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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have partnered up with an 84 year young, 3rd generation beek, and he drove up when I was looking for a lighter in the truck,,,,I asked him if he had a light and he said "lets go look at the bees" so I did,,,,,didn't ask any questions--no veil no gloves no smoker--
I just put my head down and went to work,,:) to my amazement the bees didn't notice my precarious situation and didnt burn me to the ground...lol....I did put on a veil and gloves later as I was sealing up the hives again with duct tape to keep in as much heat as possible...
Got stung twice--one in the wrist where a bee got under the cuff of my sweat shirt and once when I was putting on the inner cover with a bare hand in contact with a bee....
A family member drove by when we were working on the hives and said we were both covered with bees...go figure...I don't know how--but I feel like im 10 feet tall---lol--By the way, I did have Kriptonite in my pocket for insurance...haha....I guess you never know untill you step out....:)

==McBee7==
 

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I know of a man in GA called the Fat Bee Man. He does this same thing and teaches people to do the same thing with bees. He's about 70 if i remeber correctly. Google him and you'll find his videos on youtube. Interesting to watch and his methods have merrit. However, there will always be a HOT hive somewhere along the line and those methods don't always work. lol..
 

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Don Kuchenmeister has been a long time member here. His member name is fat/beeman.
 

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I always wonder about that.

And jp beeman, fellow Louisiana boy... Does lots of removals this way and he has a massive black beard. How do they not get tangled and upset in the beard?!
 

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I wonder if they smoke theirself before they begin or something. I know that if you smoke your gloves the bees don't mess with them due to the smell. Maybe that's the trick. lol.. We need JP to answer up here.
 

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I never wear a veil or gloves. Inspected all 110 hives in the last couple days and it was hot so I wore a tank top and flip flops. I like to wear shorts but my knees want me to wear pants. My husband still wears a veil but I am working on him. I find having a smoker with me is important just in case they get a little angry. Don't like to use to much smoke,I can hear them coughing and I feel bad. I do admit I seem to have pretty happy bees,but I work other peeps bees without a veil on. I don't have bees in my face often and when I do I just have to get them before they get me. The main reason I do it is I like to see and that veil sucks. I think they ignore me as long as I am calm. Being able to grab a hive tool and a smoker and go look at your beeps is awesome.
 

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With many colonies you can get by w/o a smoker or protective gear -- and on a fine day in summer, probably with most hives.

But some hives'll light you up if you try that.

In summer i often work bees with a t shirt, shorts, and no veil, but usually have a lit smoker handy just in case.

I also don't bang stuff around, avoid crushing bees, move fuidly and not too fast, but I don't leave a hive open for along time either -- just long enough to do what needs to be done.

(Finding the queen seldm needs to be done. If there are eggs or tiny brood, the queen was laying within the last few days, so you know she was present and functional then and have no reason to think she's not now.)
 

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With many colonies you can get by w/o a smoker or protective gear -- and on a fine day in summer, probably with most hives.

But some hives'll light you up if you try that.

In summer i often work bees with a t shirt, shorts, and no veil, but usually have a lit smoker handy just in case.

I also don't bang stuff around, avoid crushing bees, move fuidly and not too fast, but I don't leave a hive open for along time either -- just long enough to do what needs to be done.

(Finding the queen seldm needs to be done. If there are eggs or tiny brood, the queen was laying within the last few days, so you know she was present and functional then and have no reason to think she's not now.)


That's the way I work my hives. I'm in long enough to check in and make sure everything is right, see if I need to tend to some urgent matter, and then back out.
 

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Don't try it when it's too windy, esp if it's cloudy, and never when there is a thunderstorm forecast withing the next 24-36 hours.

I've never been in a hive when a thunder storm was on the way that wasn't unusually defensive.

There are only 2 kinds of beeks who work hives with no veil...those who haven't gotten stung enough that they wish they had, and those who will get stung enough to wish they had...

The trick is to learn from the lesson when you do, so that you know when it is and isn't appropriate.
 

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Conditions have to be right in order to go unprotected. I used to quickly inspect the hives with no pretective equipment until one of my hives became nasty. Why they became that way, I have no idea. I moved them to a far off land by themselves... and all was well in the apiary. I think the bees sense confidence (or fear) in a person.
 

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Nice job McBee. No fear.

I started off with full suit and gloves but that first mid-July day in the 90s makes you think about taking chances. I have since moved to almost exclusively to veil only, tee-shirt, shorts, no gloves. I don't mind a sting now and then, but not on the face, it's not worth it. I still use a full jacket and gloves when installing packages as they seem rather po'd during install. As the other posters have suggested, you'll learn what days you want to stay out of the hive due to incoming inclement weather.
 

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People pay a lot of money for Botox. I was trying not to get stung in the face before my sons wedding and opened my builder colony and took 3 hits before I could react. Looked later and viola! wrinkles gone, but not enough swelling to tell I got stung.
New business idea?
 

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I don't like being stung in the face and head, so I picked up a number of the $4 mosquito nets.

It's quick and easy to do your top shirt button up, roll up the collar and pull the net on.

Works for almost all situations, but you may get a hot hive at times and you can always retreat and put on the bee suit!
 

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I had a hive last year that would let me do a full inspection with no protective clothing or smoker. Two new hives this year and neither one will play nice.
 

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When I installed my pkgs, first timer here, i had suit and veil, no gloves, they didn't bother me a bit. Went out three days later eschewed the veil, it has more of a nuisance than it was worth, so suit only, they didn't bother me. From now on Im gonna just go out there in light colors, forget the suit altogether.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks everyone for your comments and experiences, I'm sure I wont do it without all the gear very often, but it just happened and I'm still alive..lol..
Yes Adrian the 12 packages are doing fine. Had one arrive with a dead queen so it got combined with another to make a 6 pound package...:) also had one that the queen is just gone after the install..Gave them a frame of brood to keep them in place and hope to have a couple of queens here by the end of week from Georgia...They are all taking syrup and today is the first day that
we have natural pollen coming in---PTL---The tag alders are coming on strong and it was over 60 here yesterday and today, what a relief after several days below 32 deg with new packages of bees...
Thanks again all for your comments :)

==McBee7==
 
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