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Taking the advice of the old beekeeper I bought my bees from has let me down in a few instances.

He said, "I don't wear a suit or gloves. You're going to get stung anyway. Just wear a veil to keep them out of your face."

So the first time I did this I got stung (a lot) and then the bees found the hole in my blue jeans at the knee and entered en masse. I may have had a dozen bees zooming around inside my pants, which is really not where you want angry bees. Then they got caught in my hair (the old beekeeper didn't HAVE any hair) which didn't make them any happier. I carried a series of angry bees back to the house with me, both in my pants, my shirt, and my hair.

The next time I donned a full suit but left off the gloves. They seemed too bulky to deal with the frames. The bees stung my hands, and then found the slight opening at the wrist and made their way up into the suit. The hooded suit offered no protection at all once the bees were inside and proved more of a nuisance in getting them out.

I expect to get stung a couple of times when I work with the bees, and the stings don't hurt much. In fact, I don't even swell up. Once I remove the stingers, two minutes later I can't even tell where I got stung.

Still, it's not pleasant getting stung and I'd rather avoid this if I can. What kind of suits do the majority of you use?
 

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https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=34_64&products_id=582

I have a Dadant with zippered veil, although I use a a veil that I tie on instead of the zippered one that came with the suit. The suit has elastic around the arms and legs.

I get a bad reaction from bee stings so I also wear guantlets that come midway up my forearm. I also wear low boots and tuck the legs in.

Yes, the frames are hard to handle with gloved hands, but it has gotten much easier since I got a frame grip.
 

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Around here the beekeeping attire is pretty different than what we've seen other folks do. But I do think that no matter what you wear when you work the bees you're bound to get stung....eventually, so far I haven't been stung at all but I know it will happen sooner or later :shrug:

Dd 14 and I both wear skirts or dresses all the time, even when we are neck deep in the bees. We wear a tie around veil and have worked with and without gloves. She prefers without, I prefer with. Dh and the boys wear jeans and a long sleeve shirt with a veil and gloves.

None of us have had very many stings at all. The kids have had a few, maybe half a dozen.... but those were mostly just the kids handling the bees in a hurry or not being careful. The bees are always getting in my hair though.... somehow they find their way into my veil nearly everytime we open the hives. I've learned to just relax and help them find their way right back out.
 

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Kare and I wear tan, white or light blue light dress shirts tucked into the tops of our jeans. Kare places rubber bands around the bottom of her jean legs I do also during a removal job.
We wear mesh helmits with a veil on our heads many times I also wear a sweat band to keep it out of my eyes.
We wear pig skin gloves, kare to protect her hands and me to keep the proplis off the trucks steering wheel and I hate the stuff on my hands to boot.
We rarely smoke the bees and only do so if they are flying in to our head nets. Normally I do not even lite the smoker till they are doing that and hitting hard. We do how ever tend to mist them with syrup if they are buzzy but not hitting the veils.

Work them on warm sunny days in a slow easy motion. Avoid banging frames and crushing bees.

:D Al
 

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Did you do the dance when they got in your clothes :D I have a veil and the long gloves and then I tuck my pants in my socks and my shirt in my pants and button everything up tight. Tres fashionable :D
 

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I suit up. I don't like being stung, and I work poorly when I'm jumpy.

For gloves, might I suggest rubber dish gloves? They've worked very well for me over the years.
 

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Every beek should wear what is comfortable for them. The old beek knows bees. How to smoke them, how to handle them, and most important, how to listen to them. They will "talk" to you once you have had them for a while. You can tell by the sound they make what mood they are in and when their mood changes. Until you understand them, you should be fully suited.

With the exception of jynxt's dd 14. She charms them into not stinging. :shrug:
She's a little :angel:
 

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Ernie,

Where are you and how mean/hot are your colonies???

With the exception of one of my hives, or when robbing honey, I normally don't see any bees actively TRYING to sting me. Crawling on you is one thing, but when they really want to get you they act very differently and sound angry. If you're working slowly, using smoke, and not crushing bees they shouldn't be that annoyed. The hive shouldn't sound angry when you remove the lid either. (assuming you don't pop it) After you've worked through the brood nest mine tend to get a little more testy, and then the hive sounds annoyed.

Wear what you are comfortable in.
 

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I'm in an area where I run into Africanized bees on occasion (swarms/removals) so I got a Golden Bee Suit (no website, etc. but contact info can be found on beesource.com forums). Expensive but sting-proof & the coolest bee suit around; made of multi-layers of mesh so the breeze comes right through it.

Lew in TX
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm up in Illinois. Most of the time I can poke around the hives without getting stung. I can even take the lid off and examine a frame usually without a worry. But, like I mentioned, I'm a complete rookie and bees can be unforgiving about mistakes. If I'm too hasty in putting a frame back in and squish someone, then the fight is on. Or if I don't pick the right weather and they're just in an ornery mood. Bees are still pretty much a mystery to me.

I do know what you mean about the bee "mood". The vibrating pitch seems to change within seconds of me squishing a bee, or after the first sting. They go from a pleasant happy hum to a very agitated whine. That's when I know I'm about to get stung a lot. I've tried just walking away at that point and coming back in a few minutes, but it always seem to happen when I've got the smoker going out on me and a brood box partially off the hive. Or the last 2 minutes when I needed to finish up.

I've got another good opportunity coming up next week when I take the supers. I'm expecting a full scale onslaught and will probably walk back to the house with a record number of stingers attached. That's even after the last time when I felt I could have filled a pint jar with all the stingers I pulled out. I'm just not charming enough for the bee ladies. :)
 

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Iddee said:
Every beek should wear what is comfortable for them. The old beek knows bees. How to smoke them, how to handle them, and most important, how to listen to them. They will "talk" to you once you have had them for a while. You can tell by the sound they make what mood they are in and when their mood changes. Until you understand them, you should be fully suited.

With the exception of jynxt's dd 14. She charms them into not stinging. :shrug:
She's a little :angel:

LOL, she sure does charm those bees don't she! They don't hesitate to sting her though when she irritates them, I think she's been stung more than anyone else!

We learned from one of the best how to watch the "bee mood" and sweet talk the 'girls'. I'm actually quite shocked that I *still* haven't been stung and the kids have only been stung a few times. Maybe someday we'll graduate to the Iddee style beekeeping attire....whatever you have on at the time :hobbyhors
 

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Yeah, well, when i first got started, i went with two old time beekeepers to visit their yards....when we finished at the first yard, i walked a few yards away from the hives and took off my vail.. a bee got in my hair.. i swatted at it. they scolded me for swatting,,,told me that it attracted other bees. which is of course is correct. at the next yard, i walked 50 yards away from the hives and took off my vail.. i looked back at the old timers, both were swatting at bees that had gotten in their hair... advice is sometimes easier to give than take.

good bees suit, cause sooner or later your bees are gonna be mean. sometimes real mean.
 
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