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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    I have some bees that will convince you that an Ultrabreeze suit is a better investment.
    Not likely. I'm not looking for an investment, since I don't really have spare money to invest. And even if I did, it wouldn't be my investment choice. Up until now I've been wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans and was sweating like a pig every summer. Never really got stung through the clothes. That's not to say that it couldn't happen - it just never did. And my bees are pretty aggressive. So to me this is an improvement. Even if I do get stung once in a while through the mesh, it will still be worth it to not to wear a bulky hot suit. If I was so concerned about never getting stung, I would not get into beekeeping in the first place.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Can anybody offer experience with the ultrabreeze suits VS the Mann Lake, Dadant and Blue Sky versions?? are they the same suit or not? they look alike in the photos but the price is 1/2. usally get what you pay for.
    Nick

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    >Can anybody offer experience with the ultrabreeze suits VS the Mann Lake, Dadant and Blue Sky versions?? are they the same suit or not?

    They are not the same suit as the Ultra Breeze but the others all appear to be the same suit as each other. I have not used the others, but have seen them at bee events. The Ultra Breeze has heavy duty brass zippers and heavy duty construction that will last for years. The others are light plastic zippers and lighter fabric and are not built to last, but are cheaper.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ravenna, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >The others are light plastic zippers and lighter fabric and are not built to last, but are cheaper.
    Actually, we use high quality USA made YKK Vislon/Rugged Nylon Zippers on our BEEKool™ suits which do not get clogged with wax and propolis. We use the same quality zippers found on our BBWear suits that are made in the UK. They are designed to outperform the brass zippers, which can easily snag and whose tracks can wear out and pull open at all the wrong times.

    Further, our zippers are covered by a flap, secured with Velcro tabs, which further protect the zipper track from honey, propolis and wax.

    We have quality stitching on our suits have tested extremely well in all respects of heavy use and wear. We know this because some of the largest beekeeping operations in the south and west are coming back for bulk orders after testing for a season. All of our materials are bright white and UV-resistant and machine-washable.

    We continue to improve our materials and design and we are very proud of their quality and affordable price. Quality doesn't have to cost a lot, but it does pay.

    You will not be disappointed. Feedback has been stellar. We have 100%, no questions asked, return policy on new suits should you disagree--send it back. Shipping to you is FREE, so we invite you to upgrade and BEEKool™
    Blue Sky Bee Supply
    Quality Bee Supplies, Bees and Containers!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    >They are designed to outperform the brass zippers, which can easily snag and whose tracks can wear out and pull open at all the wrong times.

    I have not had any of those problems. The ones on both the Ultra-Breeze and the Golden Bee Products suits are heavy duty brass, not those little ones like you might see on a light jacket, but very wide and very heavy duty. I don't know if I've seen the Blue Sky model, but I've seen Dadant, Mann Lake and Jesters. I'm not saying they are going to fall apart the first day, but if you look at them beside an Ultra Breeze they are not in the same ballpark. Not that there is something wrong with them, they are just not the same heavy duty construction. It's like the difference between a pair of denim work pants next to a pair of light slacks. They are just not the same thickness and durability. And they are priced accordingly as they should be.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ravenna, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    We don't doubt that Ultrabreeze uses a high quality zipper. Just to be clear, the feedback we have had on poor-performing metal zippers has been on imported ventilated suits with metal zippers from other vendors.
    Blue Sky Bee Supply
    Quality Bee Supplies, Bees and Containers!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I spent another three hours this weekend working with my bees. No stings again. I'm pretty sure at this point I'm going to be ok with this one. This time I used a straw hat with it and visibility through the veil really improved.
    Last edited by Bee-52; 03-24-2014 at 07:24 AM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Just a note....the Navy uses pure bees wax for lube on the brass zippers of all survival gear. Comes in stick form.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Just a follow up. I did get stung for the first time yesterday wearing this bug suit. That's one sting during three inspections each of which lasted a couple hours on average. Not too bad. The sting that I got was on my arm. The bee got caught in the folds of the mesh fabric. When I unfolded the bee it flew away and there where no stinger stuck in the skin. So my guess is that the stinger couldn't quite reach to fully penetrate skin. The sting sight never really got swollen either.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    The only issue I have with my suit purchased from Pigeon Mountain is that the veil screen material has worn out after only two years. Not worn through but the black material is wearing off leaving the screen white and difficult to see through. I then bought one for my daughter that seems to have a different veil and it does to have the same issue. At least eh screen material is different. I can use her suit and see eggs and larva no problem. they are invisible through my veil.

    I want to buy a new veil for my jacket but before I do I want to know what the difference is and be assured I am getting the better one.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I wore my BeeKool jacket for the first time yesterday. The temp was in the low 80's. I was very happy with the jacket, I didn;t break a sweat. I got no stings. My one colony that was REALLY protective last year did not get too upset when I reversed the three deeps.

    My only concern was that after zipping up I could still see a small open patch wher the veil zippers meet. I may have missed a flap or something.

    Tom

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    ... issue I have with my suit purchased from Pigeon Mountain...
    I have vented full suit from PM and I am not really happy with this - after two seasons fabric start deteriorating creating the holes. Not mechanical damage - the holes just appeared in random places it was $160. When I will have more duck-tape than actual fabric, I have to choose better suit, not PM. Sorry PM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    My Pigeon Mountain zipper gave out yesterday. It is a cheap metal zipper that I have kept lubed with beeswax. I also am watching my viel mesh go from black to white. Ohh yes the fabric they use for the pockets does self distrust as mentioned before. One year life span for a $160 suit is rather lousy in my opinion.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    I have a Golden Bee Products suit that has had hard usage since 2002. The only rip in it is from a nail I got caught on. It still works great. I have an UltraBreeze Jacket that also gets hard usage and I've had it for quite a while (I don't remember when I got it but it was one of the first ones made, and I'm pretty sure it's 10 years old at least) and it is still in great shape with no rips and the zippers still work great. I also have an Ultra Breeze suit, but I keep waiting for the Golden Bee Products suit to wear out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    Judging by the comments and my experience with the bug mesh suit so far I can summarize that in the category of "functionality vs. cost" it beats all commercially available suits. In the category "bee keeper fashion" there seem to be heavy personal bias toward a brand name... as well as in the category of product endorsement.

    Since my last update I put in 3 or 4 more hours with the mesh suit. Nor additional stings to report. Inspections included some intensive hive manipulations and a shook swarm (which they really didn't like). So at this point I don't sweat about trusting this gear (pun intended )

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,955

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    Ryan, I also have the Pigeon Mountain version of a ventilated suit. I have another ventilated suit I think I got from Brushy Mountain. I have not liked the zipper on the PM suit from the start. ti has been stiff hard to get started and in fact is a zipper for European or women's clothing. Read that as backwards for a man.

    I also have the veil turning white problems I solved that by taking a permanent marker one of the very wide once and coloring it black again. I still do not like the screen material. But at least it is now black.

    As for the brush mountain version. as far as I can tell the zipper is just fine. but the veil is trash trash trash. They use a screen material that is so stiff it cracks if it gets folded. the veil now has holes all over it and it is not even a year old. It does not fade to white. also the sipper they use for the veil is about 6 inches longer than it needs to be. this additional material hanging off the end makes it nearly impossible to get the veil closed properly. the last two days we spent with the bees my daughter has had bees get in the veil at that point.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suit

    A follow-up on my Bluesky BeeKool jacket. I wore it last night to do my first invasive inspection of hives. The temp was 80 degrees. I found multiple queen cells in my hottest hive. This colony accounted for 90%+ of the stings I got last years. It had been so long since I had seperated the bottom two deeps I damaged every queen they had made when tipping the boxes up. So, I couldn't just make sure each split had a good queen cell. I took the time to make sure each split had some eggs. I had a cloud of bees flying around me. They weren't the worst I have seen them. But, the end result was not one sting!

    I may not be invinceable with that jacket on but, it sure provides good protection.

    Tom

    PS I didn't break a sweat either!

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Yucca Valley CA USA
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    I've got the Eco Keeper full ventilated suit and it is just amazing.

    It's from the unfortunately named Pestmall.

    Looks to me like it's a poor man's Ultrabreeze --- I have now gone out into tornadoes of upset girls and not one sting. Same premise, three layers of mesh. Cost me 137.00 and shipping.

    Absolutely would recommend.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    High Springs, FL
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    When the heat and mosquitoes fire up here in Florida I find that protecting against mosquitoes is a much higher priority than worrying about my girls.

    That mosquito top/bottom are great OVER a pair of pants and shirt, even skitters will get you through that without any layers. I inspect my top bars in shorts and flops in the winter, but no chance you'll catch me naked like that in skitter season.

    During the heat I soak a tank top in the fridge, then put it on under my Golden Bee Products jacket.
    I love my Golden Bee Jacket and the fact it's sewn up by Susie in Louisiana instead of by slaves in china is an added bonus!

    http://www.goldenbeeproducts.com/

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Hillsborough County, FL, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Ultimate hot weather bee suite

    Mosquitoes don't bother me where I am during the day. And the whole point of this suit is to stay cool (well... cooler) so layering doesn't really makes much sense to me. I've put many more hours with this suit on and there is only one more sting to report. They got me in the shoulder and again that was a very shallow sting which I immediately forgot about. The other day I had a big huge mess of angry bees flying everywhere while removing honey suppers while at the same time an angry swarm came out from one of the hives (don't ask me why it was angry, I've been nothing but good to them, but they were not in the mood). I had to leave everything and go catch that swarm. They were all over me that evening but all I've got is that one sting. So, all in all, not too bad.

    The only other thing to report would be that I melted a hole in the veil area with my smoker. That's not really a fault of the suit per se, and could've happen to any other suit as well. It is easy enough to patch though. A small patch of nylon mesh with a little silicone should fix it just fine.

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