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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    Default Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    Recently I've seen on one of the blogs a bug net suit and it's use as a bee suit. Normally I just use a veil, jeans and a long sleeve shirt, but even that gets too hot here in Florida during the summer. And I don't think I have it in me to brave shorts while working with my bees. So I decided to give it a try. I got a Coghlan's Bug Jacket of amazon for $13 and pants for $9. All it is - is a nylon mesh jacket and pants. I didn't have high expectations for that price but was pleasantly surprised by pretty good quality. Jacket's waist, cuffs and pant's cuffs all have elastic drawstrings that are easy to adjust and they don't slide once adjusted. The veil got a zipper underneath and allows you to flip it back like a hood if you want to take a break or drink something without removing the jacket. Both the jacket and pants are really easy to put on. The pants seem to be a bit large, but you want them to be loose and not to cling to your skin.

    81b9Hor9KTL._SL1500_.jpg71vlVkyQVRL._SL1500_.jpg

    The other day I got a chance to finally test it with my bees. It is not too terribly hot here yet, around 75F but it is hot enough to start sweating when you inspect multiple hives. I didn't break sweat throughout the whole inspection. I had my shorts and a t-shirt underneath and it felt like that's all I was wearing. It doesn't restrict your movements at all. By the end of the inspection the bees had enough of me and tried to let me know that their patience was wearing thin. I could see several of them crawling on my arms trying to sting me but having no luck. I got stung only once on my hand which was not covered, but that's just because I refuse to use gloves. Another thing that I noticed is that their stingers don't get stuck in the mesh and after a while they just give up, instead of getting stingers stuck and provoke more bees into stinging.

    So, definitely a keeper. I'm gonna get a couple more for my kids too. They love to help me with the bees. The only negative thing I can think of is the fact that there are no pockets. To me it is not a big deal. You can use a belt with a hive tool holster or something else to that effect... or just do the usual, put it on the edge of the hive, accidentally bump it into the grass and then continue to support hive tool companies and keep them in business.

    Oh.. and you would need to get yourself a hat with a nice brim to keep the net off your neck and face. I didn't have one, so I used a baseball cap, which worked ok, but a hat would work better.
    Last edited by Bee-52; 03-19-2014 at 03:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    A great trick I heard about is finding a fishing vest and carrying around a cooler full of cold packs. The cold packs fit into the pockets of the vest and you wear it under your bee suit.

    Frosty all day. it was tapping out at 105+ this summer in ND, so I think I'm going to try it this year .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Thanks for posting, and providing comments.

    I am not sure I understand something. Do the pants leg bottoms and jacket sleeves have the drawstrings, or are they elastic?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    You can also do a portable AC unit and pipe it to your suit Kind of like that:
    cosmonauts.jpg

    This bug suit is cheap and you don't have to haul around 5 lbs of gel packs.

    BTW, forgot to mention - both the jacket and pants pack into a small ziploc bag and fit in your pocket. Can you pack your bee suit in your pocket? I guess the answer depends on the size of the pockets, which got to be pretty big in the first place if you can afford an actual bee suit.
    Last edited by Bee-52; 03-19-2014 at 03:06 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,426

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    It is a neat looking concept but being so thin don't the bees simply sting through it if they have the intention to do so. The ventilated suit I use is cool..but bulky compared to what you are trying...however it is more than one layer and thicker than the length of a stinger
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by philip.devos View Post
    Thanks for posting, and providing comments.

    I am not sure I understand something. Do the pants leg bottoms and jacket sleeves have the drawstrings, or are they elastic?
    Both. Pants and jacket sleeves and waist have elastic draw strings with a little plastic slide lock. When you put it on for the first time - pull elastic draw strings tight and slide the lock to fix it in that position. Subsequent adjustments are not necessary.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    It is a neat looking concept but being so thin don't the bees simply sting through it if they have the intention to do so.
    That's what I thought too the first time I saw it, but I've been reading that though it would seem like it, it actually never happens. So I figured I would try and see. A cheap experiment. My experience confirms that you can not get stung through it. I suppose if you pull it tight against your skin on purpose - then may be, but then you have only yourself to blame for that. Under normal conditions, there is always enough space between your skin and the surface of the suit, so that a bee can't sting through it. Even though it is touching your skin in multiple places, it is not stretched against it uniformly.
    Last edited by Bee-52; 03-19-2014 at 03:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I use the Coghlan's Mosquito Head net from Walmart @ $2,50. I will look for the jacket, a lot cooler. Thank You

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

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I like the head nets for something that fits in my pocket and can provide a little protection. I have the a shirt like that and on a hot day it's like no protection at all. It's stuck to you with sweat and the bees sting right through it. If you want the ultimate hot weather suit that's a full Ultra Breeze with nothing on under it but a pair of shorts...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have the a shirt like that and on a hot day it's like no protection at all.
    Our experiences seem to be different. Just wondering - do you have a "shirt like that" or exactly the same jacket? With this one I don't even see how it can get stuck to your skin because it is pretty loose and bunched up. You can even see it on the picture. Like with a lot of things the trick is in the detail.
    Last edited by Bee-52; 03-20-2014 at 09:53 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
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    479

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I use these.
    You can usually purchase them in a sale for about 5 / $8
    If you are lucky they last about a year if used most days.

    M9914-500x500.jpg

    http://www.thorne.co.uk/hardware-clo...roduct_id=2025

    They are really light to work in and keep the bees away from your face.
    They would be too light if you have aggressive bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    I use these.
    You can usually purchase them in a sale for about 5 / $8
    I like the price. You'd be lucky to find a veil by itself in the US for cheaper than $20. However this would still be too hot in Florida. The idea is to be in your shorts and a t-shirt. (and flip-flops if you are a true Floridian)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    They are really comfortable compared to heavy duty protective bee suits. The material is a similar thickness to that of a handkerchief.
    I only have to contend with the Irish climate rather than the Floridian.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    > do you have a "shirt like that" or exactly the same jacket?

    Looks like exactly the same material as the picture, but it's a "bug baffler" brand.

    > With this one I don't even see how it can get stuck to your skin because it is pretty loose and bunched up.

    Apparently you've never worn it while soaked in sweat... then it's stuck to you...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lake Worth, Florida, USA
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    144

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Think I'm going to get those pants! I wear loose scrub pants now. They work really well but if I could wear these, I would be really happy. And, yes, I wear flip flops. Only got stung on the toe once and that was because I was wearing black socks with my flip flops. I deserved it for that fashion faux pas but my feet were cold.

    Bee-52, how is your vision through the mesh? I see it's brown, not black.

  16. #16
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    Mar 2014
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    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Flip flops with black socks - now that's a true Floridian

    The vision is OK. Not great but ok. My mesh is black but if the sun hits it at just right angle and can impede your line of sight slightly. I also attribute it to the fact that I was wearing it with a baseball cap and it was kind of bunched up, rather than nice and tight if you wear it with a straw hat. I just ordered myself a straw hat.

    @Michael Bush - I understand that material would be exactly the same - it is nylon mesh. But the way it is put together, in my opinion, plays a big role. If it is really tight in the first place, I can see how it might become a problem. It is the same if you would try to wear girl jeans and then would wonder: " These are jeans and they are made of the same material. How come then these are so uncomfortable?" So, the thing to take away from this - Mr. Bush, don't wear girl jeans under any circumstances! Sorry, couldn't help myself... I'm digressing

    You are right, I haven't worn it yet soaked in sweat. That's the whole point of wearing it... so you wouldn't be. I can try jumping in the pool while wearing it before working with my bees next time and then report my findings. But I'm sure there will be somebody here who would say that chemical composition of sweat is different and it is not a valid test

    I'm not trying to convince anybody here to use it. I'm just saying that it can be a viable alternative to a bulky and hot regular bee suits. I'm just presenting information, what to do with it is your business.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    > If it is really tight in the first place

    Of course that would make it bad and makes any bee protection of less value. I never wear any that is tight. I always buy it two sizes too big.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,416

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I have some bees that will convince you that an Ultrabreeze suit is a better investment. You can wear it with nothing underneath and still not get stung, and it won't flatten out and stick to you after sweating it out. A cotton coverall suit works great until you sweat it out, a white shirt works great until you sweat it out, almost any covering works great until it sticks your skin, then look out.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
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    52

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    > "bug baffler" brand.
    Bug baffler is actually the original one I read about, the one that people swore by. It is just three times as expensive as this one. The only difference is that it has elastic calfs and waist instead of the elastic draw string. Judging by the picture it should be pretty loose as well. Another point of interest - Coghlan's Bug Jacket got pretty high rating at Amazon and you can read reviews of people who took it to places like Argentina and slept outside on a boat on a river and never got bitten or stung. Now most people who bought it there use it as a mosquito protection but I think it is still a valid comparison. If you sleep outside and don't get bitten by mosquitoes chances are you are not going to get stung by bees either. I'm not saying that your experience is not valid. Simply pointing out that majority of people are pretty happy with these shirts and pants.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I have about 20 of the bug baffler veils and hand them out when people go through my yard. I have two of the shirts and one of the pants. I find them useful, just no where near sting proof. Their main advantage is how small and light and cheap they are compared to an Ultra Breeze. But the Ultra Breeze is essentially sting proof. I've only been stung wearing it when bees crawled up my pant leg or I had my gloves off...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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