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Thread: Protective gear

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fort Davis Texas USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Protective gear

    I did a search and looked through the Equipment forum but did not see a discussion on suits/veils. Is there a thread somewhere?

    I don't much like the pullover type jacket that came with my bees, need a zipper up jacket.
    I want a full suit for my wife, if I can minimize her exposure I think she is more likely to be involved.

    Dadant has pages of them; but as a newb I find it difficult to discern the differences.
    Willing to sacrifice being hot, to reduce stings; I am fine with not being macho about it.
    $ is not a huge concern here, they don't look outlandish in pricing.

    Dadant Suits - 2+ pages of them:
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=34_64

    Dadant Jackets 2 pages
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=34_99

    How to decide? How to tell the difference? What features are must have/nice/unnecessary?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Florence, Texas, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Protective gear

    This spring I bought a vented suit from Mann Lake and it's been a life-saver in the Texas heat. I wear shorts and a tank top under it and the breeze blows right through the mesh, but the bees can't sting through it. It comes in full suit or jacket, both with attached veils. And you get free shipping. The sizing on the web site is a bit off. I started with a medium based on the suggestion for my height and the knees were closer to my ankles and the cuffs would drag the floor, so I gave it to my husband and bought a small for me. I'm 5'7", 120 lbs and the small is a good fit, but could easily fit up to 150 lbs I'd guess. My husband is 5'10", 180 lbs and has a medium. They feel a bit bulky at first, but the ventilation is worth it. It has good strong pockets on the front as well as tool pockets on the back.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...31.html#VS-300

    I love the Fort Davis area. My family and I are going there for Christmas again this year. I bet your bees enjoy all that fragrant beebrush that grows in the mountains. I planted several in my own bee yard last fall. It's just starting to bloom now.

    We were hiking a few summers ago across the mountains and almost got caught up in a swarm. I heard them coming before we saw them and we took shelter behind a boulder and watched the black cloud of bees fly off across the valley. It was cool to see.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fort Davis Texas USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Protective gear

    hfb, those look like great suits - thanks.
    PM me before you come to town, maybe you'll have time to drop by and discuss bees!
    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Florence, Texas, USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Protective gear

    I'll do that, thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Protective gear

    If I lived in a hot climate, I think I'd get of those ventilated suits. But I'm happy up here in NY in an all-cotton, zip-front jacket from Betterbee; A model they no longer, alas, sell.

    (I agree about the pull-over style: occasionally I have to do an emergency jacket removal to escape a bee I've let get inside the veil. Pulling it over my head wouldn't work fast, or smoothly, enough. And it would likely pull off my glasses so then I'd be flailing around blind as well as w/o any dignity.)

    I have a full suit that I wore when I first started, but not at all, recently. In fact, I loaned it to a friend a few months ago and haven't missed it. She tends to wear shorts, capris, or leggings a lot, but I always wear jeans (tucked into socks to avoid ticks) so all I need is upper-body protection. If my hives ever got cranky I would just slip-on a pair of Carhardt bibs and deal with them.

    One very hot day last summer (when I was still tending my bees from a ladder), while wearing my full suit, I got over-heated to the point of heat exhaustion. It was very scarey - even though I grew up near the Equator in South America so I am no stranger to very hot temps.

    Aside from material there are two things I'd pay attention to in selecting a jacket:

    1) a detachable veil so you can machine-wash the jacket by itself. Machine washing a veil with wire supports in it to hold it away from your face would probably severly bend and damage them. I wash the veil/hat from my jacket separately, by hand, and much less often than the jacket. I wash the jacket about once a week during warm weather, so machine-washability, in quite hot water, is also important to me.

    2) Betterbee's newly re-designed jacket (made with poly/cotton fabric - ugh!) has one good feature that I'm going to copy. Instead of elastic around the cuff (which barely lasted through one summer last year) they have added knit cuffs/wristlets like surgical scrubs (or WW II leather bomber jackets). I bought some replacement cuffs at Jo-Anns and plan to sew them on in place of the stretched-out elastic. Right now I'm using rubber bands to hold the sleeves closed; cuffs will be much better!

    The only hesitation I have about the ventilated-style fabrics is whether they are snag-proof and sturdy enough for the long run. If I get a tear in the cotton duck of my jacket I can (and have) just machine-darned the hole. I'm not sure you can do that with the encapsulated-barrier fabrics w/o defeating their technology.

    Enj.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fort Davis Texas USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Protective gear

    great tips, thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Okaloosa Co. FL, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Protective gear

    dave, i got a semi ventilated jacket for 69.95 to 74.00 depending on size from Pigeon Mountain Trading. it works for me. the only thing i found a little off putting was the shipping time. the girl i talked too said 3-4 days and it was 2 weeks to the day. now i ordered over the phone, the website was having issues.

    back to the jacket. it's cooler than most i have used. good feel, weight and the hood zips off so the jacket can be washed. i went with the round hood.

    http://www.pigeonmountaintrading.com...-bee-wear.aspx

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Winder, GA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Protective gear

    Anyone tried the jacket brushy mountain sells? It's the most economical choice I've found but I'm worried it will be to hot in the summer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Protective gear

    Blue Sky has great ventilated suits, and I got one on sale so the price was excellent.

    Go with a ventilated suit....especially if you want someone else involved. Sting resistance is excellent, and they are more comfortable.
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

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