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Author Topic: Which do I want a suit or jacket?  (Read 2775 times)
JackM
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« on: October 02, 2011, 09:41:43 AM »

I would like more feedback on why I might want a jacket over a suit, or a suit over a jacket.  I am pretty sure I want a zip off hood either way.  Climate is Pacific NorthWest, so I could probably work around really hot days.

The cleaner clothes will keep wifey happy, that is important. 

Not afraid of stings, but I hurt and itch enough without having any bee stings, so I really want to keep from adding any more unnecessary discomforts.   Actually I have only been stung by wasps.

Probably in this climate I could work around hot/hottest days. 

Can you wear shorts under a suit and still get adequate protection?

I plan on only keeping 2 hives tops, else I have to start putting them elsewhere, and I am retired, this is hobby.

Might do queen rearing, not sure about that yet either.

It is possible that I could become involved in swarm removal and wall removal as I do have construction experience.  (do folks charge for removal?)

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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 10:48:33 AM »

When I started I bought a suit, if I had it to do over, I'd buy a jacket. I often wear shorts and t-shirt for quick checks. I wear shorts under my suit with no problems. Most stings don't bother me, but I'm not a big fan of getting stung on the face/head.
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 11:05:09 AM »

Ive got a full suit..real handy on keeping honey,syrup, propolis, etc off of the normal clothes plus the added protection from stings. Having said that, next year Im going to buy a jacket for the trips to the yard like filling up the hive tops and other minor tasks. I would recommend a suit starting out...you have enough to worry about as a beginner than to be concerned with below the belt stings. (And they do happen on occasion)
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2011, 11:18:29 AM »

The jacket is handier to get on and off, and on a hot day, you will want to be able to get it off to take a break.  I use the jacket most of the time.  I have a ventilated suit and the only reason I put on the full suit really, is so I can wear shorts under it on a really hot day with a breeze blowing through it...
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JackM
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2011, 11:47:43 AM »

From what I am reading here and other places, I think a suit at first planning to get a jacket later as I gain experience with keeping the bees calm.  I really don't expect to die of the heat tending one, maybe two hives.  Not having the distraction of stings will give me confidence to reduce my own pheromones.  I assume they can pick up on that, I know horses do.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 09:04:06 PM »

i have the jacket with attached hood from Mann Lake.  it's all i need, along with jeans and boots.  i have some pretty spectacular reactions so if i were worried about being stung in what i use, i'd sure buy the suit.  you do want the jacket/hood combo.  the hat/veil is not enough especially if you do cutouts or fussy swarms.

i use Mann Lake a lot because the shipping to our area is  usually cheaper.  check them on line and they'll send a  catalog too if you want one.
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 09:42:11 PM »

I have a jacket with a zip up veil and bee pants.  The full bees suit seems to be much more painful for my buddy to put on and take off than its worth.  I usually just wear the jacket.  It literally takes 30 seconds to put on and zip up jacket and veil.  The hood unzips easy when you take a smoke break, or need a drink, need to wipe sweat off face, clean glasses, etc.  The pants were 20 bucks.  In summer when its hot I wear shorts and then the pants come in handy.  I usually wear boots and the pants have zippers so you can pull the pants over boots without needing to take them off, and also have elastic ankles so you dont need ankle straps.  I also have a veil that I wear on really hot days as long as the bees have been nice which is usually the case when its hotter than heck in middle of summer with a flow on.  The veil is much more of a pain to put on then the jacket.

As far as getting stung with only a jacket for protection, I have not had a problem.  I wear my normal jeans that are not tight to the skin like cowboy jeans.  I dont mean gangster pants falling to my ankles lose, just jeans that are not skin tight.  If your pants are not skin tight even if a bee tries to sting you, you wont get stung because the jeans are not pressed to your skin.  I had a hive go crazy on me one day and I had around a 100 stings on my jacket, veil, and gloves.  I was wearing jeans that day and did not get stung once.

So, I recommend a jacket with veil, a pair of gloves, loose fitting jeans, and some ankle straps to keep bees from crawling up legs.  A pair of bee pants for hot days that you may be wearing shorts is another good addition.  An extra veil comes in handy, especially if a friend wants to tag along or you could use an extra hand.  You of course let the friend wear the jacket.  By the way, if a bee crawls up your leg, dont swat it, thats how you get stung.  Open up your pants and it will usually fly off.  Just happened to me yesterday.  Once I was driving my car, I pulled over, unzipped my pants and the nice little bee just flew away, lol.  Simple ankle straps will prevent this.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 10:16:03 PM »

I agree with everything bee nuts said, but I have gotten stung numerous times through my jeans.  No I’m not wearing painted on jeans either grin

The problem I find with jeans is if I’m not standing up perfectly strait the fabric on the front side of my jeans rests on the front of my legs (quadriceps and shins).  I suppose the back is also pressed against the glutes!

When I get stung by a bee, it only hurts for about 1 minute, but depending upon where they get me, I can get a pretty big swell.  This is where the jeans cause me a problem.  If a get a sting in a large muscle, it eventually spreads to about the size of a baseball.  If I get a sting in an area of less muscle, I get very little swelling.  The biggest muscles in the human body are in the legs! 
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JackM
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 08:12:16 AM »

Since I am starting and am not positive of all my future beek activities, am not of the persuasion to be too hot, don't expect long hours in such activities needing protection, and need to cover all my bases, I am ordering an Ultra-Breeze suit.  Later I will get a jacket and or pants if need be.  Would rather be over protected than get sick from a bunch of stings.....(got into a wasp nest one time with a chain saw and got swarmed.....I got really sick).

Then I have to let the bank account recover so I can worry about how to feed and tools....although I think the large smoker sounds smartest for a rookie.
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danno
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 01:58:35 PM »

I have a full suit that never came out of the closet this year.  I also have a jacket w/ hood and a pith helmet and veil.  If you pick you inspection days wisely (sunny, not windy, mid-day and a good nector flow) the helmet/veil is all you need for most of the year.  Pulling honey and late season work are the exceptions.  These times I use the jacket and gloves.  I still get stung through my jeans but most of the time I dont know it until I jump in the truck and the material pulls tight.   The bee's can and do sting through material if it tight against the skin so buy big.  You want it very loose fitting. 
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2011, 03:00:57 PM »

Watch this video and pay particular attention around the 2:30 mark and then make your decision Smiley

Backwards Beekeepers TV: The Honey Harvest
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 04:09:40 PM »

I used to just wear a junky old spring jacket.  Now I don't bother.  If you use smoke, use a peck of common sense, and get to know the bees and their moods, most of the time you won't need anything.

I've gotten by just fine with a cheap veil, old jacket, and some canvas gloves that got holes in them.  Only used them once or twice this year, though.
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JP
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2011, 07:16:35 PM »

You folks know about all the cut outs I do. Working bees and doing cut outs are two totally different things. Even the nicest bees at some point may voice their displeasure during a cut out.

I rarely ever use a full suit, in fact I can't even remember the last time I wore one.

I will always recommend a jacket and veil to anyone whoever asks. Just a veil will bring stings perhaps too many one day. The jacket and veil combo will keep you out of trouble. Of course at this particular day and age the bees in my area are fairly gentle and often I go without protection but I always have at least two jacket/veil combos in my truck when I need them.


...JP
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2011, 08:30:38 PM »

i use the golden bee vented jacket and love it . i have a full suit and used it a few times .i never used it at all this year.i have a dadant jacket too i stoped using it when i got my vented jacket from golden bee.im like jp i don't ware them all the time,but when i do it 's the vented jacket.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2011, 12:56:38 PM »

For a first purchase, I'd recommend a suit.  I agree with all the input everyone has put in about jackets (faster, cooler, etc.), but it's also practical so that if someone wants to help you with your hives and is nervous, you can put the suit on them.

As for working in the heat?  Well, that's sort of a "what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt" sort of a concept, isn't it?   grin
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danno
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2011, 02:23:02 PM »

For a first purchase, I'd recommend a suit.  I agree with all the input everyone has put in about jackets (faster, cooler, etc.), but it's also practical so that if someone wants to help you with your hives and is nervous, you can put the suit on them.

As for working in the heat?  Well, that's sort of a "what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt" sort of a concept, isn't it?   grin
I have been stung way to many times through a suit, jacket and glove to dress like a Scotsman.  Some parts just need triple protection. At least in my book
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Francus
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2011, 02:36:52 PM »

I have the suit. While I can agree a jacket would be cooler, I do like the added protection even though my bees so far have been super docile.

As for other tools, you don't need much. I ended up buying a bunch of stuff I don't ever use. Here's what I recommend:
frame tool
large smoker
plumbers torch (the one with the blue tank)
dishwashing gloves (not the cowhide or goatskin ones. much cheaper)

Other than that, I like the veil that zips on my suit. I think they cost more, but a curious bee in the bonnet is not my idea of fun.

I also like the purchased smoker fuel from cotton fibers. It's basically lint from some textile plant or other I guess. It's cheap, handy, burns a long time, and makes good smoke. I tried newspaper and didn't like it. I tried pine needles and felt it burned too hot. Plus I could see me using up all the pine needles from around the shrubs and the Mrs. wouldn't like that too much. That said, there are a zillion things others use that seems to work well and don't cost tons. Burlap, maybe, but I've never tried it.
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2011, 11:36:12 PM »

i have a helmet/ veil, a full suit, and a jacket and i use all three,  but just veil most of the time around my hives.  If I go into other peoples places I take jacket and full suit just in case
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2011, 05:20:46 AM »

I don't think you'll be UNhappy with a suit, but I have plenty of both around and 49 times out of 50 I wear the Jacket.
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Michael Bush
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JackM
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2011, 08:08:52 AM »

Lotta, lotta different opinions, as I expected.  Eventually I will probably have one of every type.  If I can cover all 4 bases in one purchase to get me going, that is the way to go, thus the suit with plans to get a jacket and stuff later as I learn.  I am pretty sure I want to do cutouts, so I feel I will need one for them. 

In my other life I was at one time a Paramedic, I have a philosophy of overkill and then stop freaking, chill, and find out just how mellow things really are.  Meanwhile I still function. 
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2011, 10:26:51 AM »

Not hijacking, but listed above was another recommendation I also agreed with. A LARGE smoker. The small one that I got with a startup kit is just that-small. Difficult to keep lit and then they dont not hold enough to stay lit very long. Do yourself a favot and but the large, commercial size, big daddy smoker.
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2011, 03:20:27 AM »

... I wear... jeans that are not tight to the skin... If your pants are not skin tight even if a bee tries to sting you, you won’t get stung because the jeans are not pressed to your skin...

If it is one of those hotter than Hades days  evil and the humidity is way up there, perspiration and even old-fashioned sweat will plaster a jacket (or suite) to your body like a second skin.  In which case a bee will be able to do her Tony Montana impersonation ("say hello to my little friend!") as she jabs the very tip of her stinger into your hide.  Not to worry though as it seldom counts as a full-fledged sting.

Instead of blue jeans, try a pair of Carhartt jean style canvas pants below a bee jacket or a pair of Carhartt canvas duck overalls minus a shirt beneath your bee jacket.  I haven’t tried it and don’t you try it either, but I think a pair of Carhartt duck overalls may turn a .22LR slug at hollering distance.  If that is so what chance at  penetrating a pair of Carhartt's does a bee have?

I used to have some Norwegian fishermen’s' net underwear that I wore while duck hunting.  I liked this undergarment for its intended purpose of trapping pockets of warm air close to the skin while holding wet outer garments or clammy foul weather gear at bay.  I now think that a fish net tee shirt may be cooler beneath a bee jacket than no shirt at all is.  The idea is that the netting will hold the jacket away from your skin, providing more airflow to wick away persperation and with it excess body heat, protecting you from both bee stings and heatstroke. 

If some of you young bloods try out this idea let us all know how it worked.

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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2011, 10:19:24 PM »

Since I am starting and am not positive of all my future beek activities, am not of the persuasion to be too hot, don't expect long hours in such activities needing protection, and need to cover all my bases, I am ordering an Ultra-Breeze suit.  Later I will get a jacket and or pants if need be.  Would rather be over protected than get sick from a bunch of stings.....(got into a wasp nest one time with a chain saw and got swarmed.....I got really sick).

Then I have to let the bank account recover so I can worry about how to feed and tools....although I think the large smoker sounds smartest for a rookie.
Concur, I am new to the hobbie and will be obtaining the Ultr Breeze before class in JAN
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JackM
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2011, 08:25:54 AM »

It sure is an interesting material.  Spring is still an awful long way off.  Everything is ready.
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