Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...
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  1. #1
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    Default Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    OK as the post says, im trying this year to get away from wearing the full ventilated ultrabreeze bee suit. The suit is excellent dont get me wrong however its still too bloody hot in the middle of summer.
    This will be my 5th year as a beekeeper and whilst i still get stung and still hate getting stung, as my skills at handling the bees has improved the number of stings has gone down. So this year im going to give it a whirl at just wearing a veil.

    So i need some advice. Which is the best veil to get? Square/round/string to tie around my waist ? Brand?
    Im not too worried about the price just whichever one is best.
    I had a jacket veil my first year and a bunch of bees got up under it into my veil and after a ton of stings to the face and running around the back lawn like a crazy person punching myself hysterically in the face i ended up looking like the elephant man so pretty keen not to repeat that effort.

    Any advice appreciated
    Aran

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  3. #2
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    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Pick whatever veil looks good to you. That's a personal choice thing. The most important thing is to have a well running smoker. With cool smoke. 90% of the time I get stung iswhen I'm too lazy or in a hurry to light a smoker.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    I use an oval veil that lays flat and I can tuck in under the seat of the truck. It works with a ball cap which I wear all the time so when I need it I just pop it over my head and it sits there pretty good. I rarely tie the strings. My full suit is only used for real hot hives or putting a hive together after a bear hits it...or at night!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Although you've had a bad experience with a jacket and veil combo, I would think one would be a better transition from a full suit than to just using a stand-alone veil.

    I use my stand-alone veils only for very light work and I find the strings-across-my-chest aspect fidgety and uncomfortable. Perhaps for men it would be different. I have a veiled straw hat which is OK if all I am doing is going down to look at the bees. I have worn the shoulder-area only garment-with-an-attached-veil for short periods and I don't like it much, again perhaps because it comes at an awkward point on a female body.

    A jacket covers your arms, back, and front and allows you to wear a very light, short sleeved shirt (or frequently, in my case, just a tank top) underneath. Considering how filthy my jackets get, they also save my street clothes, even my farm work clothes, from considerable damage. (I'm OK with less-than-perfect removal of propolis stains in my jacket, but not on my shirts.) The best thing I can say about a full suit is that it covers all your clothes. I solved the pants problem by buying a dozen pairs of tan-colored, bee-work-only jeans, which take the brunt. Because of ticks, I need to change pants often, and at least, put a freshly-laundered pair on every morning.

    I have never had bees get up (from the bottom edge) into a jacket, but occasionally I forget to zip the veil closed across the front and the beasts zero in on that vulnerability. But that's my fault, and not the jacket's defect.

    I almost never wear a full suit (of any kind) because I find getting in and out of it to be a needless fuss. I just throw on a jacket and I'm good to go. I wear my jackets so constantly that I frequently forget I have one on, until my husband says, "are you going out to the dinner in your bee jacket?" When I was still teaching a lot, and going around to my students' yards, I just wore it while driving here and there, all day long.

    A good jacket will have a velcro patch at the top center of the front zip closure to cover over the place where the vertical zipper in the jacket's placket and the two horizontal zippers of the veil adjoin. Works perfectly in my experience, except for the aforementioned operator error when I forget to zip it.

    I am glad to hear a mention of how darned hot a ventilated garment can be - I have one, but the days when it's the perfect choice are few and far between. If it's hot. humid and calm, "ventilated" garments are torture. I vastly prefer a medium weight, plain twill fabric, all-cotton, if possible.

    Nancy

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    OK as the post says, im trying this year to get away from wearing the full ventilated ultrabreeze bee suit. The suit is excellent dont get me wrong however its still too bloody hot in the middle of summer.

    Any advice appreciated
    Aran
    there was a thread on beesource years ago about a commercial beek in NY going in the opposite direction you are, he kept the full suit and started removing the clothes under neath the suit, not sure how far he got, but the reports were starting to get very troubling
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    I've not worn a suit in years. Not worn gloves either. I wear jeans and a T-shirt. Most often I don't get any trouble, if I do it's one or two stings from my mishandling. I'm not brave, I simply hate the heat more than the stings. I use veils that tie down, though I remove the string and let it hang. Round or square I've not got a preference. I leave it on the helmet and store it in the bed of my truck on the top of an empty nuc that I store all my gear in. They only last a year ro so for me. The UV breaks down the fabric that cover the point where the mesh and screen join and it starts snagging on my shirt and neck. I don't store it in the truck as I find it starts to make the truck smell like sweat and stale smoke.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Give a mosquito net a try. They cost less than 5$. I use them for most of my beework. Simply do up your top buttom on your long sleeved shirt, stand up the collar and use the mosquito net over a bee helmet, ball cap or any full brimmed(need a somewhat short brim) summer hat. I routinely wear an undershirt, so there is not many vulnerable spots in my upper body.

    I also have a fleece jacket with full length zipper for cooler weather. Zip up the collar and stand it up, and pull mosquito net elastic over the collar.

    I pull on my bee gloves with gaitors that extend up to the elbow. I get next to zero stings in upper body and a few slight hits through denim jeans.

    If bees are real testy, I use a full veiled jacket to prevent the odd bee from finding their way under the elastic of the mosquito net.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    I just last year ditched all but a viel. I very seldom work the bees more then an hour or two at a time. I have not found I am getting stung much more then I some how got stung before. I have not did heavy work like making a bunch of nucs and such. I used to tear my latex gloves and get stung anyway. Most times I am in crocs for shoes. I am not brave and do not like getting stung. I think I average less then 10 stings a year and those are not always when working the hives. I do find myself backing off and standing till things calm down when I have a few bees jump up at me. I am still scared but have not noticed much difference with just a viel. I bought the kind that have a hat and have two rubber band type things that you stick your arms through. Looks kinda like a mexican sombrero.

    I wonder what took me so long, I figure it was cowardice.
    I still might put my stuff on if I ever do a teranov split or something cause the last one of those I did, I got four stings.
    I am usually wearing shorts also.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    I had this one last ten years before the fabric started going and too many smoker ember holes so I bought a new one from ML. Little bit lighter weight fabric, the nice part is the mesh is smaller diameter, easier to see thru.
    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...th-hat-elastic
    Rod

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    there was a thread on beesource years ago about a commercial beek in NY going in the opposite direction you are, he kept the full suit and started removing the clothes under neath the suit, not sure how far he got, but the reports were starting to get very troubling
    lol ive actually done just that...just me undies under the suit and its still bloody hot in the peak of summer.
    The suit literally ends up soaked and stuck to me with sweat.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I just last year ditched all but a viel. I very seldom work the bees more then an hour or two at a time. I have not found I am getting stung much more then I some how got stung before. I have not did heavy work like making a bunch of nucs and such. I used to tear my latex gloves and get stung anyway. Most times I am in crocs for shoes. I am not brave and do not like getting stung. I think I average less then 10 stings a year and those are not always when working the hives. I do find myself backing off and standing till things calm down when I have a few bees jump up at me. I am still scared but have not noticed much difference with just a viel. I bought the kind that have a hat and have two rubber band type things that you stick your arms through. Looks kinda like a mexican sombrero.

    I wonder what took me so long, I figure it was cowardice.
    I still might put my stuff on if I ever do a teranov split or something cause the last one of those I did, I got four stings.
    I am usually wearing shorts also.
    Good luck
    gww
    This more or less sums up how i feel. I have to be honest im afraid of the stings. I freaking hate them. Its not even the pain its something more than that...there is real fear for me but the heat makes the summer work unbearable. Im happy to say i get less stings than i used to at the beginning of my hobby beekeeping but still they happen and i dont like it!

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    I had this one last ten years before the fabric started going and too many smoker ember holes so I bought a new one from ML. Little bit lighter weight fabric, the nice part is the mesh is smaller diameter, easier to see thru.
    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/shop-all...th-hat-elastic
    thanks Rod ill take a look!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Although you've had a bad experience with a jacket and veil combo, I would think one would be a better transition from a full suit than to just using a stand-alone veil.

    I use my stand-alone veils only for very light work and I find the strings-across-my-chest aspect fidgety and uncomfortable. Perhaps for men it would be different. I have a veiled straw hat which is OK if all I am doing is going down to look at the bees. I have worn the shoulder-area only garment-with-an-attached-veil for short periods and I don't like it much, again perhaps because it comes at an awkward point on a female body.

    A jacket covers your arms, back, and front and allows you to wear a very light, short sleeved shirt (or frequently, in my case, just a tank top) underneath. Considering how filthy my jackets get, they also save my street clothes, even my farm work clothes, from considerable damage. (I'm OK with less-than-perfect removal of propolis stains in my jacket, but not on my shirts.) The best thing I can say about a full suit is that it covers all your clothes. I solved the pants problem by buying a dozen pairs of tan-colored, bee-work-only jeans, which take the brunt. Because of ticks, I need to change pants often, and at least, put a freshly-laundered pair on every morning.

    I have never had bees get up (from the bottom edge) into a jacket, but occasionally I forget to zip the veil closed across the front and the beasts zero in on that vulnerability. But that's my fault, and not the jacket's defect.

    I almost never wear a full suit (of any kind) because I find getting in and out of it to be a needless fuss. I just throw on a jacket and I'm good to go. I wear my jackets so constantly that I frequently forget I have one on, until my husband says, "are you going out to the dinner in your bee jacket?" When I was still teaching a lot, and going around to my students' yards, I just wore it while driving here and there, all day long.

    A good jacket will have a velcro patch at the top center of the front zip closure to cover over the place where the vertical zipper in the jacket's placket and the two horizontal zippers of the veil adjoin. Works perfectly in my experience, except for the aforementioned operator error when I forget to zip it.

    I am glad to hear a mention of how darned hot a ventilated garment can be - I have one, but the days when it's the perfect choice are few and far between. If it's hot. humid and calm, "ventilated" garments are torture. I vastly prefer a medium weight, plain twill fabric, all-cotton, if possible.

    Nancy
    I do have an old jacket but the elastic in the bottom has gone (hence how the bees go in during the elephant man episode) and the veil has perished . I guess i should just buy a new one.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Although you've had a bad experience with a jacket and veil combo, I would think one would be a better transition from a full suit than to just using a stand-alone veil.

    I use my stand-alone veils only for very light work and I find the strings-across-my-chest aspect fidgety and uncomfortable. Perhaps for men it would be different. I have a veiled straw hat which is OK if all I am doing is going down to look at the bees. I have worn the shoulder-area only garment-with-an-attached-veil for short periods and I don't like it much, again perhaps because it comes at an awkward point on a female body.

    A jacket covers your arms, back, and front and allows you to wear a very light, short sleeved shirt (or frequently, in my case, just a tank top) underneath. Considering how filthy my jackets get, they also save my street clothes, even my farm work clothes, from considerable damage. (I'm OK with less-than-perfect removal of propolis stains in my jacket, but not on my shirts.) The best thing I can say about a full suit is that it covers all your clothes. I solved the pants problem by buying a dozen pairs of tan-colored, bee-work-only jeans, which take the brunt. Because of ticks, I need to change pants often, and at least, put a freshly-laundered pair on every morning.

    I have never had bees get up (from the bottom edge) into a jacket, but occasionally I forget to zip the veil closed across the front and the beasts zero in on that vulnerability. But that's my fault, and not the jacket's defect.

    I almost never wear a full suit (of any kind) because I find getting in and out of it to be a needless fuss. I just throw on a jacket and I'm good to go. I wear my jackets so constantly that I frequently forget I have one on, until my husband says, "are you going out to the dinner in your bee jacket?" When I was still teaching a lot, and going around to my students' yards, I just wore it while driving here and there, all day long.

    A good jacket will have a velcro patch at the top center of the front zip closure to cover over the place where the vertical zipper in the jacket's placket and the two horizontal zippers of the veil adjoin. Works perfectly in my experience, except for the aforementioned operator error when I forget to zip it.

    I am glad to hear a mention of how darned hot a ventilated garment can be - I have one, but the days when it's the perfect choice are few and far between. If it's hot. humid and calm, "ventilated" garments are torture. I vastly prefer a medium weight, plain twill fabric, all-cotton, if possible.

    Nancy
    I do have an old jacket but the elastic in the bottom has gone (hence how the bees go in during the elephant man episode) and the veil has perished . I guess i should just buy a new one.

  16. #15

    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Just so weíre all on the same page, many of the large scale commercial beekeepers Iíve worked with suit up. I donít recall ever working with any who went without gloves. These are good beekeepers. Granted, they are working loads of hives at any given time and often hundreds each day. Iíve worked a single yard with about twenty hives with one of the finest commercial beekeepers I know and he stepped into his suit and added gloves.
    When I work my bees this time of year I put on a long sleeve shirt, veil and gloves. By mid April I will enter the first hives with a tshirt and veilÖ.sans gloves. Yet back in the truck thereís always a long sleeved shirt and gloves. If the bees are grumpy, I'll put them on. Of courseÖ.I donít claim to be the gold standard.
    My only point is that there is, in my opinion, no shame in suiting up to whatever level makes you feel comfortable and secure.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...


  18. #17
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    For all the macho bravado that comes with working the bees sans suite and veil, it just seems more prudent to use some protection. If nothing else, it provides the confidence to work the hive properly and safely, both for the beekeeper and the bees. How much protection is a matter of personal choice. I wear a jacket, veil, and gloves but still get stung occasionally, usually on my legs after they crawl up inside my pants.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    For all the macho bravado that comes with working the bees sans suite and veil, it just seems more prudent to use some protection. If nothing else, it provides the confidence to work the hive properly and safely, both for the beekeeper and the bees. How much protection is a matter of personal choice. I wear a jacket, veil, and gloves but still get stung occasionally, usually on my legs after they crawl up inside my pants.
    I dont like the heat issue but I find it more relaxing overall and I can work a fair bit faster pace if I am suited up. Having bees crawl up the pant legs is a non starter! Always high top boots and jeans down over them.

    I stumbled with a deep of bees last summer and went down with it on top of me but still in my hands. I would not want to totally dump a box of bees on top of me without being suited up. A few stings is one thing but several hundreds is not something to sniff at.
    Frank

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I dont like the heat issue but I find it more relaxing overall and I can work a fair bit faster pace if I am suited up. Having bees crawl up the pant legs is a non starter! Always high top boots and jeans down over them.

    I stumbled with a deep of bees last summer and went down with it on top of me but still in my hands. I would not want to totally dump a box of bees on top of me without being suited up. A few stings is one thing but several hundreds is not something to sniff at.
    yeah i gotta admit i feel way safer with the full suit on but man the heat is crazy

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Uh oh im gonna try ditch the full bee suit...

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    yeah i gotta admit i feel way safer with the full suit on but man the heat is crazy
    when do you work the bees, I have mine in the shade in the afternoon??
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

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