vented jacket for regular inspections, and my non-vented gear for helping with removals. I'd rather not rip a huge hole in my comfy, vented suit while crawling around underneath a trailer...that's what my full suit is for, although I've had to sew gauntlets for the legs and arms because it rides up.

    I like the idea of adding elbow and knee patches too...
    I started out as an opportunistic beekeeper. Now the bees keep me...

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