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Thread: Let's talk bee suits.

  1. #1
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    Default Let's talk bee suits.

    I seem to be going through suits every other year at the moment. I found the cause of bees in my hood the other day on one suit, the mesh has almost completely disintegrated on my fencer veil smock from Maisemore:



    Granted that's now 4 years old, but I checked the veil on my newer, no name (but not cheap) full suit and it is also starting to go after one full season and I suspect it won't last a great deal longer.

    In both cases the mesh is plastic/nylon which seems to go brittle and starts to snap.

    I was having a look at some suits last night.

    Having tried a full suit, it's a lot of hassle when you've only got a couple of hives so was going to go back to a smock type affair,

    I noticed a few people recently using the bee basic astronaut smock:


    I also looked at Sherriff and BB wear as other possible candidates.

    What are others using/recommend preferably that will last a good few years or at least has a replaceable hood/veil?
    Last edited by Neils; 09-05-2012 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Links and Pics added for information.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Hi, I'm pretty new to this forum, and to be honest wasn't planning on making many/regular posts simply because it can become too much of a commitment -and on occassions even stressful- to write on these internet forums especially so when we don't personally know the people that we're exchanging views with. First question I find myself asking these days is; could I have this same conversation with these people if we were all sat on a train or in a pub?

    I found myself coming back to this forum on a regular basis for two primary reasons, firstly, there's the strong native bee sub forum which is a subject that I've recently been giving much more thought to and secondly, there appears a far more relaxed approach in these parts -more people talking bees than there are polishing egos. So I joined, and i've read and enjoyed. Hello.

    Now Nellie, to your question, as a starting point I like full suits, not due to any undue terror of bees but because they protect my clothes.

    I've worn BB suits for about eight years now (I'm on my second) however, the veil on my newest suit has ripped -not sure how/when but it's no longer much use. The one thing which I'm certain of is that it's most certainly not a manufacturing fault. This has left me using the veil off my old BB suit which interesingly doesn't fit! The zip is shorter so there's an inch or so hole at the front which gets plugged with some foam! The reason that I haven't bought a new veil from BB is that I'm planning on buying one of the Dadant suits with a zip on square mesh veil/hat. Maybe not as convenient as the fencing hoods but I always used to wear the wire veils before getting into BBwear and actually find them a little cooler (more comfortable) and I also feel that they give better visibilty. All of that said, I must point out that the BB suits are fantastic value for money, very comfortable and well made -with proper care they do last for years.

    All the Best,
    Roland
    Last edited by prakel; 09-05-2012 at 12:17 PM.

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    We're still wearing our Steele & Brodie jackets with hat & veil after nearly 25 years. We wear standard boiler suits underneath; his is dark blue, standard boiler suit, mine is a fetching green, designed for stable work with lots of useful pockets for things like hoof picks which can also take a smoker lighter and hive tool! Onto our second pair of gloves each, not the cheapest but not the most expensive either!

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    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    Great topic!

    I got my bee suit as part of a starter kit, however within the first year the veil had developed holes in it- only discovered when a bee decided to join me in it. The veil is made of nylon and agree with everything Nellie said about them. I've been looking for a new one for the past few years but havent got round to getting one i want to be sure the next one will last. I have made do with my current one by closing the gaps by sewing it up with whatever colour thread is available and it has become rather colourful- almost a work of art but is distracting when I'm trying to look past the lines of thread into the hive.

    I haven't tried the all in one, I just use the smock and trousers. I've also decided against having a white suit as it is difficult to keep a low profile and they stain very easily.

    Looking forward to hearing everyone else's thoughts.

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    I've replaced the mesh on a suit using net fabric - pretty much any decent fabric shop will sell it. Ask for the type of stuff you'd use on bridal underskirts if all else fails....!
    I hate the smock-type, I get a stung bum through my trousers practically every time, or get them flying up under the top the first time I bend over and it comes untucked.

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    Senior Member HJBee's Avatar
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    Got my all in one from Modern Beekeeping, was good value compared to others (57 + Del), has the traditional round hat section as I had listened to some experienced folk re the likelihood of a sting to the face with the fencing/concertina type. I feel it is good quality, but they only do white.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I like these and recently bought 3 more. Cheap as chips and last a couple of years.
    You need to trust your bees though as they don't offer a lot of protection, just keeping the bees out of your face.

    http://www.thorne.co.uk/hardware/clo...roduct_id=2025

    They are really light and comfortable compared to other jackets.
    I used to use just a veil but I like the way these have elasticated wrists.

    The other thing I have started using is an elasticated wrist bandage which you can pull a nitrile glove over. The jacket sleeve can be tucked into the glove.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-WHITE-WR...item27b9636059

    PS, and welcome to the forum Roland.
    The native bee forum will be kicking off again soon when the rain stops and the queenrearing starts again.
    Our group has its first meeting of the year next Monday.
    Last edited by Jon; 09-05-2012 at 01:13 PM.

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    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    I forgot all about considering that aspect of the suit Mine is the one that looks like a fencing suit and find that I do need to keep pulling it off my face which is annoying. So, a must have for my next suit is the round hat.

    I like the idea of just buying the netting too as besides the holes and the hat shape, it is still fine. I can always have it as a spare then.

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    I bought a camo top & veil three years ago from: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/1trelill/?_trksid=p4340.l2559

    I don't like full suits - too restrictive. Most of my keeping is at home: pop in and out when time free.

    Suit still OK as is veil..

    IF I needed a full suit - really horrible bees - I have a full zip up car mechanics uniform like this:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panoply-Boil...sr=1-1-catcorr

    which is perfectly bee tight and wear my jacket on top. No bee in the UK can sting through the uniform.. and it's ideal for cold days..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    Now Nellie, to your question, as a starting point I like full suits, not due to any undue terror of bees but because they protect my clothes.

    All the Best,
    Roland
    Welcome to the Forum Roland, nowt wrong with "lurking", to use forum parlance, but always nice to see a new face.

    Totally agree with you about that aspect of using a full suit. What I don't like about mine is that it gets very hot and the time it takes to put on when you maybe only want to do a quick check or maybe change a feeder which is why I kept the smock lurking about (and it was handy to lend to others). I was considering getting/making a cheapie veil along the lines of what beeane suggests for doing quick things that don't require a full suit but you want to keep inquisitive bees off your face/out of your hair. I think like most people I've quickly learned from experience that the one time you don't wear at least a veil is when you learn the value of spending those extra 30 seconds putting it on, even if only to change a feeder.

    My first suit from Maisemore I've ended up hating, aside from the holes in the mesh, the fencing "supports" also quickly deformed after a few goes in the washing machine making it very difficult to keep the veil off my face.

    I have a pair of cheap, light fabric, cargo pant type trousers that I use for outdoor work/beekeeping. Cool in hot weather and baggy enough that I've never been stung through them. If they get covered in mud/paint/propolis I don't mind, I just lace my boots around the ankle cuffs to stop bees getting in.

    My full suit has a much better fencer type veil than Maisemore's, both in terms of keeping its shape and being big enough that it stays far enough off your face while working.

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