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Author Topic: Protective Clothing  (Read 1120 times)
labradorfarms
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« on: December 21, 2013, 01:43:07 PM »

Id like to ask what kind of clothing is best when tending Bee's?  Should I get a tyvek suit and Veil. Should I get same BK pants and a jacket and veil?  Or should I just got with full  coveralls with Veil option?  I been looking at this. kelleybees /Cotton-Coveralls-with-Veil-Options

I thought about just some cotton pants and a jacket  with veil. Do the veils zip on to keep the bees from crawling underneath? The Draw string veils looks like they would allow bees to crawl inside.


I will only have two hives to start with. So its not like I am going be in the Bee Clothing for hours on end. Im  looking to spend around 100 bucks.. Less if possible.
Is all the Bee Clothing sting proof or just sting resistant?
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DMLinton
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 02:05:22 PM »

I will be starting next Spring my first bees.  My understanding of the bee suit issue is that, aside from the veil keeping bees off one's face, the bee suit primarily serves to help keep bees calm due to the typical white colour (bees tend to become aggressive when something dark coloured moves near the hive).  It is also my understanding that bee suits are not intended to block stingers - sting "resistant" and sting "proof" depend almost entirely on how many layers one wears under the suit.  In other words, if one's clothing is thick enough, one gets into the realm of sting "resistant"; if one's clothes are thicker than the length of a bees stinger, around 1.5 mm, then one gets into the realm of sting "proof".

I have no experience yet with any sort of bee suit but have chosen a jacket/veil/hat combo so that one, the pieces stay together when not in use and two, I cannot forget to attach the veil.  Also, the jacket is pullover style rather than button up so that I cannot forget to button up.  The short term memory is a little pooched so some of these little things that may be less than trivial to some are quite important to others.

Edit: If you have worn Tyvek, you know what you are getting into there.  If not, you may want to reconsider - Tyvek is a lot like working in a sauna.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 02:28:33 PM by DMLinton » Logged

Regards, Dennis
First bees coming May 2014 ... okay, make that June
iddee
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 03:11:11 PM »

I tell all beekeepers to wear what makes them comfortable in the hive. If you are afraid of the bees, or anxious, the bees can tell and will attack. If you are comfortable, they will be, too.

Having said that, most new beeks are relaxed in a zip up, hooded bee jacket and goatskin gloves. The gloves can be removed as you get comfortable with the bess, Usually in the second year.
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MsCarol
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 07:47:09 PM »

First year Beek here too,

I had purchased the equipment as a kit, then had to replace the protective clothing after a fire. By then I was flat broke. My first swarm and first time I ever handled bees was sans everything but lots of deep calming breaths. I got them home and into place without incident on faith alone.

I bought a tight weaved light blue oxford type shirt at Goodwill. I always wear jeans and boots. I have a veil and goatskin gloves. My biggest concern is getting stung in the face or under the glasses.

So far so good. Been stung a couple times. Usually by squashing. Only once through the gloves. I have been lucky that my girls have been pretty even tempered. I do tend to get unnerved when they start zinging the veil though. I usually retreat when they are that cranky.

I am gaining confidence. When capturing the second swarm, I did don the veil as they were over my head and I knew they would end up raining down on me. It also was a success and these were smaller ferals.

The key trick is to remain calm as possible.


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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 08:16:58 PM »

if you aren't allergic the best thing you can do is get over your fear of getting stung.  once you realize that it doesn't really hurt that much you'll spend way less time worrying about it happening.  jeans, boots, a heavy long sleeved cotton shirt and a veil is enough to stop most of the stings.  you are going to mash some and some are going to charge out and sting you some days.  it's part of beekeeping and unless the sting is on the pad of a finger tip or under a fingernail or some other really sensitive spot they don't really hurt.  remember to scrape the stinger out instead of squeezing it and giving your self a full venom load. 
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capt44
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 08:56:16 PM »

I use a veil with draw string, a white cotton long sleeve shirt with a bunge cord around the waist to tie the veil strings too and gloves if the bees are aggressive especially if a frontal system is approaching.
I have coveralls with hoods but they are hot.
They're alright in the early part of the year but when that sun comes out they will get hott'ern who thought it.
I'm in Central Arkansas zone 7
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 07:28:14 AM »

Usually I wear a hooded jacket and jeans. Seldom gloves. If the bees seem aggressive, or are likely to get that way, I put rubber bands around my jeans at the ankles.  I have a hat with drawstring veil that I put on for a quick look in a hive.  It gets hot here in central Arkansas.
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trimman
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 10:50:28 AM »

believe it or not i wear jean pants and a white t shirt and that is it  get stung once in a wile but not much got two hives of pretty good bees
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pgayle
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 11:25:04 AM »

Pretty much like capt44.  I just finished my 6th summer.  I have a drawstring veil, wear a long-sleeved shirt*, and tuck my jeans into my socks.  I hate bees up the pants legs.  I do like a collar to turn up, because they tend to find exposed skin.  I don't like the goatskin gloves, but I wear them if I'm moving hives rather than doing inspections.   Usually I wear the Kimberly-Clark disposable nitrile gloves.  If I'm marking queens or something I cut the tips off the right index finger and thumb. 

*My long sleeved "shirt" is a clinic jacket like nurses wear, with stockinette cuffs.  I added Velcro strips between the snaps but probably not necessary.  I sewed the very ends of the cuffs in one spot to make a hole for my thumb, which keeps the sleeves from riding up.  It has roomy pockets which is handy.  I got it at a secondhand store for $3. It's roomy enough to go over whatever I'm wearing, and easy to keep in my car. 

I do own a full suit and I have worn it exactly twice in 6 years, both times when *really* hot hives needed dismantling.  Otherwise it is too much trouble to put on, and too hot.  I have used my husband's UltraBreeze jacket/veil but bees tend to crawl up under the bottom of the jacket.  Maybe that's just the fit, or maybe they were just having a bad day.  I decided that for me it would not be worth the money.
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Joe D
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:00 PM »

I have a full suit, a sweat shirt with a veil attached, and different kinds of gloves.  I don't carry an eppy pen, but I do swell usually some.  It depends on how the girls are acting on any given day as to what I wear.  I have one hive I have checked with shorts and a tee shirt, no gloves, no veil.  The others not yet.  I have my bees close to home, can check before getting smoker and what to wear that day.  Like Iddee said wear what makes you comfortable with your bees.  If you get aggressive bees, as you get used to them and they get used to you, things can get better.    Bee gentle with them and they probable will be with you.  Good luck.




Joe
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woodey
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 04:08:38 PM »

I started off with the zip off/on veil and jacket.
It is very hot here in Texas wearing the jacket.
I purchased the 3 layer mesh vented full suit that is " sting proof ", can't wait to wear it this spring.


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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 06:51:36 PM »

believe it or not i wear jean pants and a white t shirt and that is it  get stung once in a wile but not much got two hives of pretty good bees

no veil? 
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blocky
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 07:53:15 PM »

Hey Woodey, where did you get the three layer suit? That sounds like what I need in middle Ga in July.
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Moots
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 09:11:01 PM »

Hey Woodey, where did you get the three layer suit? That sounds like what I need in middle Ga in July.


blocky,
The only two vented suites that I'm familiar with are the Golden Bee and Ultra Breeze.

I have the full suit from Golden Bee and am very pleased with it...Although 90% of the time I where nothing more than a veil, long pants and t-shirt.  It is nice to have the full suit when I digging a little deeper into the hive, or pulling honey, or they're just in a pissy mode.

Often, I think I should have simply gone with the jacket/veil option instead of the full suit.  But there are HOT days when I can where the full suit with nothing more than a pair of shorts underneath that I'm glad I have it.

LINK to Golden Bee Suit

LINK to Ultra Breeze Suit

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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 10:07:29 PM »

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=mannlake&Screen=SRCH&sType=1&Search=jacket#!CV-410/1/

i use the 55 dollar economy jacket with hood.  i like the goat skin gloves.  they cost a little more but fit better.  a good pair of fitted gardening gloves will do also. 

you can go bare hands or without jacket, but be sure to understand your tolerance for stings before you take to many chances.  have someone around just in case.
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2013, 07:47:07 PM »

My favorite is an Ultra Breeze ventilated jacket with zip on English style veil and a pair of light buckskin gloves tucked into the sleeves.  Unless it's chilly, then I wear a canvas one that isn't ventilated...  Usually with jeans and boots.
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my-smokepole
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 10:32:59 PM »

I am with Michael Bush on the ultra breeze jacket. Though I inherited a veil with a Pitt helmet. That I started using on light duty things.
David
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 07:01:43 AM »

When I first started I bought the white jacket and hood combo suit and gloves. Here in FL, most of the times you are working with the bees, it is 90 degrees plus with 90% humidity. Even with just a veil on, it is way to hot. I bought an ultra breeze type jacket from Mann Lake but i have only used it a few times, mostly for training classes and usually end up taking it off half way thorough the lesson. Most of the time I just wear jean pants and a T shirt. I used to worry about dark clothing but other than black, I wear what ever color I feel like wearing that day. Lighter colored shirts are cooler.
In class, like Iddee, I always tell my students to wear what ever it takes to bee comfortable with your bees.
If you wear heavy leather cloves, you will kill a lot of bees, even if you are trying to bee careful. You do not normally feel them and you end up crushing them. When this happens, they leave pheromone scent on your gloves and the bees get aggravated when you put your hands back in the hive. If you have to wear gloves, wear the blue vinyl gloves, you can feel the bees before you crush them and it keeps them calmer.
Jim
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ggileau
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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2013, 08:21:15 AM »

I started off with the zip off/on veil and jacket.
It is very hot here in Texas wearing the jacket.
I purchased the 3 layer mesh vented full suit that is " sting proof ", can't wait to wear it this spring.




You're going to love that Suit!!! I have just the jacket and works fine for me most of the time. I had a hot one last fall that I had to wear coveralls under the jacket and they were still getting me through the gloves. (a problem that I think has been solved) I bought mine from Mann Lake. They have been great to deal with. Their customer service is the best if you ever need to talk to them. BTW, that jacket\veil was the best investment that I have made so far. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.
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