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Would this jacket be OK for a beginner?

 
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Would this jacket be OK for a beginner? Reply with quote

Just finished my TBH and hoping to have some bees if I get lucky in the next month or so.

I don't have any protective clothing currently, and I like the idea of the minimalist approach. But having said that something may arise where I wish I had access to more protection. Going to be keeping the hive in our garden, so may have to deal with them promptly if they get out of hand and cause problems with neighbours/kids/wife.

So with all that in mind, would something like the following jacket be a sensible investment, or should I get a full suit. I was hoping to get by with just using a veil and hat most of the time.

Amazon item : B00FYOP31S (sorry, the forum won't let me do a URL link)

And can someone recommend a simple veil, or material to make one please.

Thanks.[/url]
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks good enough, set of gloves and your away, I personally have a full suit, but then have 5 plus hives, I'd say to get your kids suits if they want to get involved,

you shouldn't get problems if sited correctly, I have two hives around 3ft away from a 4ft fence, next door has lots of small children, no stings in 4yrs, and they have swarmed into that garden twice
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on your own temperament, I guess, as well as your bees'. In order to save money I started out with a homemade cobbling together of veil and jacket combo, plus trousers with elasticated leg cuffs. But after fellow beginners told me they'd had bees get inside their jackets I bought a cheapo all-in-one online. Being cowardly of course! - But I know myself, and as a beginner I make mistakes and am not as relaxed and smooth around the hives as I would like to be. And for the same reasons some recommend smokers: yes, you may not need it for most of the time, depending on lots of factors, but it's there if you suddenly need it - for any reason. eg went to get a colony out from under someone's roof, etc.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started out with just a hat and veil and I would occasionally get a bee inside the veil which is a bit distracting. My bees are mild mannered and more often than not ot was only interested in finding it's way back out so I would walk away from the hive, lift the veil to release it and then resecure the veil and return to the hive.

Then one day I offered to help a friend with her bees which admittedly, she had already requeened once due to aggression. We got half way through the inspection with no problems and then suddenly they changed and decided they were going to attack. There was a tiny gap where the elastic on my veil wasn't sitting flush against my clothes and you would think there was a flashing sign saying "entrance this way"! They came in one after another and started stinging around my eyes. There were at least another hundred angrily buzzing around my head outside the veil. I retreated rapidly but they followed. It took over quarter of a mile before they left us and went back to the hive. I was very lucky to only take 5 stings in the face but by the next day my face was swollen to twice it's size and both my eyes had closed up. I was incapacitated for 2 days and sore for a week. My friend had a bee proof suit and after that, so did I! I have only dealt with one other colony that was as unpleasant and even with a bee proof suit, it was extremely intimidating.

I think Kim is right, if you have a bee proof suit, you have peace of mind to concentrate on what you want to look at during an inspection and not be thinking, "Is that bee on the inside?". I bought mine really cheaply on ebay a few years ago from a lady in Portugal and it was under £50 including delivery. It is bee proof apart from the ankles which I tuck into boots or wellies. It is very comfortable and really easy to put on and take off and has some pockets which are useful for hive tool, queen clip/marker, mobile phone/camera and car keys when I am working away from home.

I must confess I haven't looked at the jacket you mention but bear in mind that if it is elasticated at the waist/hips, it will most likely ride up as you are working and may expose areas that were covered when you started or create gaps for bee entry.

That said, I recently purchased a fencing style hood integrated into an elasticated mesh vest on ebay for under £10 for use by visitors to my apiary who don't fit into my spare suit. Worn on top of a pair of general purpose cotton overalls with gauntleted gloves or marigolds or elasticated wrists, this works very well and is probably a cheaper option than buying a bee suit as no doubt general work wear overalls will be less expensive to source.

Some people get camouflage suits but I find white is best as I can check my reflection in a window for "hangers on" before I disrobe and they are easy to see on the white overall.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first had anything to do with bees it was a set of white overalls a straw boater and a net over the top....not bee proof really and I used to get stung a bit. When I came back to bee keeping it was a big consideration for us to have good suits so now we have full suits and have not regretted the expense.
A
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara's advice is very sensible. As a new beekeeper you will not know your bees and make some novice mistakes. It only takes one sting to set off all the others and then you may be in trouble, stings to the face are very unpleasant. It is probably also important to know if you are allergic to bee stings.
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, and I'm now looking at a suit rather than a jacket!
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, and I'm now looking at a suit rather than a jacket!

What constitutes a 'good' suit as opposed to a poor one. Does thickness of material come into it. Here's what I'm suggesting now: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bee-suit-ALL-SIZES-Medium/dp/B00BO3FDPO/ Does this seem adequate for a beginner?

Regarding veils to be simply worn over a hat, any suggestions. I have mosquito/midge netting but it's unnecessarily dark as the hole size is smaller.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The suit will change your attitude towards the bees - for the bad.

Better accept that the bees will teach you through stings ( or not stinging). You learn much faster if you are not wrapped up. Saves you five wasted years. Bees hate veils and especially gloves. I have the experience, that you'll get less stings with only a minimum of protection. And so do my beginners I do teach.

Better look for a smoker. And a slip-in veil. That's it.

Don't get me wrong here, if you feel better in full protection, do use it. But from experience with my beginners ( a hundred beginners so far), you have better success with low protection, but with high attention while working.

Get a smoker.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural = naked and barefooded.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

German beginner beekeepers are obviously more stoic than the English ones I have hosted!
I think if you have an attitude to be ham fisted, you are not going to make a good beekeeper regardless of the lack of a suit, but perhaps will give up sooner if you don't have a full protection, which may be better for the bees in the long run of course!

Yes, that suit looks good (it's always difficult to judge from photos), but the reviews on it are really good, especially from people who are more experienced and have bought it as a replacement.
Personally I prefer a brimmed hat and veil set up rather than a fencing mask type because if you are in a position where you are looking upwards, (working up a ladder on trap out's, collecting swarms etc) the hood can fall back and the mesh make contact with your face, whereas the brim on a hat maintains the veil off the face, but it's a minor detail and I think that's an excellent price for that suit. I would go for it.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:

Personally I prefer a brimmed hat and veil set up rather than a fencing mask type because if you are in a position where you are looking upwards, (working up a ladder on trap out's, collecting swarms etc) the hood can fall back and the mesh make contact with your face, whereas the brim on a hat maintains the veil off the face, but it's a minor detail and I think that's an excellent price for that suit. I would go for it.

I wear a baseball cap under the veil to counteract that problem.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trekmate wrote:

I wear a baseball cap under the veil to counteract that problem.


yup, flat cap for me too
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mefgbee
Guard Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2014
Posts: 57
Location: UK, Cheltenham

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll go for that suit and that's one bit of kit sorted. Having attended one of Phil courses last year I had, and still, hope to pursue a more natural course. Maybe once confidence grows, common sense, experience, and a veil may suffice. But the scenario Barbara outlined does make me wary initially!

So, next question... I have one of those barber's powder puffer things (that I intend to use with icing sugar), and a fine mist water sprayer. Should I get (do I really need) a smoker too?
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You won't need a smoker until you need to smoke the bees, then it's too late to get one!

A little smoke (very little) goes a long way in keeping bees calm IMHO.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
...I must confess I haven't looked at the jacket you mention but bear in mind that if it is elasticated at the waist/hips, it will most likely ride up as you are working and may expose areas that were covered when you started or create gaps for bee entry.


I just have jacket with built-in (zipped-on) veil. I put the bottom of the jacket inside my trousers, which avoids 'riding up' and combats the bees' tendency to walk upwards and possibly inside any layer which overhangs. Trouser bottoms inside wellingtons for same reason.

It was a cheap jacket - I know from experience that the bees can sting my arms through it, similarly legs through jeans (though a sting through clothing unlikely to be as 'full-strength' as one direct to the skin). So - perhaps overkill - I wear a second layer: a long-sleeved shirt under the jacket, and a second pair of trousers. Both these items are ideal for bee-keeping - they're from before I decided to slim, and are far too large!

A full-suit would be more convenient, but with the extra trousers, I essentially have the equivalent.

I wear leather gauntlets as well. So far (about a year) I've never been stung while actually bee-keeping, but have taken a few on other occasions - standing on a bee in stocking feet, putting my hand on one inside the house, etc. I get bad swelling if stung, so definitely try to avoid it.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A smoker used correctly is worth its weight in gold. Its no good trying to calm already upset bees, better to stop the upset before it happens.

Cheers
Rob
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csturgess
House Bee


Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Location: somerset, uk

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were given a smoker for Christmas two years ago and have never used it. Then again, our bees are very good natured. We have only ever used water and patience.

Regarding the duster, we use a barber's type duster which is fine but it does occassionally get clogged. You just have to turn it right side up and knock the sugar out of the head or if it gets really bad unscrew the top. Not much of a hassle really for something cheap and simple!
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Jon
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 172
Location: N Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Zaunreiter. All I ever use for protection is a £5 observation smock from Thorne and a pair of nitrile gloves and I manage over 30 colonies plus a load more at the association apiary.
The very worst move you can make is to wear leather gloves as all bees get riled up by them. Even good colonies can get aggressive when handled badly.
Really aggressive bees are a menace and should be requeened. You might feel safe inside a beesuit but no one else who happens to be in the area is likely to be wearing a bee suit.
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Jasbee
Nurse Bee


Joined: 18 Nov 2014
Posts: 39
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, first off I haven't read all of the previous answers so apologise if it doubles up.

Making your own veil is super easy ( granted you or someone you know can sew a straight line).
Start with
broad brimmed hat eg straw hat
70 cm (3/4 yard) of dark (black or blue) tulle or netting
Narrow elastic (length of head circumference)

Fold over one long edge and sew to form a tube and put elastic though.
Sew short sides to form circle.

Place over hat, tuck ends into over shirt - done.
See here for someone else's directions http://www.klamathbeekeepers.org/Beekeeping_Articles/Beekeping_Equipment/making_your_own_veil_on_a_budget.html

We don't bother with suits or jackets just large old white work shirts tucked into jeans.
Maybe just try and then see what you need.
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