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I am very afraid of bees and somewhat allergic to them, but I really want to go out and enjoy them with the guys and I have a question about bee suits. I'm looking for one that is sting proof. If I'm going to go through the expense of buying a suit, I want one that they can't get in and can't sting through other wise what's the point? And if I get one in with me I'll probably have a regular panic attack. :eek:

Anyway, I saw a bee suit called an UltraBreeze suit on Honeymoon Apiaries website. I saw it got good reviews from a beekeeper on another site, but I was wondering, has anyone used this suit? If so, how would you rate it for keeping bees out? Being sting proof? And durability? I read that because of the mesh material that the stingers won't stick in it and so it doesn't kill the bees and so therefore doesn't release the pheromones that alert all the others which I thought was a big plus.

Or is there another suit that's better? Price really doesn't bother me too much as long as I'm not going to have to replace it every year. I'd like it to last at least a few years. I'm not in the bee yard much. I'm mostly interested in queen rearing. So, it wouldn't get real heavy use.

Anyway, any and all suggestions from what you've tried. What you've liked and haven't liked and why would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

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I don't know of any company that says their suit is "stingproof", If a single sting would be a real problem then you should not play with bees. But lets see what the others say....
 

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No suit is "sting proof". If you're going to be around bees, you're going to get stung eventually and, if you're that afraid of getting stung, don't go in the bee yard. Don't mean to sound harsh but that's just the nature of the bee business.
 

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What do you call "somewhat alergic"?

The is as sting proof that you will find unless you have a "tin man" suit I have one and haven`t used it much yet but I can tell you that it is the coolest (weather wize) suit I have used :applause:
 

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I'm not trying to be snarky to the OP, I'm just curious about this myself. When the OP says they are "somewhat allergic", is there such a thing? I thought one is either allergic or not? Are there mild allergies and what would that look like?

honeybeehoney,

I've always been afraid of bees myself (which I'm learning to get over just by being with my bees) and have anxieties about being stung. I did see a beesuit that was used by an entomology student at the university and it was supposedly "sting proof". She was deathly allergic to bees so she was required to use it. I wanted to get my hands on that suit but honestly, after being in my full body suit working with my bees in the hot sun I would never buy a suit like that. If I wore a bee proof suit I would no doubt pass out from heat exhaustion in the first 10 minutes. I've removed my suit after being 10 minutes with my bees and my face was beet red and I was sopping wet from sweat. When the more experienced beekeepers on here told me that you want a suit that breaths, they weren't kidding. At first I didn't listen and was so paranoid I layered up my clothing to prevent a sting and it nearly killed me because it got so hot. I now go with shorts and a t-shirt (inside the suit) and depending on the weather, I still bake. If you find a bee proof suit it most likely won't breath at all so you'd only be able to use it if you have very cool temps and no sun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
By somewhat allergic I mean, no, I'm not going to die from it. But it does swell up and hurt for days on end with me and not just the sting, but like if I get stung on the arm, my whole arm or leg or whatever will hurt for days on end. My son has been working the bees with his dad and at first the stings didn't bother him at all, now though it's getting so that when he gets stung he's just like me. He got stung on his leg and couldn't hardly walk on that leg for 2 weeks. Just greater reaction than some, but not as much as others and when I'm watching the guys get stung 4, 8, 15 times in a single session? No thanks.
 

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What do you call "somewhat allergic"?
A person allergic to bee stings most likely will be carrying an epi-pen because a sting will send them into anaphylactic shock. If a bee sting is a life-threatening event, hanging around an apiary probably isn't a good idea.

Last summer at church a woman was stung on her hand and panicked, saying she was "deathly allergic" to bees. Immediately I said I'd call 911, but she said all she needed was some ice to keep the swelling down. I tried to explain that was a very normal reaction, not "allergic", but to her, swelling and itching made her "allergic".

That said, I have an Ultrabreeze and like it a lot. It's well made and should last for many years.

I read that because of the mesh material that the stingers won't stick in it and so it doesn't kill the bees and so therefore doesn't release the pheromones
Bees can release the alarm pheromone without stinging you.
 

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I'm honestly just looking for a review on suits. What brand, what you liked, disliked and how likely you were to get stung through it.
 

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A person allergic to bee stings most likely will be carrying an epi-pen because a sting will send them into anaphylactic shock. If a bee sting is a life-threatening event, hanging around an apiary probably isn't a good idea.

Last summer at church a woman was stung on her hand and panicked, saying she was "deathly allergic" to bees. Immediately I said I'd call 911, but she said all she needed was some ice to keep the swelling down. I tried to explain that was a very normal reaction, not "allergic", but to her, swelling and itching made her "allergic".

That said, I have an Ultrabreeze and like it a lot. It's well made and should last for many years.


Bees can release the alarm pheromone without stinging you.
Thanks for the review. I've heard some suits just don't hold up, so one that's going to last is a big plus.
 

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I just got a cheaper full body suit from Dadant and feel very confident in it. I dropped a frame a couple inches which had the bees trying to sting my eyes out but I still felt safe inside the suit and no stings anywhere. ;)

I'm still new at this, and am quite nervous around bees so I can sympathize hehe. It always blows my mind watching these guys on YouTube wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt doing full hive inspections.
 

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It will all come with your comfort level. Your stated 'nervousness' is probably picked up on by the bees.

I use a veil. Always. It wouldn't be pretty if they got into my ears, nose, mouth and out of reaction dropped a full frame of bees. That is the ONLY reason I wear a veil.

Collecting swarms, I'll have my veil on long enough to see if they are tempermental. 90% of the time I will pull my veil off and work after the first shake.

Good luck in your adventures. Hopefully as your comfort level goes up... your sting counts go down.

FWIW I get stung and nothing happens until about 12 hours later. I swell up like a balloon and it itches like crazy. Stays that way for 4-5 days then goes down. Its a normal reaction as far as I can tell. I guess 'fall bees' are a little more potent. We'll see!
 

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I'm mostly interested in queen rearing. So, it wouldn't get real heavy use.
Queen rearing was when I got really comfortable not using gloves. I found it to be impossible to deal with cells, queens, etc. with them.

As far as the suit, I think that you need to make sure that you have the zip on hood type. The helmet types can move and let bees in. My suit doesn't have elastic arms or legs so if you get one like that you will find bees inside your helmet a few times a year. Wear tough clothing under the suit, so that the stinger would have to go through two strong layers and you won't need to worry unless you sit on one.

I don't use my suit much anymore. I have both the tie on veil and a jacket. The jacket is faster to put on than the veil so I use that almost all of the time. It has strong elastic wrist and waist bands and a zip on hood.
 

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I have been stung through just about everything you can imagine. Full cotton suits, poly-cotton blends, double layers of blue-jeans, canvas & leather gloves. Nothing is sting-proof in my experiences short of armor and even with that there is always the preverbal "*****" in your armor. That said I would feel very confident any of the better made suits marketed by the big outfits. Also there are a couple newer multi-layered fabric suits like the Ultrabreeze that use a more scientific approach in their multi-layered design vs. just using thicker material. They may work better, as time will tell. I used a Man-lake suit actually Jacket for years. The heavier Honey-maker version and felt pretty confident in that although I was stung through it at least twice. I would recommend their suit as far as protection. And definitely go with the attached "fencing" type veil vs. the tradition netting vail and hat. Much better protection from bee access and neck stings. The trick is keeping the fabric away from your skin. Where it is stretched tight against your body is where they will sting you. So a large loose fitting outer garment will afford you the best protection. I think I outgrew the Man-lake jacket and after it got tighter was when I was stung. I ordered a Sherriff Rustler jacket a size larger. Heard good things about them.

The best anti-stinging precautions you can take are to avoid those situations that have the greatest potential to get you stung in the first place. My advice is to avoid the beeyard when the bees are going to be in a stinging mood! Your husband can advise you if that's the case when he first opens the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the input! I appreciate it. Honestly, I don't want to be scared of them and i'm not when they're just up here around my flowers, but out in the yard with them, especially when they're feeling hostile and they're all in the air, I won't go out there at all. But since this is something that my husband and my best friend are pretty heavy into, I feel sort of left out. Just want to be a part of the action, but avoiding panic attacks would be good! LOL

Thanks again for the advice!
 

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Have you considered trying a bit of apitherapy for your panic attacks? Also great for arthritis if you have any.... I worry a lot less about geting stung since I started stinging myself, but maybe I'm just crazy.
 

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#1 Ultrabreeze!! I love mine and being in KS you will be glad you did come summertime.:thumbsup:

#2 Most fear is dispelled by knowledge....read lots of bee books and spend lots of time on this forum reading.:D
 

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I got stung last evening thru a long sleve t shirt...the only benefit that I can think of is that the stinger came out immediately..as in, I didn't have to scrape the stinger bulb out...it didn't come thru the shirt, just the point!:eek:

no swelling and I can hardly see it, but if i rub it, I can tell exactly where she got me!
 
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