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Bee suit.. ?

 
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Going to start beekeeping in Spring of 2018. I'm looking into a bee suit and wondering if there's an economical one that is still fairly decent. I live in North Carolina so the summers are hot. Any recommendations?
 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I just bought a cheap one from Amazon and it's fine.  They are warm, but you won't get stung.
 
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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you could easily get away with just a veil. tuck your trousers into your socks. tape your sleeves to some dish gloves.

or, you could skip the protection altogether. as a point of reference, I only started wearing a veil when I found out that I'm allergic to honey bee stings. that was after five years of beekeeping*. avoiding actions that make the bees perceive you as a threat is much easier to do if you get immediate feedback...


* from the beginning, I wore a veil when I was cutting colonies out of walls, etc.
 
pollinator
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Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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I do similar, tel.

I don't have my own bees yet, but there are Bee Keepers that place their hives near pastures and fields near my workplace. They gave me permission to check things out since they know I'm interested in that stuff, so I've lifted the tops off the hives to watch everything in action.

I just bought the veil+hat part - $25 ebay china special, hehe. A long-sleeved thin shirt over a t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants with everything tucked into each other - all white of course. The guy who owns the bees said he'd prefer to dress like that to, but the suit makes him look more professional, which is interesting because I've heard that sort of logic in various other fields of work aswell.

I also keep a few rainbarrels filled with thin tree branches and water where they frequent the most near the farmyard. Pretty cool to see 300+ bees swarming around a barrel to get water and I never had any issue with them in that situation either. That's without a veil and in shorts& t-shirt.
 
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I second the “just buy a veil” idea. If you ever get to a place where you can spend more money on a suite. Hey the ultra breeze! It was super expensive, but oh so breezy on those extreamly hot days.
 
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I dont know how people pull off no jacket.  I’ve seen it done.  I saw a guy at Mother Earth do a demonstration with just a veil and did a full inspection.

My bees would sting the @$&:@; out of me without the jacket. I leaned over once and dripped sweat into the hive and they went ballistic.

Maybe it’s handling practices or my pheromones or something. But I would be careful with just a veil.

FYI I have other friends who always suit up too
 
tel jetson
steward
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M Johnson wrote:I dont know how people pull off no jacket.  I’ve seen it done.  I saw a guy at Mother Earth do a demonstration with just a veil and did a full inspection.

My bees would sting the @$&:@; out of me without the jacket. I leaned over once and dripped sweat into the hive and they went ballistic.

Maybe it’s handling practices or my pheromones or something. But I would be careful with just a veil.

FYI I have other friends who always suit up too



my guess (based simply on this one post, so take it with a grain of salt) would be your management practices. when I wasn't wearing any suit or veil, I was very careful not to do anything that would upset the bees. that includes probably the majority of conventional beekeeping practices.

I think it made me a better beekeeper because I really had to pay attention and think about how any action would affect the bees. now that I wear a suit (life-threatening allergy), it's a lot easier to remain mindful because I didn't wear it for so long.
 
pollinator
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Another vote for just a veil.   I've seen videos of people opening hives and inspecting comb wearing nothing but shorts, a tee-shirt and a veil.

I wear a bee jacket, but my girls are Africanized (AKA Killer Bees) and they tend to be a bit more aggressive than your typical European honey bee.
 
gardener
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Tyvek coveralls are cheap & readily available at most home improvement stores. Never tried it but know several people who have & said it's effective.

How much protection is required depends partly on handling technique & partly on the bees. For instance, I had one particular colony that did not seem to mind anything ... up to a certain point known only to them ... then they were downright aggressive. Would go 100 yards away & have to wait 10 minutes before removing suit. For many situations a veil is adequate. Getting stung on the arm is one thing. Getting stung in the eye while alone in remote wilderness is entirely different.
 
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