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I watched a few of those videos a few days ago and was thinking along the same lines as you. I thought they probably went in there fully suited first to be sure they were not AFB.

Alex
I don't think there are any swarms in Texas that aren't Africanized to some extent. Also my experience with bees in LA is that swarms are gentle regardless of their genetics. Their defensiveness becomes apparent in time.
 

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I had a good friend who always worked his bees with NO protection and just sugar water. One day he wound up with 26 stings and eyes swollen shut. If I'm going to take a frame out, then I wear a veil. I do not use gloves, but I get a few stings on my fingers. If I'm going into the hive, I ALWAYS use smoke. I'm no hero, and I don't like to be stung in the face. OLD KENTUCKY!
 

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Shane, it depends on your bees. You're in Texas-- do you have africanized bees (common in Texas, NM, AZ, lower half of Calif)? They are often on the far end of the 'nice' scale. (I had several hives in SoCal, they are defensive, VERY persistent, and believe in attacking in numbers. Working them was Not Fun, and I always suited up. Sometimes they waited for 40 minutes for me to show some skin. Just waited.)
You know your bees--if you can't work them without protection, DON'T. If it's a hive from a feral swarm or they left a virgin queen who mated with africanized drones, there is a good chance they're not going to take your presence well. If others can work their bees in tshirts and shorts-- that's great. They may live in an area where Nice Bees are the rule, or they may have re-queened with a docile queen.
You do what you have to do to protect yourself. (Maybe invite your family to help.....)
Good luck.
 

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I don't think there are any swarms in Texas that aren't Africanized to some extent. Also my experience with bees in LA is that swarms are gentle regardless of their genetics. Their defensiveness becomes apparent in time.
That may be true to a certain extent, but she is doing cutouts.
 

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I don't care how cute she is on youtube, a swollen lip looks ugly on everyone.
Don't ever think bee's can't kill you. A guy near me never was one to use a jacket. He was checking on his bee's a bear had been into them. They found him next to his 4 wheeler with over 500 stings dead. Here in Pennsylvania a few years back.
 

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That may be true to a certain extent, but she is doing cutouts.
I have never seen the videos, but you have hit on something right there. When doing cut outs after you get most of the foragers sucked into the bee vac the hive will start to settle down a little, almost like they sense they are defeated and kind of give up. At least that is what I see and have done many many cutouts over the years.
Again, wear what is comfortable to you, I let the bees tell me what to wear. Sometimes just a t shirt, other times get the suit on and pack the smoker, and still other times put the lid on them and come back another day.

Bees are just like people, they have good days and bad days, some are even tempered and others are just ill from the get go.

Do be careful and mindful when working bees, and if you don't wear protection at least have it handy when you do. It's no fun getting stung but that is going to happen when you mess with flying stinging insects.

Good luck in all of you bee adventures.
 

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Here's the thing...
You don't wear a veil for the normal inspections. Just like you don't wear your seatbelt for 99.99% of the drives you'll ever take in your life. You wear it for the time a frame slips out of your hands. Or the time a hive is suddenly queenless. Or one that had a skunk scratching on the entrance for a half an hour the night before.
I'd venture to guess that almost anyone here "could" work bees without a veil and be fine the vast majority of the time.

That said, it's obviously everyone's choice to do as they please individually and as long as I'm not paying for your treatment when it goes sideways... I guess I don't really care.
But this kind of silliness is why I have teachers contacting me asking if they can take their class of 20-some kids to my apiary for me to show them inside my hives. Now, I think it's great that they want to expose their students to bees and beekeeping. But I think a lot of that is driven by these types of internet sensations.
My wife saw one of her videos a long time ago and showed me and I immediately said "that's fake". Anyone with half a brain should be able to spot these things, beekeeper or not.
 

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Interesting, never heard of anyone getting killed by honey bees in the Northeast.
 

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I have never seen the videos, but you have hit on something right there. When doing cut outs after you get most of the foragers sucked into the bee vac the hive will start to settle down a little, almost like they sense they are defeated and kind of give up. At least that is what I see and have done many many cutouts over the years.
Again, wear what is comfortable to you, I let the bees tell me what to wear. Sometimes just a t shirt, other times get the suit on and pack the smoker, and still other times put the lid on them and come back another day.

Bees are just like people, they have good days and bad days, some are even tempered and others are just ill from the get go.

Do be careful and mindful when working bees, and if you don't wear protection at least have it handy when you do. It's no fun getting stung but that is going to happen when you mess with flying stinging insects.

Good luck in all of you bee adventures.
Earlier someone touched upon the appearance that most of the cutting out had been done before the filming begins, how far before is anyone's guess.
 

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I'm too new at this to get an opinion, but I tend to avoid protection unless I'm digging around in the brood chamber. Then a veil and doubled nitrile gloves. On the other hand, I get a sting two times out of three. I'm betting that as the brood boxes fill up and the number of bees swell this will not be possible.

Still I'm pretty lazy, and I don't like the heat...so I'll probably keep tempting fate!
 

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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?

I have experienced the one crazy bee flying right for my face several times for no reason at all. I would love to know what triggers that when your 30 feet from the hives. It happens to me a couple times a year.
 

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I have experienced the one crazy bee flying right for my face several times for no reason at all. I would love to know what triggers that when your 30 feet from the hives. It happens to me a couple times a year.
This has been happening to me for the past month or so. I have 10 colonies at home behind my house but the lone bee has been harassing me in front where we park our cars. If I'm standing near the hives or doing inspections they're acting normal but for some reason there is a single bee most days that is just not nice. One got me just above the temple last week and it was the worst sting I've had by far, it hurt for a while and sent a pain into my jaw for several minutes. That particular bee was solid black and I have a fair amount of those in most of my colonies. I'm wondering if certain offspring can be more aggressive than their sisters, for instance if only one drone the queen mated with was from a genetic line with overly defensive traits.
 

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That bee could be having been harassed by robbers for the last three days. Or there could have been a, as I noted above, a pest or something screwing with them all night long. There's some days I'll show up during dearth and be dreading cracking open a hive because I 'know' they're going to be mad. And sometimes they're just little kittens.

And sometimes during flows I'll go in thinking "man, they're going to be happy today!" and I'll get dinged in the eyebrow when I open the door of the truck.

I've had gatherings for bee clubs at one of my apiaries several times or had people come through to see 'how I do things' and universally everyone always raves about how nice my bees are. And they almost always are. Almost always the reason I get stung is careless finger or hand placement and I pinch them.
 

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My family always asked me how come this lady can work her bees without protection.

I don’t know if I should be in awe or wonder whats wrong with my bees? My Texas bees are never trust worthy enough to not use protection.

I see people on YouTube work their bees with a T-shirt and a veil but man I swear my bees know exactly where my eyes are.
I suspect that not only does she have great skill and patience, she also has a very innate sense of calm working with bees. I have seen a few videos where she does have some gear on, but she is always so very placid and calm working with the bees. Absolutely a kick in the pants to watch her working.
I usually try to be completely relaxed and the more successful I am at that, the less aggressive they tend to be, so far.
 

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My family always asked me how come this lady can work her bees without protection.

I don’t know if I should be in awe or wonder whats wrong with my bees? My Texas bees are never trust worthy enough to not use protection.

I see people on YouTube work their bees with a T-shirt and a veil but man I swear my bees know exactly where my eyes are.
Hello there,
I am a first year beekeeper and after watching this video I am able to work with my 10 hives without any stings.
It just involves not making any sudden movement is what I have learned.

 

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Also keep in mind that Erika doesn't post the videos where she gets the **** stung out of her face.
 

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My family always asked me how come this lady can work her bees without protection.

I don’t know if I should be in awe or wonder whats wrong with my bees? My Texas bees are never trust worthy enough to not use protection.

I see people on YouTube work their bees with a T-shirt and a veil but man I swear my bees know exactly where my eyes are.
Do whatever you are comfortable with. If your relaxed and move slow, the bees usually react in kind. If your nervous and flinching, your bees will react. I always wear a veil and thin rubber gloves at least. When it’s really hot I may go with shorts but my eyes/face are always protected.
 
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