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Flow has arrived, bees late next month... What about equipment?


#1

So I have the Flow Hive now…

Bees are coming late next month.

Now I need to choose some clothing/equipment…

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!

Thank you!

-Michael


#2

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! :blush: 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.

This hat and veil zips to the suit very well. I have been stung once with it, but only because I let the netting touch my neck when handling africanized bees:
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Hat-Veil-Combo-w_half-zip/productinfo/990BZ/

These are my favorite gloves, but stings will go through them a little. I think that is true of just about all gloves. These have the best “feel” if you have to wear gloves at all:

This smoker is pretty good:
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Brushy-Mountain-Smoker/productinfo/751/

I really like this smoker fuel, and I have tried a lot of different types. Just start it with a strip of newspaper underneath, like you might for BBQ charcoal in a chimney, then it burns for ages if you pack it properly:
https://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/7/NewBEE/4473/Burlap-Smoker-Fuel

For hive tools, I prefer the J-type, like this one:
https://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/12/Smokers-Tools/Tools/4028/J-Hook-Hive-Tool

Even better is this mini one, but my hands are small, so it might not suit you:

Let me know if I missed anything! :smile:


#3

Get a ventilated jacket. If you have the money, also get a ventilated suit. It may literally save your life. Heat stroke can kill you.


#4

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.


#5

“Bush10m
Get a ventilated jacket. If you have the money, also get a ventilated suit. It may literally save your life. Heat stroke can kill you.”

Oh, I know! I treat several cases a year here when workers at the chemical plants don’t pay attention to heat exposure or hydration…

That’s why I asked about recommendations and gave clues about the wonderful weather we get in the summer… :slight_smile:
-M