Gentle Bees, Beesuits Veils and Jackets

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Ben Framed:
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?


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.

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

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. 

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.


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