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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Madisonville,TN
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    207

    Default How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    I have been watch fat man bee videos on you tube for the past few weeks, and am left wondering: how does he do it? How does he go without even wearing a veil, and not get the first sting? And he is not the only one, video after video of people going through hives wearing no gear. I just watched a video of a guy and girl wearing shorts and t shirts checking a top bar (nothing against top bars, I've got four myself), anyway, they walked up to the hive, put their hands on it and said, I kid you not, "hello bees, how are you today?" Then they checked the hive bees flying everywhere, and never got the first sting. So today, I thought I would try it, walked up and said hello to the bees, after taking off the cover, got two stings on the hand. Maybe I did it wrong. Are some people really just born with a gift for handling bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,712

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    > walked up and said hello to the bees ...
    > Maybe I did it wrong.

    Are your bees Italians?

    You need to say "Buon giorno", or "Ciao a tutti"
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,872

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    It depends on the bees, the hive strength, the flows, the weather, the time of year, the hive stores, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Australia
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    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    It's mid winter here in Oz, but I just paid mine a visit, I do wear a veil, but it's a home brew hat with some mozzy/fly netting around it and is more for my confidence than protection. I don't wear gloves (never have), I wore a long sleeved polo shirt today, but in summer it's a light tee-shirt. I have two TBH and will start two Lang's in spring. No stings and more often than not none buzz me either.

    Do I have the calmest bees ever? No, when I set up the first of these TBH I collected 37 strings in that one DAY. Now I guess they like me?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
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    397

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    type of bees plays a factor. Knowing when to smoke, how much to smoke, and when not to smoke is vital as well. Not using strong deodorant's, not smelling like livestock, or smelling like your pets play a major role also.

    Not messing with them more than you have to while in the hive. Not getting into them to often.

    I personally have noticed more aggressive behavior when hives were located in heavy shade but that might just be my bees.

    I keep my 100 plus hives with just a veil, t-shirt and crocs 99% of the time. I still use my bee suit when needed. Its a tool no shame in using it.

    I have been stung at least 15 times this year. Part of the trade.

    Some days they will hit you through the suit, some days you could work them buck naked. That's the way my bees are.

    And these are a colony of females...... who knows what they'll do next!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
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    169

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    What Ray said.

    Plus, there are some very gentle bees out there, Often, a. i. was used to develop them. Think..................queen breeders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    East S.F. Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    I keep my 100 plus hives with just a veil, t-shirt and crocs 99% of the time....
    So, the other 1% of the time you're using pants too?

    Made me think of an old line my friend's father used to say:
    "I got up this morning and it looked so good out, I decided to leave it out."

  8. #8
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    Jun 2013
    Location
    Duval, Florida
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    8

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt903 View Post
    I have been watch fat man bee videos on you tube for the past few weeks, and am left wondering: how does he do it? How does he go without even wearing a veil, and not get the first sting? And he is not the only one, video after video of people going through hives wearing no gear
    .
    I don't agree with Fat Bee Man in this case. He and others give a false sense of security to new beeks in their Youtube learning videos when they don't wear protection (Veil etc...)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,149

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    I agree with that. A good shop teacher sets a good example to his students by using eye and hearing protection. What you do in the privacy of your own garage or bee yard is your business, but as the old saying goes it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,284

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    As per FBM's videos, I see your point. But, to answer the question posed in this Thread's Title, answers have been given. Working w/out veils and/or gloves can be done and is quite enjoyable at the right time under the right conditions.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    East Hampton, CT, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    I wear a bee jacket most of the time. A long-time beekeeper friend usually wears a veil, but says "if you ever see me wearing the full bee suit, just keep on driving".

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,272

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    as sqkcrk said tie right time and conditions are the key. I'd like to see fat bee man shake packages without his suit.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
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    95

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Based on what I've seen and experienced. It's 100% genetic/pheromone influenced trait. I keep mine in the front yard. I can't allow anything other than gentle.

    Size of the hive only makes a difference if they are mean to begin with. three frames of bees with the same queen mother will act just like 30 frames of bees with the same queen being the mother. Sometimes even with workers that are not her offspring. If I have to use smoke and a veil. I kill the queen. If I have to use smoke. I'll kill them this fall and combine with the nicer ones.

    No tellin how long this selection process will take. I've got about 30ish queens mated out here this year and only three of them can be worked without smoke. I have one stacked three mediums high and one four. The four high one is well packed with bees. Not an issue. I can tear the whole hive down and spend as much time as I want in there. I shook about two pounds of bees out of it to help out other hives newly mated the other day. Cracked the box open 24 hours later. Still nice.

    Test the bees at the entrance first. Wave your hand slightly in front. If they ignore you. Crack the lid. If a few run out and bump your hand or bounce off of you then you may want a veil. Or reaching for the frames if you notice them come out and bounce on you hands you might want gloves unless you can tolerate getting stung. The ones of mine that hit my hands when reaching for frames. The use of smoke usually stops that behavior enough to work them without protection of any kind. If not I kill the queen and shake them out forcing them to beg into a nicer hive.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    There is a video of fbm shaking down a package without PPE (personal protective equipment) on youtube.. We are first year beeks and we wear our veils... Probably always will.. Aside from that i just tuck whatever shirt im wearing into whatever shorts im wearing and depending on the weather decide sandels or shoes... Opened a top the other day to check food level on a newer package and a bee rammed the little women.. Now she claims she is scared of bees all over again because "i didnt do anything to it and it came at me anyway, thats not defensive aggression thats offensive" ... In her defense the next day she threw on her veil and pulled frames in a tshirt for an inspection because "had work to do" ... The point is, how much PPE you wear is how comfortable you are.. There are no tricks, there are no secrets... Pay attention to the weather, temperature, and such.. Gather as much info as you can and wear what you need to feel comfortable and calm.. Ive only been stung 3 times in my young beekeeping career, once on the ass, once in front of my ear, and once behind said ear... Ive decided its not the end of the world so i just protect my face and head

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lake County, IL
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    In the 10 years I have kept bees the best advice I got from an old beekeeper was to get rid of your beesuit. At first I would get stung alot but after awhile when you learn to read the bees and how to work with them stings are alot less common. I only own a veil now and the last time I used that was when I did a cut out. I was down in GA last week learning from Fatbeeman, his bees are like any other bees. Remember bees smell fear.....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,477

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    I usually have 4 to 10 hives next to each other in any given location and I can get away with no protection with most of them buy there's usually one or two in each yard that just absolutely insist I wear a veil.

    I also notice that when I wear my "reader" sunglasses to find eggs they tend to try to sting around my eyes. Anyone else notice that?
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,918

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Part of it may be that some people have little to no reaction to bee stings, even multiple stings.

    I wish my body worked like that. Yeah I know, take more stings, build immunity yada, yada, yada. That approach simply dont work for me.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Upperco, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    My ranting did go a bit off topic...sorry

    When we were in the ER after my wife had a blood infection from a sting, I asked the Doctor about the theory of more stings/less treatment helping to reduce the impact of bee venom. As if a person develops more tolerance, assuming they don't die in the process of repeated stings. He said it sounded silly to him as he looked at the red line running up my wifes arm.

    Bees can smell fear? Really. Did that come out of a University somewhere?


    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    Part of it may be that some people have little to no reaction to bee stings, even multiple stings.

    I wish my body worked like that. Yeah I know, take more stings, build immunity yada, yada, yada. That approach simply dont work for me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,284

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    Part of it may be that some people have little to no reaction to bee stings, even multiple stings.

    I wish my body worked like that. Yeah I know, take more stings, build immunity yada, yada, yada. That approach simply dont work for me.
    Mind over matter Nabber. Get stung, scrape it off, keep on working. What kind of reaction do you exhibit? Jump around like you dropped an anvil on your toe?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: How do some guys go without any kind of protective gear what so ever?

    Quote Originally Posted by WilliesHoneyCo View Post
    In the 10 years I have kept bees the best advice I got from an old beekeeper was to get rid of your beesuit. At first I would get stung alot but after awhile when you learn to read the bees and how to work with them stings are alot less common. I only own a veil now and the last time I used that was when I did a cut out. I was down in GA last week learning from Fatbeeman, his bees are like any other bees. Remember bees smell fear.....
    Really....they can smell fear?

    I would always advise wearing a veil. During honey flows the bees are very easy to work. Slow and deliberate works best. As the season progresses, I find the need to wear gloves in the fall when they get super defensive preparing for winter.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

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