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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I found out I'm allergic almost two months ago (proper allergic - epipen allergic). I've taken several steps to decrease the likelihood that I get stung but I'd really like to add a better suit. Here's what I have my eye on:

https://www.oldcastlefarmhives.com/product/sentinel-pro-ii-bee-suit/ I've been in touch with them and unfortunately, they can't ship to the US during the pandemic.

Anyone in a similar situation? Does anyone have experience with this suit? Others you'd recommend?

Thanks,
 

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Mann Lake's ProVent suit line is very similar to this and they are still active during the pandemic, just a little bit slow. I know you are in NC, but layering is what keeps the stings out, so if you wore extra clothing under the suit like a sweater or something, that could work, though with the heat that might be dangerous. I'm sorry this happened to you, I hope you don't get stung again.
 

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In a former life I was an Allergy and Clinical immunology technician. I would put a plug in for talking to your Dr about immunotherapy. Especially if you know that you are specifically allergic to honey bees. I had setup and administered the program for several patients and we have phenomenal success with several allergies, including one involving honey bee venom. I am neither a Dr. nor do I play one on the internet. Don't take any medical advice from me or anyone else on the internet. Talk to your allergist if it is something that you think might improve your lifestyle.

Back on topic. I am pretty sure there is no suit, glove or veil that is 100% effective against all stings. I have been stung through the veil, because I leaned a certain way and it was up against my face. I have been stung through my jeans, my socks, and even through my wonderful kid skin bee gloves. I have even had a bunch of jacket stings, that came to bite me as I was removing my jacket and scratched my skin over the tiny sharp stinger left in the material. And I have been stung for standing in the wrong place at the wrong time by an over weighed down worker trying to come back into the hive and running into the crook of my elbow. On the other hand I have watched countless videos of people working bees without gear including veils and gloves... and there is even a guy in Oz or NZ that works then in the nude (but he even wears a veil.) So in theory, there are probably better or worse PPE but you do run the risk of heat issues if they make these things any thicker. You will certainly cut down your risks by being gentle and slow with the bees, and using smoke and sugar water appropriately.

If I were me, I would do all the different things. Talk to my allergist, keep the epipen handy, learn techniques that don't PO the bees, recognize what makes them more likely to be defensive, get the best PPE you can afford, and maybe have a backup, perhaps a person who can help working them during particularly defensive times like dearth, and queenlessness and other things that generally heat the hive up. I would also treat any working of the hives like swimming. Have a buddy, or file a flight plan. Someone you can call, and say, "I am going to work the bees now, I should be done in 17 minutes. If you don't hear from me in 20 minutes feel free to call 911 etc..."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's all great info - thanks everyone.

I'm already layering, wearing a thick vented jacket that was tested against Africanized hives, cow leather gloves, thick rubber boots, etc...

I've seen the ultrabreeze and read a few reviews on it.

I've already got an EpiPen, will be looking at immunotherapy when things calm down around here, and I always let my wife know when I'm heading outside to work the hives.

I've done just about everything I can think of shy of adding the better full suit. Hoping to do that soon.
 

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Maybe try a long sleeve dress shirt, the thin kind, then see if you can get Tule fabric to there is 'air' space between that and another outer shirt/jacket. At least if you get stung in the upper part of your body the stinger won't get you.

I think there is a jacket like that but can't remember where I saw it.

Just think "air space' between 2 layers thick enough to not penetrate .
I am sure I am not explaining it right, but a beer or 2 will do that lol
 
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