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Author Topic: bee suit and gloves or not?????  (Read 5525 times)
papabear
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« on: July 05, 2009, 10:42:23 AM »

How do you go from suit and gloves to nothing. I get so HOT in louisiana with a suit on. I would like to go w/out gloves. I'll admit, I'M SCARED. How do I transition to no gloves?
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 10:57:52 AM »

my way would be to have a good shot of my favorite hard liquor, and then go for it.  i suppose it's like anything else we do.....you just have to take the leap.  good luck with that!  i'll keep my gloves  grin , but i know what you mean about the heat.
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 11:01:10 AM »

Go first with only veil, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. Get into a hive on a nice day far enough to have a few frames out. If they are acting calm, remove your gloves and replace the frames slowly, while inspecting each for a minute or two.

After that, open hives with gloves, evaluate their mood, remove gloves.
Next, do the same while wearing a short sleeve shirt.
As your confidence rises, you can continue until you reach the comfort zone you want.
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2009, 11:21:24 AM »


The advise allready given is right on, [ don't know about the Hard Stuff though ]


First off TRY to get over the scared part. Have you been stung ? Most all beekeepers have or will be stung, it's probably not near as bad as you imagine.

You will hear storries good & bad, but again I say " take every thing you read on the inter-net forums with a grain or two of salt ".

My advice for what it's worth is, visit your hives at a distance with out a bee suit etc., next time get a little closer, if they should buzz you back off and try later,  continue until you can lean over the back of the hive and watch the entrance.

If you are useing the heavy leather gloves, you might want to try the nitrate gloves a few times watch the bees, how many actually even land on them. { I hate them, you talk about hands sweating }

You'll make it.

 I normaly use a large light weight long sleve shirt, with a homemade Veil that I use over my cowboy hat, this wide brim allows air to circulate perty freely, I don't use gloves, and to be honest I get stung once in awhile, mostly because I did something stupid.

Wearing a tee shirt is Ok, until one gets you in the arm pit, never again.

I'm still scared of the Queen Bee, after 47 years when she yells I still jump !   grin

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2009, 11:22:23 AM »

Get an Ultra Breeze jacket or a Golden Bee Products suit and you'll have a VENTILATED suit.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2009, 02:24:20 PM »

Man, I just can't do it.  I went out to my biggest hive today, and when I popped it open they were mad as heck and covered me up.  I got stung through my suit 3 times, and through my jeans twice.  I don't know what was with them, but I put the lid on and I'll look again tomorrow when the sun is out.  I know plenty of folks don't like bee armor, but I would be in bad shape without it. 
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2009, 02:26:36 PM »

Better safe than sorry, i wouldn't even think about doing a hive without, and my bees are pretty darn calm.
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2009, 02:36:37 PM »

>I went out to my biggest hive today, and when I popped it open they were mad as heck and covered me up.  I got stung through my suit 3 times, and through my jeans twice.

Time to requeen...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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sarafina
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 04:30:28 PM »

I wear gloves because I am a chicken  shocked

And it is in the high 90's here, so I hear ya on the brutal heat.  One thing I found helps is something I got from work that the guys who have to work outside a lot use.  It is a thin neck bandana with a gell material that swells up when it is soaked in water.  I soaked mine in ice water and wrapped it around my neck and I was a lot more comfortable in my suit yesterday.  It warms up pretty quick so when I was finished and had my suit off, I soaked it in ice water again and wore it around the house to help me cool down faster.

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homer
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2009, 05:02:25 PM »

Bring on the heat.... I'm way too chicken to work my hives without COMPLETE protection as well!  Though I admire those of you that can do it without.  I don't think my bees like the way I smell or something, because I can be out there with my buddy beek and the bees don't ever bother him but won't leave me alone.
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trapperbob
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2009, 05:22:30 PM »

If you want to work without gloves which I beleive is a good ideal because you tend to be more gental and do not seem to stir them up as bad you could use a frame grabbing tool.  A long sleeve shirt may be a little lighter than a bee jacket use this with a tie down veil and your set. Just remember sooner or later you will bee stung with or without gloves they seem to have the nack of finding the seams on the gloves and getting you there. If there is a vunerable spot they will find it just be calm and set the frame down walk away remove the stinger cuss a little or mumble to yourself then smoke the area where you got stung and keep working if they are to worked up walk away and let them calm down and work them later.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2009, 06:02:48 PM »

Slow and gentle moves are the way to go.  Also no scented deodorants and such to excited the bees.  You'll be suprised how gentle they are when you do it.  And you are going to get stung sooner or later no way around that it's part of beekeeping.  I wear cowboy hat, tulle veil, and long light colored shirt with blue jeans and boots. I don't care what anyone says I ain't working bees without a veil just don't make sense to me.  Bees see darker colors better so the eyes mouth and nose are good targets for them to pick up on. Gloves only when I'm moving and loading bees nights will I do gloves using a lift I can't see behind me in the hooded suits so I don't like them. You really can do better without the gloves try some of the latex doctors gloves they say they work well.  Stings bring on more stings after so long the gloves will have the bee defense odor on them built up and just wearing old gloves will excite your bees.  So just not using them may actually make your hives calmer.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2009, 06:33:17 PM »

Papabear, I love hearing this question as it brings up all kinds of techniques of how to use suits, what kind to get, and whether or not to use a suit at all! Wink
 I'm like you Papa...I have a hard time dealing with the heat nowadays...sweat dripping onto glasses under the veil.....having a itch where you cant get to...baseball cap slipping down your face from too much sweat( I use the cap to hold the front of the veil away from my face especially my nose!)
 At first, getting the suit and stuff was really cool...Then, taking pics while wearing the suit was fun grin....But, when it comes right down to it, now,...I try not to use anything while messing with the bees! I'll take the stings over the heat anytime! especially when its 110 degrees or hotter out there!!!
But, I have learned recently that a little smoke makes a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!!...Then again, you have to get the smoker going, and by the time your done doing what you wanted to do, the smoker finally gets to working really good!..It'll smoke for an hour or more when youre finished using it!
 I dont like getting stung, thats for sure....but if bees didnt sting, some of the excitement of beekeeping would be lost, and everybody would want to keep bees!
I get stung....after the first couple, I might back off for a minute......Then, if they really get mad I do what the experts do....I RUN AWAY!...Sometimes I run and I havent even gotten the inner covers back on! then I gotta go back out and sneak up on those little boogers and put back everything I was doing!..and, if I feel what I'm doing is real important and may take awhile, I get the smoke...it almost always calms the bees down.
 If I was you, I'd just strip down to a pair of shorts, walk up to a hive,move to the the left or right, and squat down and watch. They'll probably just ignore you...When you do this, you get your confidence built up Smiley...Then, you wont be afraid so much...You'll find yourself doing a little more every now and then...Then you wont even think of getting stung.......TILL YOU GET STUNG! shocked grin
I'd post a pic of me in action but I dont know where I stuck it....Oops.....Look what I just found!..I'm the one who looks a little....uhhhhhhh.....lost, sort of!
Your friend,
john

Hope I helped!
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WOB419
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2009, 09:18:02 PM »

Smoke the heck out of your hands, smoke the bees a little and go on in. 

If you have never been stung then you should get that out of the way or you will be nervous until you are stung and realize it is not so bad.  The first sting will have the most reaction, then the reaction will reduce with subsequent stings.

This is worth working on.  Bare hands will enable you to be more gentle.  I am now working my bees with just a T-shirt and shorts so I stay a lot cooler.  I do  smoke my hands quite a bit and the bees a little bit.  I don't get stung very oven.  Not being so hot in the long sleeves, jacket, gloves etc. makes the hive work much more enjoyable and I am sure that I am more gentle with the bees because I don't rush at the end when the heat is getting really intense.
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charles
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2009, 09:22:29 PM »

I use light colored clothes, and pants usually, though I sometimes wear shorts. I find that the best thing is to use the appropriate amount of smoke for what you are doing. Full inspections get light smoke. Moving frames from hive to hive get moderate to heavy smoke. Peeking in on supers, no smoke. If I'm ever showing them off to curious friends, I usually smoke. Also, time of day is the most important single factor. Anywhere from 10am to about two hours before sunset, and it'll be fine. Later than that and I'd better smoke and be quick. If the pressure starts dropping because of a coming storm, they get really testy.

But I don't use a veil or gloves or any of that. Just a ball cap so they don't get stuck in my hair. Use smooth deliberate motions and go in with a plan. Listen to them. You can hear when they are out of patience. And watch the warning signs. When some of them jump up and bump your hand or hive tool as you reach in, you're working with a hive about to go defensive. Better close it up as soon as you can, or else give them a puff and a minute to think about their attitude.

Plan on getting stung a time or two. On the days when the pressure is nice and high, it's mid day, the smoker's standing by, I can usually expect to not get stung, even after doing all kinds of pulling and moving around. Let them crawl on your hand or clothes. Just because there's a bee on you doesn't mean you have a problem.

Bees are all about smell. They can tell when you are scared of them, and it makes them nervous. That's why two people can be side by side and one of them is completely ignored by the bees, while the other one gets attacked mercilessly. They can just tell.
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charles
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2009, 09:24:45 PM »

Smoke the heck out of your hands, smoke the bees a little and go on in. 

If you have never been stung then you should get that out of the way or you will be nervous until you are stung and realize it is not so bad.  The first sting will have the most reaction, then the reaction will reduce with subsequent stings.

This is worth working on.  Bare hands will enable you to be more gentle.  I am now working my bees with just a T-shirt and shorts so I stay a lot cooler.  I do  smoke my hands quite a bit and the bees a little bit.  I don't get stung very oven.  Not being so hot in the long sleeves, jacket, gloves etc. makes the hive work much more enjoyable and I am sure that I am more gentle with the bees because I don't rush at the end when the heat is getting really intense.

Right on. I can't imagine how hot it would be working a hive with a suit. Even in short sleeves, I find myself dripping sweat down in the hive before I'm done.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2009, 09:31:19 PM »

Oops....my pic didnt come out for some reason..oh well...maybe later!
your friend,
john
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windyridgeapiary
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2009, 11:05:14 PM »

If your bees are so angry when you open the hive and sting you, I would look at a different type of bee. I have 3 hives of Russian bees and have not been stung even once. I was having the same problem with the hot veil. Since my bees did not swarm my head and did not sting my gloves, I decided I could do with the veil. My bees are very gentle but I still use gloves. I am going to move from the normal long glove to a regular leather glove. The last time I had bees, they were Itialian and they would sting and get into my veil. These Russians I have now are amazing.
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2009, 11:48:53 PM »

This is worth working on.  Bare hands will enable you to be more gentle.  I am now working my bees with just a T-shirt and shorts so I stay a lot cooler. 

What do you do when they crawl up your shorts? Wink

I'd like to transition away from the suit, but last week was so cool that I actually liked wearing it. However, the bees were so clingy that I ended up with a couple in my veil crawling around my face and one in the armpit.. Talk about unnerving! Nothing that you can really do about it when you're all bundled up, covered in bees and standing next to a completely dismantled hive...
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2009, 11:53:36 PM »

Papa Bear, I rarely wear gloves when working bees but I always have them handy. I use the blue latex ones from H.D. These: http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus/March122008#5177060042776608722

Smoke your hands a good bit, then smoke the entrance, pop the top, pry one side, smoke between the top and hive body, place the top aside. Go in and work your bees. If you get popped once in a while, smoke that spot real good and go back in. You may not pick up another sting cause you smoked that spot and masked the alarm pheromone.

You can work most hives if you do what I'm saying and perhaps get a sting or two or three but they will most likely be spread out to where you can deal with it fine.

For those hives that just don't want to cooperate, even with a bunch of smoking, put the gloves on.

This weekend at Bud's I was not stung once. I wore no veil nor gloves. Had on a short sleeve shirt and long pants. Alan and Bud and I went through 30-40 hives and I was the dude with the black hair and beard wearing a black Maxant ball cap.

Alan normally doesn't take many stings, he got a few, don't think Bud was stung.

I wear no scent deodorant and never wear cologne. I'm not much of a coffee drinker and I don't smoke.

Alan was chewing tobacco as did Bud, maybe that's why Alan took a few, I don't know.


...JP
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2009, 09:24:34 PM »

Like JP says....smoke your hands....and keep the smoker going, so you can smoke them again in between checking frames, etc. The smoke makes an invisable shield that seems to work to keep the bees from going after your hands. I also smoke my jeans, socks, arms, etc. before I start. It seems to work well unless I get into a hot hive!

Put a little bit of cornstarch on your hands and rub them together well....then put on the nitrile gloves....it keeps them from sticking to your hands and it keeps you from sweating! It works great! You can even double up and use two pair of nitrile gloves....get the correct size and they are about as good as not wearing any gloves.

Always keep a veil, as your only have two eyes....things can happen and it is best to protect what you cannot replace.

White long sleeved shirts are good too....I cannot stand a sting in the armpit!
I go bonkers! I would rather be shot with a 9mm at close range.

The above posts seem to have about covered it all...but make sure that you are not allergic before you try anything without a suit, etc.

Good luck!

Brenda

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WOB419
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2009, 10:11:33 PM »

This is worth working on.  Bare hands will enable you to be more gentle.  I am now working my bees with just a T-shirt and shorts so I stay a lot cooler. 

What do you do when they crawl up your shorts? Wink

I'd like to transition away from the suit, but last week was so cool that I actually liked wearing it. However, the bees were so clingy that I ended up with a couple in my veil crawling around my face and one in the armpit.. Talk about unnerving! Nothing that you can really do about it when you're all bundled up, covered in bees and standing next to a completely dismantled hive...

So far they have not explored the region within the shorts, but I suspect that I have just jinxed myself with that statement.  I have some string in my shed near my bee equipment.  I have thought about tying it around each leg at the bottom of the shorts just in case.  At least that would provide me with a warning in time to protect my boys.  But again, they haven't showed any interest in going up my shorts.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2009, 10:22:43 PM »

This is worth working on.  Bare hands will enable you to be more gentle.  I am now working my bees with just a T-shirt and shorts so I stay a lot cooler. 

What do you do when they crawl up your shorts? Wink

I'd like to transition away from the suit, but last week was so cool that I actually liked wearing it. However, the bees were so clingy that I ended up with a couple in my veil crawling around my face and one in the armpit.. Talk about unnerving! Nothing that you can really do about it when you're all bundled up, covered in bees and standing next to a completely dismantled hive...

So far they have not explored the region within the shorts, but I suspect that I have just jinxed myself with that statement.  I have some string in my shed near my bee equipment.  I have thought about tying it around each leg at the bottom of the shorts just in case.  At least that would provide me with a warning in time to protect my boys.  But again, they haven't showed any interest in going up my shorts.

They will  grin
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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
luvin honey
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« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2009, 12:38:25 AM »

Rubber bands at the bottoms of my pants have kept them out of my pants pretty well. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2009, 07:47:01 PM »

In time you learn to read your bees....most of the time anyway. I usually just wear gym shorts and a light colored tee, but if I am going deep I throw my veil on the ground behind me. You need to do only what you are comfortable with, time and understanding will bring more ease.
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« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2009, 06:29:01 PM »

I don't do the shorts near my hives. Its a matter of time before you do have a bee explore.
I wear jeans or cargo pants and use those velcro boot bands that just wrap around the bottoms of the pant legs to keep nosy bees out.
I forgot to put them on once and it was just last week.
A bee quickly made her way up the pant leg.
I would rather strip my clothes off in the middle of my yard than take a sting anywhere she was heading so I took my pants off and shook her out.
Then I went right into the house and got my bootbands.
I also got stung one day while I was in my house, a bee had gone up my pant leg when I was out gardening near the hives and I wasn't aware of it.
She must have been hanging out there for a while before she decided to sting, luckily it was below the knee.
I say, if you haven't gotten a bee up your pants wearing shorts then your shorts are really tight or its just a matter of time. Wink
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2009, 02:44:30 AM »

I dislike bees-in-the-pants moments too. (Shrudders)
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2009, 09:18:33 PM »

 I had a bee in my shorts today, since I don't wear gloves, I just grabbed her and put her back into the hive. I do wear a homemade veil, I got stung in the eyelid once. My veil  is a "dixie cup" with tulle sewn to the brim. Today I even had a dark shirt and dark shorts.
 My beekeeping mentor would suit up, and get stung alot. Like previously stated "Bee-armor" builds up pheromone. Get rid of the gloves first, move slowly, don't breathe on them, use a little smoke. grin
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2009, 09:26:46 PM »

 take a page out of these guys book...



their youtube chanel

http://www.youtube.com/user/NudeBeekeepers
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2009, 05:30:21 PM »

I made the transition over slowly, and still use my suit for deep inspections when I'm disassembling the hive to look at everything.

I started out getting rid of the leather gloves. They were just too bulky and made working the hives difficult.  I moved to thin rubber/latex or plastic gloves for a while then eventually just went to bare hands. The latex gloves took too long to put on, plus they riped.  I work my hives without gloves now.

After watching a lot of older gentlemen work hives without suits or veils I thought ........ Hmmmm, I'm a senior citizen, I should be able to do that !!  So I started doing partial inspections, without a suit or veil. That amounts to looking at several frames on the top super or brood box, feeding the bees, etc.  I haven't gotten into trouble yet and my legs are still pretty good, so I can run if I need to. I work the hive with shorts.

I've watched several experienced BK's work hives without suits, gloves or veils, wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts ..... they just seem to have a special touch.  I don't know if it takes skill, experience or the onset of Alzheimer's.

Whatever you do, go slowly.

Good luck !!

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Tucker1
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SlickMick
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2009, 06:05:23 PM »

The only reason I continue to use a veil is that I cant imagine the agony of being stung on the eyeball

Apart from the risk of losing my sight

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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Google visited last this page August 22, 2014, 07:22:28 PM
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