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Author Topic: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets  (Read 1213 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« on: January 27, 2023, 05:33:55 pm »
We are having an interesting conversation on another topic about washing bee suits.

I am reminded of a young lady in Texas who I have never seen wear anything for sting protection while viewing a few of her YouTube videos featuring cutouts and Saving The Bees. I have watched many of JPs videos where he and Schawee rarely wear sting protection. Now we are talking wild bees!

I sometimes wear protection, and always will when I feel it necessary. What about you? What are your experiences when it comes to sting protection and bees?

Phillip 
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Lesgold

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2023, 05:55:38 pm »
Hi Phillip

It comes down to a simple, individual choice. I have some lovely quiet bees that would rarely sting and are an absolute delight to work. On a cooler, overcast day or during a dearth their temperament can change. If we know our bees, we can quite often predict their behaviour but not always. Not wearing a veil obviously increases the risk of being stung on the face, especially around the eye. Some people are prepared to take the chance, others are not. Each to their own. It doesn?t really matter either way. It?s what you feel comfortable with. As we are on the topic of what we wear, have any of you found that dark items of clothing cause issues? If I wear dark sunglasses, they seam to be a focal point for any bees that are upset. Navy blue or black socks also appear to act as bee magnets if they are visible.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2023, 08:02:22 pm »
95 percent of the time I don?t wear any protection. I will when the weather is not good or if I know a certain hive is rough to handle. When doing cutouts I test the bees before smoking them to see their reaction. First I get close and eventually I pet the guard bees. If I don?t get stung then I don?t use protection. If during a cutout I get more than 20 stings, I will put a jacket on. I usually end up removing it when I get more than half of the hive removed. They usually give up defending the hive at that point. I always make sure I have one available in case I do need one.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2023, 09:31:49 pm »
I agree with Les, everyone should wear what is comfortable for them, both physically and psychologically.  For me that is ALWAYS a veil, even if I'm just opening up the top of a hive to add feed in the winter.  In my opinion, it's just not worth the risk to the eyes to not wear one.  For normal inspection work I always wear a full suit and nitrile gloves, since I get bad sting reactions.  It's not only to just avoid getting stung as much as possible, but I also just feel more at ease knowing I'm protected. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline max2

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2023, 11:26:59 pm »
At this point I'm not aware of any of my hives being defensive but I ALWAYS wear a beesuit and anybody "helping" me will also wear a spare one I have.

Often people will comment about the " why" as the bees are hardly reacting to us working them.
Simple - you only need to drop a frame or make a minor mistake to stir them up.

It takes me minutes to put on my suit.

I wear thin gloves most of the time. Bees can sting through them but they give me a good grip and are easy to wash.

As has been said - whatever works for you.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2023, 07:55:16 am »
I have several times received dozens of stings in a second.  Things can go bad quickly and unpredictably.  One time I stepped in a hole in the beeyard (gopher?) and I dropped a brood box.  It disintegrated.  10,000 or more bees in the air in less than a second.  Luckily I had some protection on.  One time I was brushing bees into a box that had clustered on the stump of the tree they lived in which had snapped off in a storm.  I had a jacket on, but it was plastered to my back with sweat and I got 20 or more stings on my back in about a half a second.  Luckily I had a veil.  I once brushed a swarm off at the top of a 20 ft ladder and it went down the back of my shirt.  Funny how a swarm swings before it lets go...  Again 20 or more stings in just a second.  You're not just wearing protective equipment for the predictable things...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline AustinB

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2023, 10:21:07 am »
I suit up based on what I plan to do. Removals I will start with a jacket and veil, if they are fairly calm I will often just use a veil. If I'm getting down into brood nests and making manipulations I will also wear my jacket and probably a pair of jeans. If it's just weekly inspections during the spring and summer flows, I'm usually in shorts and a veil, and sometimes a t-shirt. You will likely never see me without a veil, I use my eyes for too many other important things.
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2023, 08:58:08 am »
"I use my eyes for too many other important things."

I share your concern Austin. Though many times I do not wear the veil but when the thought hits me. I will use it. lol TheHoneyPump told us some time back of being stung in the eyeball itself and described the Kaleidoscope effect. Fortunately for him, his associate removed the stinger promptly.

From there I searched and found a video of a bee stinger removal which was embedded in an eyeball and apparently had been there for a while. Not a pretty sight...

Phillip






« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 09:22:04 am by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2023, 02:28:57 pm »
I suit up based on what I plan to do. Removals I will start with a jacket and veil, if they are fairly calm I will often just use a veil. If I'm getting down into brood nests and making manipulations I will also wear my jacket and probably a pair of jeans. If it's just weekly inspections during the spring and summer flows, I'm usually in shorts and a veil, and sometimes a t-shirt. You will likely never see me without a veil, I use my eyes for too many other important things.

Same here. But I ALWAYS wear a veil - without exception.  Thick, 8mil nitrile gloves, mostly to keep my hands clean.  This thickness will prevent stings in general - but not when you pick something up with a bee on it.  T-shirt in summer. ALWAYS long pants.

Cutouts: I start with a full bee jacket.  May end up with just a veil. Helpers are always suited with jackets. Or I provide a veil with instructions to wear long shirts and pants.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2023, 06:15:58 am »
If you've never experienced it yet, just wait until you have a bee crawl into your ear.  You'll be thinking about that every time you don't wear a veil...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2023, 06:49:58 am »
If you've never experienced it yet, just wait until you have a bee crawl into your ear.  You'll be thinking about that every time you don't wear a veil...

LOL Brings back memories! Check out this topic:

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=53348.msg481018#msg481018

Phillip
« Last Edit: February 14, 2023, 10:56:01 am by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline iddee

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2023, 09:47:05 am »
I've had them in my ears, up my nose, even stung on my tongue. I still don't wear a veil until after about the tenth sting. I do removals shirtless and without veil. The worst sting I have ever had was in the corner of my eye, right in the tear duct. Believe me, you will cry for awhile with that one.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2023, 10:42:06 am »
I haven't had the tear duct stung.  Inside the nose is pretty painful and made my eyes water a lot...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2023, 12:42:06 pm »
All this is reinforcing my commitment to veils.  :shocked: :grin:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2023, 02:20:55 pm »
I almost always wear a veil.  Emphasis on the "almost"  After 49 years of keeping bees there were bound to be times that I didn't..
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline iddee

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2023, 04:34:38 pm »
This is definitely a case of ""do as I say, not as I do"". If you are uncomfortable getting stung, or are uncomfortable working bees bare faced, absolutely wear protection. If I don't get a few stings when working them, I will pick up a couple or more and sting myself when I'm done for my arthritis.
As I've said many times, beekeeping is very personal. Everyone should develop their own style, and most important, keep it fun and enjoyable.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Offline AustinB

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2023, 04:53:55 pm »
"I use my eyes for too many other important things."

I share your concern Austin. Though many times I do not wear the veil but when the thought hits me. I will use it.

I agree, sometimes I think its such a hassle. But at the end of the day I really don't enjoy being stung in the face. If its near my eye I usually swell up a little.
The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2023, 06:21:36 pm »
I rarely use protection but if you are working 🐝 with me that doesn?t mean that you shouldn?t wear protection. My problem is when I don?t get stung, I have problems, specially my left shoulder. I have had very few stings this winter and my shoulder has been acting up more than ever. If I get stung on a regular basis, it doesn?t bother me at all.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2023, 06:22:18 pm »
iddee
""do as I say, not as I do""

I hear you iddee. I am with you and don't mind so much getting stung. Its the shot to the eyeball itself. lol I didn't think much about it until TheHoneyPump gave the heads up.
Even still I take the chance many times. Especially when I am working them in a hurry and they are calm.

One thing is for sure when one makes her mind up to let you have it, there's not much that can be done with full hands. Man they are fast with their strike and zap kamikaze attacks!
:cheesy:  :grin:


Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2023, 06:28:21 pm »
I rarely use protection but if you are working 🐝 with me that doesn?t mean that you shouldn?t wear protection. My problem is when I don?t get stung, I have problems, specially my left shoulder. I have had very few stings this winter and my shoulder has been acting up more than ever. If I get stung on a regular basis, it doesn?t bother me at all.
Jim Altmiller


Thanks Jim, Since we are on the good subject there is a beekeeper in Florida that makes Youtube videos which says he had skin cancer on his arm. He collected ten bees and had them sting him on the skin cancer and all around it. I can't remember the schedule but he says when he went back for another biopsy it came negative.  True or False I do not know.... 🤷‍♂️

Phillip





« Last Edit: February 16, 2023, 11:36:30 am by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.