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Bee Keeping Suit Suggestions?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 16
Location: Parthenon, Arkansas
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Hi All,

I put my order in for my first nuc and pick it up in spring.  I have been searching online looking at bee keeping suits but am really unsure what to get and if it matters.  I have seen full suits range from $70 up to $200.  Can I get some suggestions on what might be the best thing to get, what to stay away from or suggested brands and/or designs?

Thanks!
 
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First of all I made a nuc from recycled ply and planed wood for free and I will published the plans in the forthcoming Permaculture magazine #99. It is so easy to make and saves you lots of money longer term. I am going to use them (I have 2 and am about to make the 3rd) as bait hives to catch swarms. #99 will reach the USA in March 2019.

I also make my main hives from flatpacks. It is good to do this as you really get to know why hives are designed as they are.

Bee suits: you get what you pay for. There are lots of cheap Chinese made suits around. They are OK but don't last long if you are working hives regularly. I researched the best ones with quality cotton (doesn't get so hot as mixed cotton and synthetics) and good quality mesh for the veil. The best in the UK which is beautifully made is by Sherriff - but at a price. I then found one in my size on eBay for a fraction of the price. Almost new it fits really well unlike my cheaper one which I have now passed on to my bee helper (husband!).
 
master pollinator
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A cheap & effective solution is use a veil & gloves with a set of Tyvek painters overalls. Brushy Mountain Bees has several types of suits.

One of my apiaries is very remote & far from medical help. For that reason I wear a full suit with attached hood. Heavy duty cotton because I don't like plastic anything. It does get hot during summer. Not much need to open hives during peak of summer though. I rarely open any hive except right before & right after winter.
 
pollinator
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I use a bee jacket that includes a hood, and gloves. This works well for me. Bottom is protected with pants socks, shoes .

I've never used a full body suit so I can't comment on them.
 
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I have carhart overalls and a coat and that's what I use because....well it works and I already have it. Just bought a bee hat and wear my regular work gloves and my wellies.

So it's protected me perfectly EXCEPT, I opened the hive, checked, etc. Stayed outside waiting for the bees to leave me alone so I could go in and take off my gear. Go in, take off the hat and gloves. Pull my arm out of my coat and BAM. Bee had been hanging out on the arm of my coat and I jammed that bee stinger right into my hand when I pulled my arm out. My hand and arm swole to the elbow. Crazy! A white suit may have enabled us to see that it was chillin on me.

 
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I have an army surplus bug hat thing like this, would it be adequate for bees?
assuming I have the rest of me covered...
 
Mike Barkley
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The bug hat would work fine as long as the brim of the hat is wide enough to keep the material off your face. Especially around the eyes. I would suggest tucking the excess into your collar so they can't crawl inside. THAT will make a bee sting every time. They panic when they get trapped under clothing.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Mike Barkley: Thank you! Yeah, the brim is wide enough. And tucking makes sense.
:D
 
Sylvia Cox
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions!!  Think I'm gonna get a higher end jacket and veil and I can do jeans and such for the rest.  
 
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