I live in the Houston, TX area… That means HOT during the spring, HOTTER during the summer, HOT during the fall, and if winter falls on a Saturday, you can plan on having to wear a light jacket for the bbq. (I exaggerate slightly – winter could take an entire weekend.)
That said, I need to choose the “Bee Suit” and general equipment.
What do you guys recommend/use for a “suit”? Just a jacket? A full suit?
What about a smoker, etc… ? Links/websites would be helpful to point me in the right direction!
I would suggest one of each, but perhaps start with a full suit. The reason is that you are in TX, and like us in SoCal, there will be africanized bees in your area. If you ever go to pick up a swarm, you might be very glad to have a full suit if they are unfriendly bees! Also, if you buy your bees locally, you never know when you might accidentally be sold a rogue colony (been there, done that, glad I had a full suit).
Once you get to know your bees, you can go down to a jacket, or even just a veil if they are really gentle.
This is my favorite suit - never been stung through it in 2 seasons so far:
It looks ugly, but it is great protection, and it stays cooler than any other suit I have worn.
I really like wearing these cleaning gloves. They do get a little warm, but the bees cannot sting through them and they get covered in honey, pollen, or propolis - they are easily cleaned. A lot more dexterity than the big leather gloves.