Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I am just getting started this Spring. Nucs to arrive 1st week in May. I am going to try using a veil only...no gloves or suit. I took a 3 day class & this was encouraged by the teacher (state apiarist). No gloves because with gloves you may not realize how rough you are being with the frames & the bees. No suit because we are also trying to educate the public & encourage beekeeping. Meaning...you tell your neighbors the bees are safe, no worries...then they see you in a full suit looking like you are going to inspect a nuclear waste site. I want to give it a try from the get-go, but people I talk to think I am nuts. Not everyone, but most. Any thoughts? Thanks
Moonflower
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Go with what you're comfortable with. There is no right or wrong dress code. You just have to be ready if the bees are having a bad day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
This is how we do all of our queen work. It is a lot more comfortable in the heat of the summer also. The bees will teach you how to be gentle with them. I do throw on gloves for moving bees and such... as much for black widows and slivers as anything else. Extremely good dexterity is important for catching queens so bare handed works very well and with a little practice the stings will be minimal to rare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
Bees are like co workers, some you avoid at all times, some only on Monday mornings. Some are great every day. Suits are for when you have to work them no matter what. Gloves are for when you do not know them yet. Gloves are also good for when you pinch one and all her friends agree with her. One tap on the finger will get you three really quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
I agree with Saltybee. Have a jacket (or suit) and gloves available for the time you need them or don't know the bees mood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
724 Posts
When I started I only had a veil, but after a while I found it to be a pain to put it on so bees couldn't get in. Now I use a jacket. I just find it so much easier to use, and when you get a mean hive (you will,if you do this long enough) it's nice not to have to worry. Like MsBeHaven says "Go with what you're comfortable with." You can always change your mind later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
I would recommend "just a jacket" and nitrile gloves from Costco.

I doubt if the State of New Jersey would approve of the "teacher" encouraging inexperienced beekeepers to wear a minimum of protection... I would concentrate on your own education before being concerned about "the public".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,770 Posts
I use just a Vail and fisherman hat and gloves. I keep an ultra breeze jacket in the truck in case things get bad and I need to power through anyway.

Nothing worse then getting some mad hives and getting stuck once a second for a few hours. Jacket solves that. Now legs are another issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the input...ALL GOOD POINTS to consider. Perhaps, encourage, was the wrong term Re: State Apiarist & protective clothing. I guess he was making a point as well, from his perspective. Thank you...Maybe a roll of Duct Tape on hand at all times! LOL...
 

·
Registered
Bee Wrangler
Joined
·
742 Posts
Wear what you are the most comfortable in!! I work mine most times with nothing, but I do pay the price sometimes and know the veil is close by. I sell a few nucs and like to go through them with the customer, most are following my lead and never reach for their veil either, but I always warn them to wear what makes them comfortable.

You did not mention anything about using smoke, it can be your best friend.
 

·
Registered
Bee Wrangler
Joined
·
742 Posts
Something else to keep in mind, the veil an suit are really just a peace of mind, if they are really pissy, they will get you someplace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank G3... I will be bringing my supers when picking up nucs & they will be transfer on his site. During the class I took we all handled the frames with no protection..they bees were flying about, crawling on us...on my ears..tickled a bit but not really scary. The teacher was present...when on our own, maybe not so confident...hence the veil. I have worked as a professional flower garden for 14 years so I am pretty comfortable working amongst the bees & insects. I say out loud..."You guys do your job and I will do mine...all good." I have been stung...not such a big deal. Time will time..again I truly appreciate all the feedback! Now all we need is for Spring to arrive, despite what the calender says...still some snow on the ground in NJ. Mother Nature calls the shots!
Moonflower
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
If you can work your bees with only a veil, then go for it. Plenty of beekeepers do.

I assume you know how you react to stings? I have to wear the full suit of armor because I have a pretty bad reaction when I get stung (moderate swelling and pain for seven days, lingering pain for a few days after the swelling goes down). If they ever get me in the neck or head I'm a goner.

On another note, I've found that giving the neighbors honey each year helps reassure them. ;)

UPDATE: My wife just informed me she considers the amount of swelling I get to be "moderate". My argument is she doesn't have to endure it, but I've updated my post nevertheless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
I wear a suit all the time. I was doing an inspection on a perfect summer day and everything was fine until a small plane decided to do a couple of dives right on top of me. Yep, that pissed them off big time. Took me couple of tries before I was able to button everything up again. If nothing else, keep a suit and gloves nearby just in case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
If you can work your bees with only a veil, then go for it. Plenty of beekeepers do.

I assume you know how you react to stings? I have to wear the full suit of armor because I have a pretty bad reaction when I get stung (bad swelling and pain for seven days, lingering pain for a few days after the swelling goes down). If they ever get me in the neck or head I'm a goner.

On another note, I've found that giving the neighbors honey each year helps reassure them. ;)

OMG...If I had that kind of reaction I too would wear a suit...maybe a "real suit" of armor...flexibility would be comprised! WD-40 on hand..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
Moonflower,

Base your decision on your comfort level and how "you" react to stings, not what the state inspector, your neighbors, or anyone else thinks. If you don't have a problem receiving several stings from a grumpy hive (and it will eventually happen), then wear the least amount of gear you are comfortable with.

Having a suit in the truck is great, but if you open a testy hive at the wrong time and several bees nail you, it's too late at that point for the suit in the truck. It will help for further inspection, but that's after the fact.

The mood of colonies change throughout the year depending on weather, nectar flow, and many other factors. Once you have a handle on it, it's easier to determine how much armor you need to wear at any given point in time. I vary from a veil only, to a jacket, to a full stingproof suit. It depends on the time of year and what you are doing with the bees.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,059 Posts
When I started, I just bought a veil, and a $3 white long-sleeved sweatshirt from a local resale store. Later I bought some nitrile gloves as well, but not because of excessive stings.

I eventually did buy a hooded jacket, but only because they were (at the time) being offered for $49 including shipping. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
If you are comfortable with just a veil, wear just the veil. It is important to be confident and in control when you are working your bees. If the thought of having bees run across your hands makes your nervous, wear gloves. When I started I wore gauntlet type gloves, a long sleeve heavy shirt (chamois) and a veil. I graduated to a jacket fairly quickly and from the heavy gloves to nitrile. I can work bees without the gloves but I'm not as completely relaxed as I might be and so I tell myself that I'm keeping my hands clean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
one other word of advice (which I hope was mentioned during your class) -- during the flow in spring with small growing hives is different than a hot August day with no flow and a large hive, and maybe some thunder in the distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
OMG...If I had that kind of reaction I too would wear a suit...maybe a "real suit" of armor...flexibility would be comprised! WD-40 on hand..
The swelling is localized, thank goodness, and gets gradually worse then gradually subsides. The last time I got stung was in the forearm, and I got called "Popeye" for a few days.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top