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Author Topic: Bee suits  (Read 1824 times)
Hachi
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« on: September 02, 2013, 08:41:48 PM »

I have a hive of the meanest nastiest bees you could imagine....

Trying to manage them I thought of two questions:

Is there such a thing as an impenetrable bee suit on the market?

If so, where can you recommend I go for a truly mahoosive full bee suit one with loads of room?  UK suits are a little tight and small.

Thanks

H
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Joe D
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 09:38:01 PM »

When I got my hives they were the worst in the fall.  The next spring they swarmed, I caught the swarms, then they were nice.  I did replace a queen or two with a Cordovan Queen.  Love those yellow bees.  I haven't found a suit that when they really wanted to they couldn't get you.  I got a big suit from Dadant.  Good luck




Joe
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Oblio13
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 09:56:38 PM »

I have a "Golden Bee" jacket and really like it. Never been stung through it, only when they get inside. I've been thinking about getting their full suit.
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tjc1
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 10:14:53 PM »

I got a decent suit from Jawadis online - heavy cotton and tho they've never gotten inside, a very determined bee once stung me through the suit ( where there was bare arm underneath). I think that if you wore long sleeves and long pants underneath you'd be pretty impermeable - but you might be very hot!
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SawBee
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 10:26:58 PM »

I have a "Golden Bee" full suit.  I've only been stung once and that was because I got my chin to close to the veil.   I got one sting through the veil while my chin was up against it.  Otherwise, its very tight.  Only your ankles, right above you shoes are exposed.  Cover your ankles in some way and keep your face away from the veil and you should be pretty secure.
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Anybrew
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 03:30:07 AM »

Hey Sawbee, its good the see that someone else gets stung on the chin through the veil. I thought I was just a freak with a chin issue. I feel better now. Smiley
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splitrock
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 05:39:18 AM »

2 years, and zero stings through my golden bee suit. I can't say enough about how well they can protect.
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JackM
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 07:24:03 AM »

Well of course we need to get the other brand some atta boy.  I have Ultra Breeze.  Two years, no stings.  My understanding is they are rated for Africanized.  You can order them way big. 
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 07:38:50 AM »

When I'm going to work a hive of mean bees I use a full suit with zippered hood from Mann-Lake Ltd.
Only thing I add is leggerns and where the zipper for the hood meets at the front I put a cotton ball in and zip it up.
That closes all holes.
I very seldom use it for it is hot to use especially in the summer.
I mostly use a tie down Veil, a heavy white shirt, bee gloves (vented) and a bunge cord around my waist to keep bees from crawling up inside my shirt.
This setup is a lot cooler.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 10:33:19 AM »

I usually dont wear anything. A sting or two never bothered me.. but as fall moves in I find them (the bees) getting more aggressive, and started using my veil.. just a veil with a tie string, but quickly found that the bees have their own sense of competition, pride and Honor. Among the bees, those who can get INSIDE a veil are the ones who are worshiped by those who remain. It is every guard bees ultimate dream to be worshiped by the rest of the hive...
   I have found that getting stung is preferable to having half a dozen bees inside the veil..  Getting stung sucks, but its no that big of a problem.. as opposed to the feelings of PANIC and claustrophobia that overwhelm me when a bee crawls up the back of my neck or into my ear and I CANT GET MY HANDS TO IT because of the veil..

   I have been looking very seriously at bee suits. Comparing, reading reviews etc...  it is my intention to increase the hives I have dramatically over the next few years.. so I am considering the Ultra Breeze.
   It is more expensive but seems to offer advantages I like. I have already had calls to do cutouts. I accepted a couple, and paid the price in stings. The Ultra Breeze "appears" to offer the best protection and longevity.   No bee suit is sting proof, and as I said earlier, a sting or two doesnt bother me.. its when the numbers start to get up around twenty that I take the most offense.  More than twenty and I know that in about 4 to 5 hours I will be sick. less than twenty and I dont have any noticeable reaction. So when collecting honey or doing a cutout I want good protection I can feel confident with.
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Palouse
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 01:08:59 PM »

I have an Ultra Breeze suit and have never been stung through it, but I've only had it one season, and so far my bees have been pretty calm. I find that it's still hot unless there's a good breeze blowing; then it's great, especially when I'm wearing shorts underneath. If there's no breeze, though, I sweat like a butcher with that thing on.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2013, 01:13:41 PM »

>Is there such a thing as an impenetrable bee suit on the market?

Both the Golden Bee Products suit and the Ultra Breeze are about as impenetrable as you can get.  I have never been stung THROUGH either one.  That is not to say I haven't been stung while wearing one... I have forgotten to zip my veil or had them run up my pant leg when wearing the Ultra Breeze jacket...
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Michael Bush
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edward
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2013, 04:56:42 PM »

I can recommend the http://www.bjsherriff.co.uk/ light weight an bee tight cool to wear.

The veil is made from small six sided mesh  Wink

When I have to battel a hot hive I put on sweat pants and shirt/hood under my full beesuit, It can get a bit warm and sweaty, but the have never stung me through double layers,  evil and beelieve my they have tried  evil


mvh Edward  tongue
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edward
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2013, 05:12:58 PM »

Took a look around the sherriff web shop and found this interesting beesuit that looks intersting and could bee just what your looking for, an under mesh to keep the suit away from your skin  Smiley

"Sherriff’s Beepro range features a new innovation in the shape of a substantial net lining acting as an extra body shield.

The thickness of the liner net holds the outer layer of the garment more than the depth of an average bee sting away from the body.

There is lining in the back of the hood,torso,upper arms and thighs offering extra protection where its needed!

Sherriff’s created the BeePro suit for use where the wearer is extra sensitive to bee stings and where a higher level of protection is required.
"

http://www.bjsherriff.co.uk/product/beepro-khaki/

mvh Edward  tongue
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Moots
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2013, 05:23:56 PM »

Took a look around the sherriff web shop and found this interesting beesuit that looks intersting and could bee just what your looking for, an under mesh to keep the suit away from your skin  Smiley

"Sherriff’s Beepro range features a new innovation in the shape of a substantial net lining acting as an extra body shield.

The thickness of the liner net holds the outer layer of the garment more than the depth of an average bee sting away from the body.

There is lining in the back of the hood,torso,upper arms and thighs offering extra protection where its needed!

Sherriff’s created the BeePro suit for use where the wearer is extra sensitive to bee stings and where a higher level of protection is required.
"

http://www.bjsherriff.co.uk/product/beepro-khaki/

mvh Edward  tongue


H,
Not sure of your location.... but the suit above looks HOTTER THEN HELL to me, and I see where it advises that it should NOT be worn without regular clothing underneath.  

I have the Golden Bee ventilated suit and have worn it quite a few times on hot days with nothing but a pair of shorts underneath.  I've never been stung through it or had a bee get in it.
LINK: Golden Bee Suit

From what I've read and heard, the Ultra Breeze is very similar in both style, quality and price.
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edward
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2013, 05:45:11 PM »

Looks can bee deceiving, the suit is made thin light of tight woven material that is cool.

They don't recommend it but I just wear shorts and a T shirt under mine

works for me in +25oC in the shade

mvh Edward
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Hachi
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 06:46:00 PM »

Thanks everyone this is a real help.  One other alternative would be just a veil the square type I've seen in the USA but not common over here that covers the head and chest that you then wear normal layers over.  Are these supplied by the same people or do I need to search elsewhere?

H
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Oblio13
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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 06:29:32 AM »

If you have "the meanest nastiest bees you can imagine" and you're looking for "an impenetrable bee suit", I don't think any veil is an alternative. Sooner or later, they'll figure out how to get inside it. And to make regular clothes sting-proof, you'd have to wear two hot layers.

I have a friend who does that, and then covers the openings with duct tape. He thinks he's saving money and maybe he is, but I usually have everything done by the time he finishes suiting up.

I like to be comfortable, and I like to take the anxiety out of beekeeping. And I'm too lazy to spend ten minutes getting dressed.
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2013, 03:06:47 PM »

I'm courious as to why one would want to keep "mean and nasty" bees. Wouldnt a better solution would be to requeen with something a lil more gentle?
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edward
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2013, 03:10:08 PM »

I'm curious as to why one would want to keep "mean and nasty" bees. Wouldn't a better solution would be to re queen with something a lil more gentle?

 grin And who is going to re queen the nasty hive?  grin

And what will they bee wearing?


mvh Edward  tongue
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Moots
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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2013, 03:29:04 PM »

I'm curious as to why one would want to keep "mean and nasty" bees. Wouldn't a better solution would be to re queen with something a lil more gentle?

 grin And who is going to re queen the nasty hive?  grin

And what will they bee wearing?


mvh Edward  tongue

And the other answer you'll usually get for keeping mean and nasty bees is that they're great honey producers!  grin

But I'm with Santa Caras....personally, have no interest in keeping them...I don't need honey that bad.  laugh
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Santa Caras
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2013, 03:43:38 PM »

I'm curious as to why one would want to keep "mean and nasty" bees. Wouldn't a better solution would be to requeen with something a lil more gentle?

 grin And who is going to re queen the nasty hive?  grin

And what will they bee wearing?

Good Point! LOL! 3 large shirts, 2 veils, snow ski pants, snow gloves.  THEN requeen! and next time shorts, flip flops, and tank top. Bee a good test for gentleness. edit that....good running shoes in case there are still old brood around! Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2013, 04:00:26 PM »

Quote
And who is going to re queen the nasty hive? 

And what will they bee wearing?

LOL

don't go with just the veil.  i can tell you from personal experience that bees will get in there, and the more aggressive the bees, the faster and the more of them will get in!

i do my very best not to get stung because i have nasty reactions.  i have found that a jacket/hood combo and loose fitting jeans are enough.  boots also because no one wants to see me stripping off my pants in the field....it's been done already.

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Hachi
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« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2013, 07:52:16 PM »

Perhaps I need to give a little background as to why my post....

A friend asked me to take over his "Fiesty" hive whilst his work and personal life get in the way. 

I took them over he moved them to my apiary and I let them settle down.  After a week or so tried to get into them, WOW!! I cracked off the crown board and they go berserk.  I quickly made my way down the supers taking ten stings.  Decided to close up and re-think my approach.

This continued for about a month, I limited myself to ten stings per visit which meant I never got to the Queen excluder above the brood box.

Decided to re-Queen.  Moving hive to new location 20ft to right at midday so as to "bleed" off the flying bees to original site to reduce bee numbers, the seal moved and I took 15 stings so placed the hive on floor and executed a tactical withdraw very quickly.

I'm done, these are not fiesty they are evil and presented a clear danger to the farmer and I and passersby, I even started getting pinged when I arrived at the apiary when I was getting out of my truck some 120ft from the hive.  Called my buddy and told him to either collect them or they will be no more; his call.

They went at the weekend to a professional bee keeper.  He got stung collecting them.

At each visit I was fully suited and booted but my suit is tight and they were stinging me thro the suit hence my post.  I agree a veil will not be good enough but as I have never owned one just seen piccy's of them, I thought I'd get your advice.  Thanks.  I think I know where my money is going to be spent.

I have met some real nice and sincere people along this journey and I have learnt some valuable lessons along the way.  There is absolutely no good reason to tolerate bee's as nasty as these (words fail me when trying to describe their ferocity) They may be excellent foragers but whether you practice the craft for pleasure or for your occupation you don't need honey this badly.  My personal limits to tolerating "fiesty" bee's has been clearly defined for me and its a line I will not cross.  If I have a hive heading this way I will take steps to resolve it straight away.

Thanks all for your help and advice it is very much appreciated.

H

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edward
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« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2013, 07:58:25 PM »

Don't forget to stoke your smoker and smoke them good  Jerry

I had a bear eat 3 1/2 hives, the 1/2 that survived beecame angry as  evil

Haven't had the heart to kill the Queen, but I wear sweat pants and hood when I harvest them and light my smoker for the first time each year.

After the first 5 minute when i realize my suit is holding them At bay my pulse drops back to normal  angel


mvh Edward  tongue
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2013, 01:51:04 PM »

If you were in the US people would be saying they were AHB...  but obviously there have always been occasional mean colonies.  Here's how I requeen:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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Michael Bush
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Hachi
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« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2013, 04:47:01 PM »

If you were in the US people would be saying they were AHB...  but obviously there have always been occasional mean colonies.  Here's how I requeen:

Sorry Mike AHB?? I'm not familiar with that acronym
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Moots
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« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2013, 04:53:35 PM »


Sorry Mike AHB?? I'm not familiar with that acronym


Africanized Honey Bee: Wiki Link!
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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2013, 11:05:06 AM »

This thread inspired me to order a Golden Bee full suit to go with my hooded jacket. Had a long chat with Suzie who makes them while I was at it. Nice lady.

We have bear problems every year, and as Edward said, putting what's left of a hive back together is a high-adrenaline sport.

Bees are like snapping turtles and ex-wives: If you mess with them long enough, they'll find a way to get you.
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GSF
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« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2013, 12:56:10 PM »

I probably ought not even to say this, however;

I went on Ebay just to get an idea of some different prices on bee suits. I saw one pretty dog gone cheap from China. I wasn't going to buy it but I looked anyway. The picture pulled up a young cute Chinese girl wearing a veil and jacket only - no pants, and I mean no pants. Her legs were bare from top to bottom. She had to be wearing a bikini bottom. I'm thinking, what the heck are they trying to sell here? I bet a lot of the males who bought it probably don't have an idea what the suit really looks like. All I can say is it's a shame what goes on in this world.(with bee suits) angel

at least I didn't go off thread.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2013, 12:58:55 PM »


Bees are like snapping turtles and ex-wives: If you mess with them long enough, they'll find a way to get you.

 lau
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edward
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2013, 03:09:52 PM »

I have had bad experiences with inexpensive bee suits  angry

The veil and cloth are OK, but the critical point of were the zippers start or meet, is the true measure of a bee suit that is bee tight or leaks.

I would bee wary buying a suit that doesn't come with a recommendation from a beekeeping beekeeper.

mvh Edward  tongue
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Glen H
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« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2013, 07:33:08 PM »

I've been wearing a full Man lake bee suite all summer and have not gotten one sting through it.
I got one that was lose fitting, so that it wasn't tight to my skin. Once while inspecting a queen-less hive with another guy, the bees went nuts and he got 8-10 stings on his head I got nun. His suit was to tight for him.

I'd post a link to it but I'm too new and they won't let me. It's the full Sherriff style suit with a zip on hood.


Glen
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