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Author Topic: I need a bee suit ASAP  (Read 1606 times)
JWK
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« on: September 10, 2012, 10:55:43 AM »

Hello All,

I'm obviously new to the beekeeping arena.  We had a wild colony set up house in the soffit section in our house about three years ago, maybe four now that I think about it.  They got about two to three feet back from the side in the floor joist area (We have an A frame home with a finished basement) and I had to spray them and then get all the honey out as best I could.  Swarms come back every year, at least two but sometimes three and four.  As soon as I can get a beekeeper to come and get one, another swarm is there within 24 hours.  This year right after we moved a colony another one came and set up house in a slightly different area that I thought I had sealed off.  They are under the dormer section (front entrance to the home is off the ground about six feet) and I will have to remove the soffit to get at them.

So what I would like to do is to get a bee suit so I don't get stung to death removing the soffit, see if I will be able to do a cutout in the spring or not and in either case, be set up for the new swarm that will inevitably come next May or June.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?

I live in central New York and have the websites of Betterbees, Dadant, Draper's and Walter T. Kelley.  Is there any advice as to which I should go with to get a complete bee suit and starter equipment?  I'm not on a cheap budget and want decent equipment I can expand upon in the future.  I've been interested in beekeeping for quite a while now and I might as well jump in with all these free colonies showing up at my house.


Thanks for any help.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 11:28:21 AM »

There is a close relationship between cost of protective clothing and comfort.  The newer ventilated clothing will be *much* cooler (though being in NY I'm not sure you have to deal with substantial heat).  The ventilated clothing also tends to be more sting resistant.  You can go with the regular cotton suits, up to the imported ventilated suits, and on up to the Ultra Breeze and Golden Bee suits.  Depends on your wallet and desires.

I *think* you are saying that you want to remove the bees yourself *and* become a beekeeper?  Is that correct?

Rather than planning on constantly doing cut-outs from your house I would seriously go on a campaign to fill voids with insulation and seal cracks and crevices with *silicone*...not standard caulk.  This spring set up several swarm traps at your house.  Catching bees in a swarm trap before they enter a structure is *so* much better. Wink

For the established hive you already have I would browse through the bee removal forum (subforum of this one) and review some of the removals and methods shown there...lots of GREAT information there!   You have this winter to study things for a spring removal.  Bee vacs, hive equipment, feeding equipment, smoker, hive tool, etc., will be needed during and after the removal.  I would be sealing things up over the winter if weather permits.

The removal is only the beginning, though, you've got to take care of the bees after they're in your hive.  Study, study, study. Sounds like you are in a great place for honey bees.  Enjoy the adventure! Smiley

Ed

ETA:  One thing to think about in regards to your suit is the whether you want the ability to put the suit on and take it off while wearing boots or shoes.  Some of the suits have no zippers on the legs that make it almost impossible to put them on or off with footwear on.  Also, figure out what type of veil you want....fencing hood, round hat, etc.,.  I have a Golden Bee jacket that I'm very pleased with.  It seems to hold up well and have had no problems with it.  Unless the bees are very defensive you may need only a jacket of your choice.  Once you have the bees removed and hived will you want to wear a full suit each time you work with them?
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
JWK
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 11:44:05 AM »

Thanks for the reply and advice on the suit.  From what I can gather, an inexpensive suit goes for around $100, and stuff goes up from there.  I'm talking full suit with gloves and headware.  Let's put it this way:  If a $150 suit will give me a lot more comfort and less stings, no problem.  If I have to go up over $200 I would rather just suck it up and go with less right now.  My beekeeper friend brought over suits for us both to wear and there was no comfort issue (this is when I helped her get one of the swarms).  Like you said, we live in New York.  I'm sure it would be different in, say, Georgia.

Yes, I would like to remove the bees and become a beekeeper.  Yes, I plan on sealing up everything within the next couple of weeks so they can't get into the soffit area any more.  As far as cutouts, we have not had to do any in the past three years until now.  We just got the swarms as soon as they showed up.  The last one got in a little far and another beekeeper had a nifty vacuum arrangement he had rigged up.

I'll find out what I'm up against when I get in there, but in order to get there I have to get a suit.  Oh, and I didn't mention the yellow jacket colony that set up house two floor joists down from the honey bees.  Yes, first order of business is a suit.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 12:24:19 PM »

If you want a bee suit “ASAP”, you could order one from Amazon with next day shipping or offer a local beek 75% for their old one.  I’m sure a local beek would be willing to part with their old stained suit for 75% of a new one.  I know I would!  

A beek can get by without a suit in a pinch too.  You have to realize that a bee’s stinger is only so long.  If you’re clothing is thick enough, they can’t get you.  In the spring when it’s cool, I often skip the suit and just wear a sweater.  If the sweater provides enough separation from the bee to your skin, a stinger can’t get you.  In a pinch wear wedding tulle and ball cap to keep them off your head.  Rubber dishwashing gloves work well to keep stings off your hands.  I think Newton’s 3rd law applies there.  The bees typically can’t get a good enough grip on those rubber gloves to then push their stinger through.  

IMO, a smoker is just as urgent as the bee suit if you’re going to go ripping apart a nest this time of year.  If you really rile up the bees and they start stinging, you’ll be marked with pheromones and the situation just escalates from there.

Odds are there are a few feral hives in trees relatively close (hundreds of feet) to your place if you’re getting so many swarms landing in the same area.  
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 04:43:34 PM »

Back in the day we just had veils.   Jeans and heavy long sleeve (and hot) shirts is what we wore.   
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 05:25:48 PM »

I got to searching and this one looks pretty much like a full coverage suit but around the price of a GB or UB jacket...it includes gloves, too... Bee Suit @ $169.00

Ed
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:39:15 PM by Intheswamp » Logged

www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
Intheswamp
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 05:28:15 PM »

Back in the day we just had veils.   Jeans and heavy long sleeve (and hot) shirts is what we wore.   
  I'll be doing that removal at the old dairy farm this weekend and will probably be in my GB jacket and jeans.  Depending on how the bees react to our intrusion I may end up in short sleeves and veil.  We'll see.  shocked

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 08:05:06 PM »

I work them now mostly in my vented jacket and shorts.   When I do get stung, it is the back of the knee when I bend down or on top of my foot when one crawls into my crocs.   Smoke is your friend I tell people.
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JackM
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 08:05:49 AM »

I like the UB cause I can wear shorts and t-shirt and not get stung if doing 'heavy' inspection/maintenance.  I feel it is worth the money....such that I plan on buying just a jacket for next year, as I use a jacket more often than the full suit.  BUT I did not receive a single sting thru any suit.  Just leather gloves.
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 06:46:29 AM »

When sealing up your house be careful you don't seal the bees in.  Leave them an exit until your ready to do the removal.  I'm assuming next Spring? 

Did I read that right?  You sprayed/killed the bees 'and' then consumed their honey?  Now you likely have many dead bees in your home along w/ honey that 'could' be (likely) contaminated.  Don't spray honeybees w/ poison, ever.  Regardless of their location. 

What's killing honeybees?  We are  Cry killing honeybees.  'We' remain their greatest threat to survival IMO.

As shown by this past summer, New York can get mighty hot (as can Northern Wisconsin where we had record days in the mid 90's this summer).  I'm saving for an Ultra Breeze for next year.  Everyone on these pages who has one now swears by them, pricey but worth it, it seems.

t
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 09:55:30 AM »

What's killing honeybees?  We are  Cry killing honeybees.  'We' remain their greatest threat to survival IMO.

As shown by this past summer, New York can get mighty hot (as can Northern Wisconsin where we had record days in the mid 90's this summer).  I'm saving for an Ultra Breeze for next year.  Everyone on these pages who has one now swears by them, pricey but worth it, it seems.

t
I agree with you t,...man is the biggest obstacle in the honey bees' survival.  Beyond poison, we brought shb into the country, and mites,....I'm not sure about wax moth, though.  So by both "natural" and "synthetic" means, man has created most of the problem here in the USA that bees must overcome.  More beeks helping to increase bee populations is a good very good thing.

I have to chuckle about the record temps in NY.  I know that it is hot for that area so I'm not making light of your high temps, but during the summer down here in the south we often say (and quiet seriously) something similar to "It's supposed to get down into the mid-90's next week".  Our temps have dipped down into the upper 80's and only going to hit 90 Saturday...folks are already talking about "fall" (autumn) being here. Smiley

In regards to Ultra Breeze, do you know if they've done anything in regards to the problems folks have been having with the veils splitting open?  I believe they will fix this problem (seems they respond well to issues with their product).  I opted for the Golden Bee jacket so I'm watching to see how well the veil holds up...it stays in my jeep pretty much 100% of the time (heat) and has been washed only once so far (my wife was happy) and it's not being babied so we'll see.  I purchased it early last spring.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 10:21:48 AM »

Nope, wasn't aware of any problems w/ UBs  Good thing I have time to do some more research.

Having lived in the Southland, GA, LA, KY and TX for a time I agree, you Southern folks suffer temps that are insufferable, suitable more for desert lovers IMO  grin.  I start getting uncomfortable as soon as the temps reach into the 80's.

That said:  I doubt you ever reach 35 below zero  Wink (our lowest recorded temp since 1984 was minus 41 and that's not wind chill, its the actual temp). 

Ice fishing anyone?  Can't wait  cool

t
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 11:05:11 AM »

<snip>

That said:  I doubt you ever reach 35 below zero  Wink (our lowest recorded temp since 1984 was minus 41 and that's not wind chill, its the actual temp). 

t
<chuckle> Nope, our temps don't ever get that low...we can usually go outside in the wintertime without having to do too much preparation in order to keep from dieing.   grin

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
JWK
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 03:51:07 PM »

When sealing up your house be careful you don't seal the bees in.  Leave them an exit until your ready to do the removal.  I'm assuming next Spring? 

Did I read that right?  You sprayed/killed the bees 'and' then consumed their honey?  Now you likely have many dead bees in your home along w/ honey that 'could' be (likely) contaminated.  Don't spray honeybees w/ poison, ever.  Regardless of their location. 

What's killing honeybees?  We are  Cry killing honeybees.  'We' remain their greatest threat to survival IMO.

As shown by this past summer, New York can get mighty hot (as can Northern Wisconsin where we had record days in the mid 90's this summer).  I'm saving for an Ultra Breeze for next year.  Everyone on these pages who has one now swears by them, pricey but worth it, it seems.

t


No, I won't seal the bees in if I can't get them out this fall.  Yes, next spring if I can work around them.

No, you didn't read it right and I probably could have written it better.  This was four years ago when I had to rip out the soffit to get at the colony.  I sprayed the bees because I couldn't find anyone to help me and I was ignorant.  They were a good three feet back into the floor joist area and after I sprayed I scraped and washed as best I could and then sealed that floor joist section up.  I thought that would take care of the problem.  Like I said, I was quite ignorant.  I did not try to eat any of the honey.  I will not spray any more bees.  I figure there is always a way to get them out without spraying.
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 04:22:04 PM »

You figured right.  Spraying doesn't get them out it just kills them, and depending on the location it can result in quite a mess to clean up afterwards.  Ask me how I know  Wink.

Put your location up so we beeks know where you are and the advise you seek is more suitable for your region.

t
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JWK
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 04:16:35 PM »

You figured right.  Spraying doesn't get them out it just kills them, and depending on the location it can result in quite a mess to clean up afterwards.  Ask me how I know  Wink.

Put your location up so we beeks know where you are and the advise you seek is more suitable for your region.

t

I've edited my profile.  Does anyone have a suggestion for a complete bee suit?  I don't mind buying new.  Thanks!
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hardwood
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2012, 04:19:51 PM »

You can't go wrong with an ultra breeze.

Scott
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bossqwjw
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2012, 11:05:47 PM »

Try pigeon mtn. I got one of their ventilated bee suits and it seems to be sting proof.
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