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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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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
 

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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).
 

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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:eek: Every hive has there own demeanor, but as that changes & more hives in a yard, bee aware:D
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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. :D
 

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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.
 
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