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Author Topic: suits  (Read 7830 times)
Anonymous
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« on: October 06, 2004, 12:29:10 PM »

Ok , question.....
  I am going to buy a beekeeper suit, but, the ad says for "quick trips" and makes me feel like they arent "STING PROOF". What is the best material for a beekeeping suit?  If you have any advice please rush it to me. There is cotton/poly, nylon......
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BigRog
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2004, 12:34:12 PM »

I wear shorts and a t shirt.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2004, 01:09:34 PM »

Bee suits are similar to armored vests. There is no such thing as a bulletproof vest, however there are bullet-resisant vests.
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2004, 02:09:29 PM »

Quote from: BigRog
I wear shorts and a t shirt.


 I have about 10 large white shirts and 2-3 old throusers.

They come dirty every day and  shirts are easy to wash, in a couple of minutes.

When it is really hot, about 40 C, I pour water on me from bottle. I wet my shirt and throusers. So I can work 15-30 minutes easily, and again water.

My hives are located in hot places. If it is in the shelter +30, it must be in the sun 40C. If I shoud have total suit, how I could survive inside it?

It must be 80% cotton, normal suit shirt. I have tried  plastic fibre shirt, but it is like I were in vulcano.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2004, 03:30:28 PM »

SO I guess your saying I rally dont need the suit, what about the veil?
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2004, 04:23:27 PM »

I recommed a suit until you get real comforatble with the bees.   If you go to the hives alone, wear a suit. Suits are never a bad idea.  

I just heard of a story of a beekeeper with 30+ years of experience.  He had gotten real comfortable with the bees and on his walk to his hive, he tripped and slammed into the side of the hive before he had his smoker lit.    He took about 200 stings in the hands, almost went into anaphatic shock (sp?) and almost died.  

I use to not use a suit until one day I took about 8 stings in about 1/4 of a second.  Don't know why they went after me that time.

You could use a different shampoo one day and the bees don't like it and go after you.

I bought my suit from Mann Lake   it's the full body suit.
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Finman
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 01:27:24 AM »

Quote from: leominsterbeeman
  He took about 200 stings in the hands, almost went into anaphatic shock (sp?) and almost died.
 

Most in the Finland use suit. I got 600 stings during 24 hours.

But my nabour beekeeper is ready go hospital, if he get one sting. He has anti snake bite medicin for the case, he feel ill.

But if it is so, it is better to stop that kind of hobby.

I can say from experience, that fear of stings is the most usual reason, why people do not manage in  bee nursing.

Bee keeping means that you look every week ytour hives and you learn, how colony developes and how it carries honey. And how bees end the season. If you do not know that you are not able to conrol hive process.

To control hive processes is same as the skill to keep bees.

So, take suit if you are afraid of stings. Fear hints learning.
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asleitch
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 03:48:40 AM »

I'd get a suit, as a beginner, it instills confidence, and as somone mentioned, I opened a hive (1 of 7) which had been peaceful on every occasion - and they just went mad - must have had 20-30 stings in my gloves/suit within 30 seconds. I was pleased to be wearing my suit that day. To this day I still don't know why, I'd been through 5 of the hives and everything was fine, but the 6th one just went nuts (they've been agressive since so I'll be requeening in the spring.)

Adam
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Anonymous
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2004, 09:21:55 AM »

I don't normally wear a suit or smoke my bees, as I follow the advice given to me by a vetreran,  which is you can work a hive in the nude if the sun is shining and a flow is on. Never attempt to open a hive when it is cloudy and overcast unless you want to be face to face with a bunch of cranky girls.
   I do some times put on a white painters suit ($6.00 at paint supply stores) some times when I think is is maybe a bit cloudy. I also have my smoker lit and close at hand if they do get riled up because I pinched one of some thing.
 Cheesy Al
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beefree
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2004, 10:06:56 PM »

I have a full body suit, but whether or not i wear it depends on what i am doing at the hives.  Harvesting honey = full suit for sure.  Just peeking on a nice sunny, warm day = veil & gloves, w/long sleeve white t-shirt and jeans.  Did have one bad day this year when i opened cranky hive and they boiled out and landed all over my suit (SOOO glad i wore it that day) and tried to crawl into my gloves (not tight enough at the top).  Nobody managed to get thru, fortunately.  i just walked across the field til they lost interest, and vowed to bring the smoker next time i worked that hive.

the suit is stingproof if you wear clothes under it.  Except when bee finds entry INTO suit, then, not so good.

Beefree
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2006, 12:25:55 PM »

Check out this information.  Hopefully, this will help ...

http://www.beecare.com/Catalog/Clothing/HowBeesuitWorks.htm
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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Trot
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2006, 08:32:10 PM »

I would assume that working the bees in shorts and tee-shirt is OK and perhaps even macho thing to do for some fellas, especially as an two-legged queen attractant... cheesy  wink

But on the serious side - I have been working with bees for 51 years and on few occasions "nearly bought the farm!"
I knew personally a few fellas, which are no longer with us... One never knows when an anaphylactic shock can strike you??!!
People in the know claim that although stings are good for you - but human body can only tolerate so many and than...Huh

It is not a question of being afraid ! Taking unnecessary chances and stings boarders on stupid...
Wear your suits! Wear the rest of the gear - that is why it was designed!
Certainly not for bleep-boys or girls.

Some day that gear just might save your bacon??? It did mine...

By the way - medically speaking - 450 sting will do in an average healthy male ! ! ?
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Tyrone
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2006, 06:05:27 AM »

I bought a jacket with veil from Dadant and ordered a pair of painter's pants from a uniform supplier.  The pants are a very heavy canvas denim that I think will work fine.  They were only $17 a pair and I'm thinking I should have bought a couple of more.  I also had my Dr. prescribe and epi-pen for me on my last visit and that will go with me when I visit my hives.  The last time I was stung was over twenty years ago by a bunch of wasps.  My hand swelled up to a pretty good size but I never had any other reaction (hurt like hell for most of the day).  A lot of things can change with the old metabolism as one gets older so I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.
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TwT
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2006, 06:52:10 AM »

Quote from: Trot
I would assume that working the bees in shorts and tee-shirt is OK and perhaps even macho thing to do for some fellas, especially as an two-legged queen attractant... cheesy  wink

But on the serious side - I have been working with bees for 51 years and on few occasions "nearly bought the farm!"
I knew personally a few fellas, which are no longer with us... One never knows when an anaphylactic shock can strike you??!!
People in the know claim that although stings are good for you - but human body can only tolerate so many and than...Huh

It is not a question of being afraid ! Taking unnecessary chances and stings boarders on stupid...
Wear your suits! Wear the rest of the gear - that is why it was designed!
Certainly not for bleep-boys or girls.

Some day that gear just might save your bacon??? It did mine...

By the way - medically speaking - 450 sting will do in an average healthy male ! ! ?


Good post Trot, all truth in those words, I wear a jacket with a zip on veil like this one below,,, doing removals I never know how the hives will react,, I like it and its not to hot, still wear blue jeans for pants.....

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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Amateurs built the ark,
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Trot
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2006, 10:33:55 AM »

Thanks TwT!  And smart choice!

A little story to tell:

About twenty years ago I was hiving a package of bees and they would not go into the hive. Girls were flying about four feet above the ground, set on the hive and take off again...
All this was happening behind the house and in residential neighborhood. I tried everything under the sun, to get them down and in the hive. IE, water hose, sugar water, lemon grass, frames of brood - but the girls refused to cooperate.
After about two hours they decided that they had enough of me. They attacked!  Man, they covered my veil so thick, that I had trouble breathing!
(Few years prior to this, bees did kill one beek and when wife came to help they finished her also.)
My wife yelled to me, from our bedroom window, to get away! she said that I was completely covered with bees and that there was not to see even one little patch of white. (Was wearing whole suit)
After a while I panicked from not knowing what to do. I run for the house - to get away from the bees!  But wife locked the door! She was even smart enough to call our bee inspector, who was also my friend and mentor.
He (inspector) brought with him a spare queen and we removed the caged one in the hive and installed his. In about twenty minutes the bees crawled in the hive but our triumph was short leaved...
Like a river they poured out of the hive and were again circling about four feet about the ground.
By now I was panicking again. The school bus was about to drop of the kids in front of our house!!!
My mentor was scratching his head, equally puzzled. Than he asked me why would bees kind of - always return to circle over one corner of the garden. I haven't even noticed the pattern of their behaviour...
Than I kind of, over the shoulder, mentioned to him that I threw there the dead bees when I cleaned bottom boards in spring...

Next thing I noticed the old fellow on his knees in the garden. I became alarmed, that they perhaps stung him in was going into  anaphylactic shock?
I rushed over but he calmed me down and in few minutes he had in his hand a dead queen which was thrown there with the expired bees.
He took the dead queen and pushed it through the front entrance of the hive. I tell you - one would have to be there to witness this phenomenon!
The bees settled on the ground in the front of the hive and calmly marched in just like when one hives a swarm the old fashioned way.
The problem was over!

That was for three years my best hive - but hot - booooy were they hot !!!
Re-queening didn't help! They would kill the new queen every time and raise their own.
I even re-queened when were no more viable eggs. But they raised their own ... Huh
Finally they froze one particularly cold winter.
But working that hive was pure hell...

P.S.
That also tels you how well they knew/know how far have come AHB ? !
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2006, 10:38:20 AM »

Quote
Good post Trot, all truth in those words, I wear a jacket with a zip on veil like this one below,,, doing removals I never know how the hives will react,, I like it and its not to hot, still wear blue jeans for pants.....


Jackets are fine for light work, but they are generally not adequate for working with aggressive situations.  For one, insects are attracted to contrasting colors, so they will often sting at the waist junction where the elastic is over the pants.  This area is especially vulnerable because the fabric is held tight against the skin.  Also the jacket waist will often ride up when you are bending over working, potentially exposing gaps in the fabric when the elastic comes against the belt or especially any belt-worn stuff such as a leatherman tool, knife, cell phone, whatever.  And unless the jeans are especially baggy, they often will not hold stingers away from the skin.  Plus, jeans are not especially comfortable when working in hot weather. So if you are going to wear a jacket only, be sure to wear especially loose-fitting, baggy pants.

If you want to make the best single investment in sting protection, buy a full body suit with long zippers at the calves, elastic at the ankles and wrists, double zippers from the crotch to the neck, and an integrated, collapsible veil and hood, for ease of movement and visibility.  For more information, see http://www.beecare.com/Catalog/Clothing/HowBeesuitWorks.htm and select a product you think best satisfies all your requirements.  These should include:
    Full body protection
    Light fabric for ventilation and comfort
    White color
    Elastic seals at the ankles and wrists
    Integrated, flexible hood and veil
    Larger-sized and baggy, for both protection and ease in wearing over clothes
    Affordable cost
    Plenty of extra zippers and pockets
    Easy to put on and take off
    [/list:u]

    If possible, avoid pure cotton because of the shrinkage when washing and the fabric fraying over time.  Also, avoid nylon because of its problems with ventilation and comfort.  I've found the best fabric for overall comfort, protection and durability is a cotton/poly blend.

    There are various vendors of bee suits out there, including us.  See a list of other vendors at
http://www.beecare.com/Other%20sites/Beekeeping%20Suppliers.htm.  Select the one you believe best fits your needs, using the above criteria.  I have been beekeeping since the 70s and I have worked with all manner and combination of protective clothing.  I have also directly worked with many other people who regularly deal with dangerous situations in pest control, utility maintenance, and africanized bee removal.  So far, my list of criteria for selecting good sting protection has held up very well over time among a wide variety of people and applications.

Feel free to send me any questions, and good luck beekeeping!
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2006, 10:47:04 AM »

Quote from: Trot
P.S.
That also tels you how well they knew/know how far have come AHB ? !


I have also experienced similar degrees of attacks.  I had one customer report back to me that when they were eliminating an africanized (AHB) colony, they came away with so many stingers on their full body suit it looked like velvet.

AHB have so far progressed through Texas into Oklahoma, SW Arkansas, and all the southern states to the west, including California.  For some reason, they don't yet seem to have gone East into Louisiana.  Maybe it's the cajun spices.  cheesy
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Mark Jones, beecare.com
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TwT
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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2006, 08:11:29 PM »

yup wmarkjones, if I was in your area, I would dress Bullet Proof also...
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wmarkjones
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2006, 01:31:00 PM »

Quote from: TwT
yup wmarkjones, if I was in your area, I would dress Bullet Proof also...


Dressing "bullet proof" has to do not only with dealing with known-dangerous situations, but it protects you from the unknown.  One of these days, a beekeeper is going to trip and fall against a hive, drop a hive box, etc.  These catastrophic disturbances can cause large-scale attacks from even "docile" colonies.  I would suggest playing it safe with full-body protection if possible.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2006, 07:52:36 PM »

Quote from: wmarkjones
Quote from: Trot
P.S.
That also tels you how well they knew/know how far have come AHB ? !


I have also experienced similar degrees of attacks.  I had one customer report back to me that when they were eliminating an africanized (AHB) colony, they came away with so many stingers on their full body suit it looked like velvet.

AHB have so far progressed through Texas into Oklahoma, SW Arkansas, and all the southern states to the west, including California.  For some reason, they don't yet seem to have gone East into Louisiana.  Maybe it's the cajun spices.  cheesy


They're on their way. Some AHB's  were found near Shreveport and in South La near Toledo Bend.

THEY will definately add some SPICE to our lives I'm sure.
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