How to inspect with less protective gear
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default How to inspect with less protective gear

    I don't know if I just have very calm bees but I have mostly inspected without any gear other that nitrile gloves for the past couple of years. I will occasionally throw on a veil when it is cloudy. They seem a bit antsy when the sun isn't shining.

    What I started doing which seems to work is that I smoke myself head to toe before I open the hives. I will also give myself a smoke recharge as I work. Maybe this works because the bees can no longer smell me but it is working well. It is a pleasure to not have to wear the extra protection especially during summer heat.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I also smoke myself head to toe. I do wear a viel and smoke it also before putting it on. I wear short sleeves, shorts and crocs. I back off if bees jump out at me. I use lots of smoke top and bottom of hives.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    How many hives do you in your yards?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,219

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    barhopper
    Good point, 9 in a row for me.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    4 probably increasing to 12 this year. I'll update as I increase the number.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,649

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I can take a hit anywhere cept my face so a veil is always on. Everything else is optional to the point of shirt and shorts.
    Rod

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Some bees are calm some are antsy. Some days are calming some are agravating. Some people are calming some are not. When doing a yard tour you can tell who's going to get stung if they don't suit up. I keep a veil around in case I need to finish up after they are done with visitors for the day. We run 2-50 per yard, depending on age of yard (often started with just 2), time of season, size of colonies, and purpose of yard (fewer big production colonies or more little nucs).

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,468

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Quote Originally Posted by jonsl View Post
    I don't know if I just have very calm bees but I have mostly inspected without any gear other that nitrile gloves for the past couple of years. I will occasionally throw on a veil when it is cloudy. They seem a bit antsy when the sun isn't shining. It is a pleasure to not have to wear the extra protection especially during summer heat.
    I am going to go with you have calm bees, until they are not Every hive has there own demeanor, but as that changes & more hives in a yard, bee aware
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    I am going to go with you have calm bees, until they are not Every hive has there own demeanor, but as that changes & more hives in a yard, bee aware
    Calm bees definitely but they do come from different sources. Some from local nucs and some from Georgia packages.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,447

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I can get away with it too early in the season but always wear at least a veil as the season wears on. I have noticed a single sting on the arm when the stinger is pulled off the bee it will cause a reaction from a lot of other bees. Bee quick to smoke the spot. I once stumbled with a deep hive body full of bees. Basically sat on my butt with the box on top of me. I was glad to be suited up. That would be my worry that something unexpected could start a war.
    Frank

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Just to make it clear that I am not crazy. I always have a veil by my side even if I'm not going to wear it.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    623

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    The reason I asked for the number is because when I work my bigger yards I have to save the testiest hive for last. Usually if you upset one you will see a difference in all of them. I know if I have multiples to check and I piss off one of the early ones the rest will let me know.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Used to always work my bees in shorts and flip flops.

    Now I always use my jacket with a veil. Seems like the bees I have now get mighty testy and it only took a few times of having a hive turn on me to learn my lesson.

    They still figure out ways to get to me but its not usually too bad.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,468

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Quote Originally Posted by jonsl View Post
    Just to make it clear that I am not crazy. I always have a veil by my side even if I'm not going to wear it.
    Isn’t that kind of like, I’ll bring my smoker but don’t light it until I need it?
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,735

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I just thank the queen producer that did such a good job selecting gentle bees, haven't had any protection on for years. Now i make my own queens from them.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Isn’t that kind of like, I’ll bring my smoker but don’t light it until I need it?
    Oh no, always light the smoker. You would be surprised how fast I can get a veil on and rarely get stung!

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,219

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I have dropped frames and flipped inter covers full of bees to the ground and got lucky that the bees affected did not go crazy. I have had a few hives at a few times that I just closed up and walked away for a while. I don't like getting stung at all and try to not have it happen.

    What I have found though, is most stings do not affect me much like when I first started. I always get some. When I started, I got blisters and patches as big as my hand. Many times now, I can't remember where I just got stung.

    I have never got more then 4 or five stings at one time and many times get none. I find comfort that even if I got a couple hundred stings, it is probably discomfort and not death that I would be looking at. So weighing the discomfort of working in hot weather almost every time to the discomfort of having one time go bad, I figure to take the chance.

    I have closed up the hives a little early when in derths and open hives get robbing going and have not spent all day doing splits and such. My splitting is usually one at a time and not that disruptive.

    I think reading the bees and dressing right for what is going on is a smart proposition. I don't do much cause I don't own any good bee clothing and figure if my bees are mean, I will walk away and not worry about it even if the hive dies. So far, any defensiveness I have seen is usually a one off and short term.

    I figure my stuff is just hobby and not a job. I would still try and not over heat if it was a job but would respond with clothing based on the bees if the job needed done. I never have anything that needs done cause I am hobby.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps I am still scared of bees.
    zone 5b

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Somerset, NJ
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    481

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    Only got stung 3 times last year so I usually don't have an issue. I have found if I work the bees like I'm doing Tai Chi then they stay calm.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,329

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I always wear some kind of PPE when I am working in the apiary. Sometimes it is as minimal as just a pair of safety glasses, I do not do well with stings near my eyes but other stings are not so bad. I usually wear at least a veil if I'm going to be manipulating frames. If I'm making a split, shaking out frames, doing a mite wash, or setting up a cell starter/builder then I'm full PPE with 7 mil nitrile gloves, but just so you know, I've got not qualms about being commando under the bee suit on a hot day.
    Zone 6B

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: How to inspect with less protective gear

    I almost always wear a full suit with smoker, and feel no need to do less. Life is more pleasant when both I and the bees are calm.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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