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Back to the original question:

There's nothing special about Erika, many of us work bees without protection. She's a salesperson.

Outside of ABH country, the need to wear protection isn't such a big deal.

IDK what sort of bees folks are working where they need to wear full armor.
From MrSpock in 2010 on this forum:
"
A fellow beek in a bind needed to give up his hive, and I agreed to take it.

He Warned me that it was quite "hot". He told me he got his last queen from "Jack", who's bees are also quite "hot".

Arriving at his house, he was in bee suit, with smoker in hand, screwing and hammering boards and straps to the side of the hive for transport. For some reason, the inner cover had been removed. Hive was dropped a few times in the process of loading.

After delivering the (roaring) hive to the apiary, I let it sit for 2 days to let it settle before attending to it.

As part of my practice, I am committed to wearing neither suit, nor smoking, and instead using my ears, eyes, sugar spray, and a soft touch. I was unsure how this would go with this "hot" hive, but needed to try, for the sake of my own learning.

To make a long story short, I was able pry and unscrew the wood and straps off of the hive, remove the telescoping cover, and replace the inner cover. The hive was incredible strong, it was nerve-wracking work, and took about an hour while a cloud of beez buzzed around me.

I only received one sting, on my thumb, from a bee I squeezed while picking up my screwgun.

The significant lesson I learned is this: The other beek's fear of his hive caused him to treat his hive in a way that contributed to the hive's bad mood.

As a newbeek, I feel this was a bit of a light-bulb moment. "

 

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I am not much in touch with the popular culture as I do not do much tv time. My new grand daughterinlaw shows up and immediately wants to go out and touch bees and have them walk on her hands! So I guess I can see a lot of children raised in a rubber room society learning some valuable lessons about mother nature! I will try to get her what she wants and hope it goes well.
 

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I have some colonies that are easy to work without protection. They are small, with barely enough bees to cover the brood patch in the colony. They have food in a feeder, and really no bees to spare for guard duty, and even less to spare for sting duty which kills the bee. I made a few of these up earlier this week, took a box of bees with some brood from a big strong hive, set them on a new bottom then placed a ripe cell to emerge in that box and start a new colony. After a day, all the foragers that were in these boxes have migrated back to the original stand location, and the young house bees left are gentle as can be.

But for a whole different experience in beekeeping, go open the box that was left in the original location. It's now a box overflowing with bees, very little feed, a queen, and very little brood, but a huge population of foraging bees. You dont have to open the box before they attack, you just have to walk in front of it.

I have seen some of the youtube channels where folks are proud of working bees with no protection, and I do see a common thread in those channels. You never see a big strong bee colony that's going to fill 4 boxes with honey over a 2 week flow. What you see is small weak colonies that will need a lot of careful tending and feeding to keep alive.

I wear gloves most of the time, not because of stings, rather it's because of propolis. Over times our frames have acquired a lot of sticky propolis, so if I go thru frames bare handed, then when I find a queen and want to put her in a cage, I have sticky fingers that make the job difficult. So I wear gloves, and when I want to catch and cage a queen, the right glove comes off. Now I can catch a queen with fingers that are clean and not sticky with propolis.
 

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IDK what sort of bees folks are working where they need to wear full armor.
It has a calming effect...on me. Every now and then, an accident happens- I drop something, bump something or whatever and bees get miffed. I've been stung before, and I don't like it so I take precautions to avoid it. Wearing a suit, or at least a jacket, makes it easier to work more effectively.

The commercial guy who taught/teaches me wears at least a jacket, and most of his employees wear full suits. Why borrow trouble? Sometimes, stuff happens. He says "Everything may be just fine, until it isn't. Don't take chances just to be a 'show-off'."

I've had an angry hive go full bonkers on me, unprotected. It isn't fun. All it takes is a dropped hive tool, or frame, or a moosefly bites you and and you slap some bees along with the fly. Or you squish a bunch of bees re-assembling an extremely populous hive.

This year, the suit serves as protection from the huge tick population as well. the ticks are really nasty this year and I have been having severe reactions from the bites. I don't know if the enhanced reactions are due to a change in the ticks themselves, or a change in me (Covid vaccination comes to mind as a possible culprit but as yet I have no real data to support that hypothesis). I have had three bites this year that left huge welts after the ticks were removed. Two days after the last one, which I removed from my chest, it looked like I had been shot (yes, I have been shot on several occasions and I know what it looks like).

I prefer to be protected in the event that something unexpected happens.
 

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I learned at a young age not to throw baseball sized rocks at a hollow tree hive. I think it all depends on how many hives you have, and how much time you have, how much patience and calm you are, and especially the temperament of each hive. I've been in bee yards of 60 hives and no protection, Inspections were slow and gentle. Never saw even so much as a pesky guard bee.

I've been with 3 hives and wore a veil and sometimes a full suit because one hive was riled up. I got stung for the first time in 6 years wearing a full bee suit, on the wrist because I rolled a bee against my wrist, and not wearing gloves. I use a little smoke. Smoking your hands and clothes seems to help. I know full well that if I get up to dozens of hives stings will increase, but it isn't much of a bother.
Move slow and pay attention, don't hit the hive with something like a smoker, nothing to cause a vibration kind of knock on the hive. It's nice to have gentle bees.

If I had Russians I might soak some garlic cloves in vodka and take a few nips. Might keep the guards out of your face? Or maybe cause the whole hive to turn out?
 

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The general rule is (or should be), if it goes viral in the beekeeping world, it's probably misleading. It's best to assume it's misleading because these viral inventions and videos are rarely, if ever, true reflections of what beekeeping is really like for most people. The Texas Beeworks videos certainly don't reflect the reality of most beekeepers I know.
 

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I am just a newbee so I can't offer any wisdom but I can say I don't like to get stung. I've seen some beekeepers who don't use much if any protection who seem to get stung every time they work their hives and don't seem to care and act like that's just part of keeping bees. If that's how you feel more power to you. Personally I would be fine if I never got stung. However as a newbee trying to learn, there is an implication from some that to be comfortable with your bees, or get over a fear of bees you have to work your hives in shorts and flip flops. If you can't do that you are scared, or clumsy or too rough in handling your bees. I think that is wrong. To each their own, but I wear a hat and sunscreen when working outside, and I wear a bee suit and gloves when I work the bees and still feel like I can grow into a pretty decent beekeeper.
 

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There is a lot to consider when working bees.
weather, time of day, time of year, is there a flow or dearth, bees temperment, etc.

I let the bees tell me what I need to wear, I have done plenty of cut outs wearing just a tee shirt and jeans, and others you better be ready.

Nobody likes to get stung, not even the beekeeper, but if you keep bees it is going to happen.
 

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"Everything may be just fine, until it isn't. Don't take chances just to be a 'show-off'."
This way I like responsible videos about gun handling the same.

If you break the weapon handling rules, you can get away many times - until you don't.

Bees are very similar.
Promotion of the PPE-less bee handling content is irresponsible that way - it is akin rule-less gun handling being promoted.
Dumb and irresponsible.
 

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She's getting a lot of social media attention, which is her goal, but it's irresponsible to work bees without protection. I also think a lot of setup and verification is done before her videos are made. Working bees without at least a veil is dangerous.
Social Media is heavily driven by vanity.
 

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Hey Joe

the offer is open to you as well. :)

GG, I was raised during the Cold War like half the folks on here, but I don’t know why you continue to propagate these myths about Russians. 😜

most are F1 and F2s
the really bad ones I have requeened.

I have a love hate relationship with my bees, love that they are aggressive carry a lot , and frugal in winters, and survive winters, hate that they at times,, Have a mood and will drop 30 stingers in my suit in < 1 min.

so to be fair these are not "pure" Russians, but offspring from the most heavy carriers and largest spring coloneys.

GG
 

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It has a calming effect...on me. Every now and then, an accident happens- I drop something, bump something or whatever and bees get miffed. I've been stung before, and I don't like it so I take precautions to avoid it. Wearing a suit, or at least a jacket, makes it easier to work more effectively.

The commercial guy who taught/teaches me wears at least a jacket, and most of his employees wear full suits. Why borrow trouble? Sometimes, stuff happens. He says "Everything may be just fine, until it isn't. Don't take chances just to be a 'show-off'."

I've had an angry hive go full bonkers on me, unprotected. It isn't fun. All it takes is a dropped hive tool, or frame, or a moosefly bites you and and you slap some bees along with the fly. Or you squish a bunch of bees re-assembling an extremely populous hive.

This year, the suit serves as protection from the huge tick population as well. the ticks are really nasty this year and I have been having severe reactions from the bites. I don't know if the enhanced reactions are due to a change in the ticks themselves, or a change in me (Covid vaccination comes to mind as a possible culprit but as yet I have no real data to support that hypothesis). I have had three bites this year that left huge welts after the ticks were removed. Two days after the last one, which I removed from my chest, it looked like I had been shot (yes, I have been shot on several occasions and I know what it looks like).

I prefer to be protected in the event that something unexpected happens.
you really should get tested for Limes
no fun to have that.

GG
 

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you really should get tested for Limes
no fun to have that.

GG
Yeah, I'm watching for the signs. My wife had Lyme Disease a while back, they took so long to get the diagnosis that she was in a very bad way when they finally figured it out. It took two weeks of twice daily IV antibiotic infusions to get it under control, and a number of spinal taps to make sure it was gone. She now suffers from chronic fibromyalgia. Nope, don't want to do that at all.
 

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This might just be my inexperience, but I just don't think bees are always that predictable either. I like to go sit next to my hives for a while and just watch what they are doing. Last year, and this year up until about a month ago they never paid any attention to me. Then one day I went to take a look and while 15 feet away one rogue bee flew directly at my face and stung me just inside my nose. No bumping or warning, no other agitated bees, just a banana burst inside my nose. The next day again just standing 15 feet away and out of the flight line of the bees, one bee took a beeline for my eye and stung my eyelid. I have seen no other changes in the behavior of any of the colonies, and they have all remained docile whenever I am in the hive. Is it common every once in a while to have just a couple of pissy bees that are determined to ruin your day?
 

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However as a newbee trying to learn, there is an implication from some that to be comfortable with your bees, or get over a fear of bees you have to work your hives in shorts and flip flops.
Do only what you are comfortable with and nothing more. If it sounds like bragging when someone says they don't wear PPE, then I guess sometimes it is. Guys are kinda like that. I grab a quick veil, mini-hive tool, marking pen, sharpie, queen cage(s) and keep my smoker fuel by the smoker in the yard. Not counting mixing up stuff, or waxing frames or general maintenance, I'm ready to pry up a lid in <5 mins. This is the primary reason I don't suit up, you can call it time-management, or lazy.

I once visited some folks who had been visited the night before by my older brother (an infamous practical joker). A young man told me that my brother had put out a cigarette (may have been cigar) in the palm of his hand. This 20-something kid showed me a burn in his own palm and said proudly, "Boy it hurt, but I did it, same as him." I don't know my brother's angle/trick, but I know he had one. I looked across the room to a guy who hadn't said a single word the whole time. I actually think he was very hearing-impaired and may have not caught the nuances of what was said. He offered this bit of wisdom, "Never play another man's game."
 

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There is some sect or religion that plays with snakes.
I have seen guys wrestle bears.

Guess it is up to you to decide what level of "exposure" you are comfortable with.

I wear a jacket with veil.
of the 30ish hives I have a couple could be done in a T shirt.
Some will try to get you thru the veil or gloves, so it is a bee race thing IMO.

The ones likening to work bees in a T shirt are welcome to come give it a try on my Russians......

PM Me

GG
I wrestled Ceaser the bear once. :)
And to think I actually thought I was going to kick his Arse.
Like really, I was going to get my shoulder up under that 1000 pound bears chin and roll him over. LOL!!!!!!!!
I got my shoulder under his neck, he took one little step forward like it was nothing. I get slammed onto my back and the dude said to make sure if he steps on you that its not your tummy. I rolled over, tried to crawl away and he put both front paws on my back! LOL
So I squirmed for about 20 seconds and the guys were able to get him off of me. The handlers were like, YOU AINT DONE ARE YA? LOL
I wear a veil 50% of the time. If they start head butting. LOL.
Plus I think bee stings are good for you. I mean how many bee keepers do you see making it to 90?
 

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Yeah, I'm watching for the signs. My wife had Lyme Disease a while back, they took so long to get the diagnosis that she was in a very bad way when they finally figured it out. It took two weeks of twice daily IV antibiotic infusions to get it under control, and a number of spinal taps to make sure it was gone. She now suffers from chronic fibromyalgia. Nope, don't want to do that at all.
right
and the longer before you start the treatment the longer it take to get thru it.

BTW Limes can be transmitted VIA body fluid.

good luck hope you do not have it but if you do the sooner you get started the better.

GG
 
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