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Author Topic: bee suits  (Read 5837 times)
joe goble
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« on: March 03, 2009, 02:37:22 AM »

I am just getting started in beekeeping and would like to know what bee suit is the best. I looked at ultrabreeze suits but i can't seem to bring my self to spend that much on a suit do to the fact that, I am just getting started thanks joe
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 03:56:33 AM »

Joe, when I started keeping bees I used a heavy denim long sleeve shirt for the longest time.  I now have a zip cotton windbreaker type of jacket that I wear.  I also have a pair of coveralls that I use when doing cutouts and honey harvest.  I can still get stung thru these, but not bad.  I wear a hat/veil combo and gloves.  But next weekend I plan on purchasing an UltraBreeze jacket.  I have heard so many good things about them that I have to have one for myself.   applause
Just remember to relax and have fun with your bees.  Use your smoker, move slow and don't drop any frames.  shocked
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Keith13
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 06:04:39 AM »

Joe also,

The first time I bought a suit I got it to fit. Big mistake Always buy it a few sizes big that way when you bend over or reach out the cuffs do not expose your wrist or other areas. I bought a dadant jacket and veil and really liked it ( had I bought it a few sizes larger) I broke down and finally bought the ultrabreeze suit I really like it. It is a little heavier than I thought it would be but you get great air flow through it.
But like I said for the money and a beginner the Dadant jacket and veil worked great for me.

Keith
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cundald
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 12:15:25 PM »

I just purchased the hooded jacket from Dadant and am planning on using painter pants with them.  I also have just a vial, to us for quick inspection.  I have been told, by many experienced beekeepers that bees proffer not to sting.  Depending on your geographical location, careful handling if the bees and proper use of smoke, is sufficient in many cases.   I plan on going without gloves this year, I’ve been told that it improve you dexterity and keeps you from crushing bees.

cundald
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 12:38:04 PM »

Hooded jacket with jeans.  Never got stung through jeans--yet!!  i also keep just a hat and veil around to do quick checks or change out feedings.  oh, have gotten stung through that jacket where the elbow bends.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 05:29:51 PM »

I am just getting started in beekeeping and would like to know what bee suit is the best. I looked at ultrabreeze suits but i can't seem to bring my self to spend that much on a suit do to the fact that, I am just getting started thanks joe

Get the Ultrabreeze jacket and just wear jeans or cargo pants.  I have worn cargo pants from the beginning and it has been fine. Jeans are too hot for me in FL.  I have received some strings through them but not many and usually they are not as bad since they don't seem to get as good of penetration. 

I somewhat disagree with one of the posts above.  They mentioned they have a veil for quick inspection but I have found that I can get the jacket on faster than the veil by far (at least the one I have with the string to tighten it).  Now, if you are not concerned with it being sealed tight, ok, but I don't like bees in the veil and if not sealing the veil tight, they always seem to find a way in. 
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 06:10:46 PM »

The reason I grab the veil for quick inspections is because I'm in a t-shirt and it's hot.  I don't have "hot" bees either.  A quick inspection is not an invasion into the hive so the bees don't come out ready for action--oh, i don't use smoke either.   I'd like to see the person who could put on a jacket, pull the hood over, zip the hood on, zip the jacket up--faster than I can put on that veil and tie that string!!   That seems a little unrealistic at least using the present physics we are now under. evil   I am not a veteran beek but the people who are don't seem to have jackets and veils, just a helmet and veil and short sleeves--could be wrong though.  My two cents are worth exactly two cents!!! Lips Sealed
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Stephen Stewart
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 06:43:14 PM »

Hard to beat for the price.

https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=723





I agree that it is quicker to throw the jacket/veil combo on than the single veil.

I also really like the ultrabreeze.


...JP




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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 06:46:16 PM »

JP, oh you're so ding dang cute!!!  Beautiful day in our great life.  Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 06:48:42 PM »

mann lake as about the same for about the same price.  i'd order from the company that can give you the better shipping price.   also....i found that my local bee place has mann lake stuff, and sometimes it's worth the couple bucks extra that they charge to avoid the shipping fee. 
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 10:41:56 PM »

I am just getting started in beekeeping and would like to know what bee suit is the best. I looked at ultrabreeze suits but i can't seem to bring my self to spend that much on a suit do to the fact that, I am just getting started thanks joe

Joe I think that most people wonder if they are going to stay in beekeeping when they first begin.  I just did the basic square veil and gauntlets with a white painters coverall and it was fine for the first year or two and it will be for you until you know if you have the bug for the bugs.

When that time comes then you can decide if you want to put out for the good stuff.  I have both the Golden Bee (the one in my picture to the left) and the Ultrabreeze full suit and the jacket.  Either of these suits will last for many years.   My oldest, the Golden Bee, I bought in 2001 and I have used heavily since and it has no rips, holes, and the zippers are like new.  You will save money buying these suits and be more comfortable in the long run, and if you are comfortable you will be more likely to continue beekeeping.  Another consideration is that you will take better care of your bees cause you will get out there in the scorching sun.
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manfre
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2009, 11:42:26 PM »

I bought 2 of the ultrabreeze jackets (one for my wife) and they are really comfortable. When shopping for protective clothing, I realized that going outside in the summer wearing shorts and a tshirt results in feeling way too hot. There was no way that I was going to subject myself to the heat in a poorly ventilated suit or jacket. I would have probably done it once and then opted out of using the protective gear.

While pricey, the ultrabreeze is comfortable and breathes really well. It all comes down to how much you value comfort and how you deal with summer heat.
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joe goble
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2009, 12:03:35 PM »

I think , I am going to go with the ultrabreeze jacket thank for your help everyone.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 12:48:07 PM »

I think the natural tendency for a new person getting into beekeeping is to buy too much stuff because the catalogs do a great job at presentation.  Your money could be better spent on woodenware.

When I started I bought a full suit with veil, gloves, boots, strapping, and the works.  Now, I find myself using just a helmet and a tie-down veil that I bought from Betterbee along with some loose fitting jeans and long-sleeve shirt.  I may or may not use duct tape to cover the cuff openings after I button down the sleeve but I always button the shirt up except for the top collar button.   I have a pair of long leather gloves that I bought and have never even taken the labels off and I don't wear the full suits at all.

Last year, I was only stung once when I opened the top cover to check the syrup.  I was not wearing anything except a T-shirt, shorts, and glasses!  No hat, veil, or shoes!

Like some of the other comments here, once you learn your bees (and each colony has a different personality) and learn how to move around them using smoke properly, you will begin to relax and enjoy the experience.  And your bees can tell when you're relaxed!

 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 08:17:05 PM »

The Ultra Breeze jacket would be what I will use the most.  Worth every penny.  Their full suit or the one from Golden Bee Products is also worth every penny if you want a full suit.
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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2009, 10:59:19 AM »

I've spent alot of money on bee garb.  The only time that I use my full bee suit is when the weather is cold and I want to keep warm.  Other than that, the only thing that I wear is the helmut/veil.  I think my bees are very calm, I've never been stung yet on the arms, back, and only a couple of times on the wrists (that is because of my black velcro watch band), and now and then on the finger.  I have been stung on the face, but that was human error when I dropped a swarm and it landed on my head and another time on the face when I didn't have a veil on and lifted up a box and didn't twist that box sideways as I lifted and the frame from the lower box pulled out of the box.  I rarely have any stings.

The gloves were a total waste of money.  I have only used them maybe once or twice, when I first began to keep the bees.  Many people have bees that are a little more aggressive and require to use gloves for protection.  But I don't.

I like to wear jeans when I work my bees, so they don't climb up my pants.  There is nothing worse than feeling a bee climbing beneath fabric, I think that terrifies them too when they can't get out, and they are more likely to sting if they get that claustrophobia or confined feeling, hee, hee, smiling.  Don't think that I could ever wear shorts, unless I put something around the thigh, like a big strap or something to prevent bees going up.

This is how I dress to work my bees anytime in the warm weather, it prevents me from sweating.  Bees don't like the smell of sweat.  Have a wonderful and most awesome day, life, health, love this life we all are living, lovin' and sharin'.  Cindi



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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 11:06:57 AM »

cindi

that's what i was saying about the jacket.  i have one but do not use it unless i am really "working" thru some frames and they get mad.  I can throw on a veil and get right to work without all the zippers.  like someone else said, you have to know your bees.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2009, 11:12:31 AM »

Oh right, forgot to add.  My safari hat/veil live up at my apiary, all year around.  I tie it to the gate to the apiary, anytime I need to go into a hive unexpectedly, it is always there waiting for me.  The head brim does get a little warped, but that is OK because I just put it on and it melds into the shape of my head again, smiling.  It can be rather uncomfortable, but I can tough it out.  I try not to use smoke either, but always have that smoker going, just in case.   Beautiful day in this great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2009, 02:55:59 PM »

Either I am doing something wrong or my bees are not very gentle.  I have to cover all skin surfaces or I get stung and once I get stung once, it usaully brings out more bees.  I fee very comfortable now in my Ultrabreeze.  I too think the bees realize I am no longer nervous. 

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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2009, 06:23:47 AM »

Cindi, that is one cooool outfit  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2009, 10:26:10 PM »

I do the opposite of most beeks, I wear a full suit (Walter Kelly) with boots (pants tucked inside) and don't use a smoker at all.  I find messing with a smoker more time consuming than putting a suit on.
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2009, 11:55:02 PM »

The reason I grab the veil for quick inspections is because I'm in a t-shirt and it's hot.  I don't have "hot" bees either.  a quick inspection is not an invasion into the hive so the bees don't come out ready for action--oh, i don't use smoke either.   I'd like to see the person who could put on a jacket, pull the hood over, zip the hood on, zip the jacket up--faster than I can put on that veil and tie that string!!   That seems a little unrealistic at least using the present physics we are now under. evil   I am not a veteran beek but the people who are don't seem to have jackets and veils, just a helmet and veil and short sleeves--could be wrong though.  My two cents are worth exactly two cents!!! Lips Sealed

You may not have hot bees now but one they will surprise you and that day may be your last. Parts of Fl. do have African bees. But still all it takes is that one hive that gets ill and they will let you know about it.

Go for the Ultrabreeze jacket or suit,suit is your area has Africans..
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SlickMick
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2009, 03:16:09 AM »

I came into Beeking quite by accident over 15 years ago although I had been thinking of it for quite a while. At the time beeks here were using white overalls and a veil. I was pretty broke at the time trying to put 2 teenagers through school and uni, being eaten out of house and home and making ends meet, so I made do with what ever clothes I was wearing.

A few (quite a few) stings later I realised that it is a good idea to put 2 thicknesses of socks on and a rubber band to stop the ladies (?) from crawling up your leg. Long sleeves would have been good but in the sub tropics, long sleeves(?).

As things progressed and the $ seemed to go a bit further, I figured I would buy some white overalls like the other beeks but the $'s were too many so I bought some white fabric and made a top and trousers to fit... I am no seamstress so you can imagine what they looked like.. (no I am not posting pics).

Well my beeking improved and I found that gentleness with the ladies works well (now I know why I was a failure as a potential ladies man) and most of the time I open the hives with only a bit of smoke and sometimes if I am manipulating, a veil. If things are a little angst I also use my old home-made top.

A bee suit would have been nice in the early days, yes. Glad to have the top that I made at times but the duds are useless and have not been used for years. Don't even wear double socks or gloves any more.. just a pair of shorts and let the girls play with the hairs on my legs. Now that never happened in my younger days  rolleyes

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2009, 09:42:44 AM »

This is going to sound like I am some sort of tough guy but I'm not making this claim.
I despise bee suits/veils. When it is cold I use a winter painter's jacket and whatever I have on for pants. The heavy white jacket is more for color than protection. I think the 4 hives I have are very gentle in nature or I would get lit up.
Typically in the summer I do basic inspections in shorts and shoes only-no shirt, gloves, veil etc.
The suits-w-reading glasses which I need are just so aggravating I can't deal with them unless the bees start getting ornery. I did a full hive of 2 deep boxes removing all the frames and powder sugar on each frame. I had on my jacket-w-no veil and about 75% through the bees started banging into me and then I got 2-3 stings. This is when I go and put on my veil.
I see no reason not to do whatever makes you feel protected and safe but, for me, I'll wait until the bees feel threatened enough to get aggressive before I put on these space suits that I can't see out of and as I said earlier I will use a veil when the bees are in alarm mode.
Along these lines I have had some other beeks over to look at my hives and they all came up-w-suits and veils. When I opened the hives I could see they were afraid of the bees. Even-w-the suits they made quick, jerky movements when bees went near their heads. I think this makes the bees angry off and makes them targets.
All the above being said I do know that when my apiary grows I will need to wear a suit most of the time because there is bound to be a hive that is not so well behaved. I also admit to the fact that I've been stung many times but at least half of the stings were my fault because of carelessly placing my arm or hand on a bee.
I will be looking at either making my own veil from light weight mosquito netting or looking for a comfortable store bought one.
Lastly I firmly believe that the more stings you get the less reaction you get PLUS I think bee stings are good for you if it is only a few at most. The stings cause the release of cortisone and have made my tennis and golf elbows much better. I also don't think the bee stings hurt very much-not nearly as bad as one from a wasp IMO. I think the fall bees have a little more kick in their venom though.  Needless to say getting run out of the yard doing the bee dance and having 50 stingers in you is a bad day and not something I'd put myself through by any means.
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preston39
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2011, 10:05:51 AM »

Old comments...
...are there any new ones available? Or are these still ...state of the art?
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« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2011, 11:23:01 AM »

I think the Ultra Breeze is still rated as the Cadillac of suits but way out of my price range. Im still using my Brushy full suit and havent had any problems with it at all.
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2011, 12:27:46 PM »

jp has a jacket that i tried at bud3.  it was nice.  you could feel the breeze through it.  kind of spendy for my weather, but if i live down south, i'd get one for sure.  if you are into economy and it's not hot where you are, the jacket/veil from Mann Lake is a good buy.  even in our summer i don't find it to be to hot.  it washes well and seems to hold up well. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2011, 01:57:17 PM »

Last year I got by fine with a viel and hat, used an old white shirt too.  This year I have two hives that are much more agressive.  I am usually calm and steady working the bees, but even then got stung about five times from one hive.  I now have the Honey Lane jacket, which I like.  It is easy to get into...easier than tying on the old veil.  I also like the pockets.  Just bought a second one for my bee keeping buddy.
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