NZBF: What do you wash your suits with

Wknz

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A recent post by @Bron referenced washing suits.

I know bees are sensitive to smells and can get stirred up.

What do people wash suits with? Nappysan? Washing soda or other products?

Also leather gloves. They get so sticky they need cleaning.

A question not covered in bee keeping course :)
 

Grant

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The suit will have a wash label on it old chap and will vary depending on design and materials used.
The gloves, hand wash in cold water. Hang to dry in shade. Do not tumble dry. Do not use bleach.
 

Sailabee

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I finger paint swarfega on the propolis, and leave to work for about 20 minutes, then wash - minus veil in any of the nappy wash powders - they steralise without the extreme pH of the caustic in hypochlorite solution, which shortens the life of the fabric.
 

ChrisM

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we don't do anything special for suits (just a regular wash for cotton or synthetic depending on the suit) but the key thing is that they are washed on their own with no other regular clothes included.

For gloves finger tips always go prematurely so I wear safety gloves underneath. When getting all sticky with honey I rinse them under the tap while wearing them to rub off and dissolve honey.
 

Mummzie

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I know bees are sensitive to smells and can get stirred up.
I have spent time with a beekeeper who is particular about suits not having residual perfume after washing. Use the minimum laundry powder required and keep separate from other washing.
 
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Use your leather gloves for gardening and that buys some PVC gloves and use cotton inners to soak up the sweat. I have a dedicated machine for washing veils and overalls which get washed daily in summer and at least every three or four days in spring and autumn. Clean gloves every day and a spare pair behind the seat in case of a disease find. I remove the hood from the veil before it goes in the machine and hand wash them every now and again. I find ordinary washing powder fine.
Propolis does tend to stick at times but I'm more interested in having my clothes clean than spotless.
Never wash wool socks with vails with Velcro bits!
Over the years I've known a few beekeepers that appeared to never wash anything and that also works as long as you don't have too get downwind of them. Maybe it helps to control the varoa.
 

Bron

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I have tie dyed all my suits because I’m a girl & it makes me happy. I always have darker knees because that’s the dirtiest part of my suit. I wash in soap powder, not floral, and a bit of homemade liquid. @tristan my suit never looks clean!
 

Wknz

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I finger paint swarfega on the propolis, and leave to work for about 20 minutes, then wash - minus veil in any of the nappy wash powders - they steralise without the extreme pH of the caustic in hypochlorite solution, which shortens the life of the fabric.
I had been using nappysan but then the wife bought some which smelled like eucalyptus and lavender
Not sure the bees appreciated it or worse appreciated it too much. I dont want end up like @Mummzie photo
 
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Sailabee

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I had been using nappysan but then the wife bought some which smelled like eucalyptus and lavender
Not sure the bees appreciated it or worse appreciated it too much. I dont want end up like @mumsies photo
Yes, that could well be the case, so I always go for the perfume free ones.
 

Wknz

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Stop wearing gloves man!
I never used too then had that really aggressive hive. Guess I gotta suck it up and trust again.
But I'm not wearing shorts again....once was enough :)

I have tie dyed all my suits because I’m a girl & it makes me happy. I always have darker knees because that’s the dirtiest part of my suit. I wash in soap powder, not floral, and a bit of homemade liquid. @tristan my suit never looks clean!
Is this the human equivalent to marking the queen? Easy to spot and identify?
 

Bron

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Is this the human equivalent to marking the queen? Easy to spot and identify?

I really don’t care! I’m happy! In a job like this which can go from sublime to completely feral at a drop of a hat, I’ll take anything that makes me happy. Tie -dyed suits, colourful patches, fabulous lunches, ice cold coffee! One of my suits is green, I used to be able to lie down camouflaged in the grass & watch Dale work... (She’s only a part time worker these days & we don’t often work together anymore as I have the babies if she’s at work with Himself.) Maybe next year.

Our old trucks ID us easier as they are a bigger target. We’re not often visible from the road, except in a few of Dale’s yards. There’s so many beekeepers in Gisborne I’ve given up trying to keep up with their shiny utes, let alone who is driving them. We keep very different hours to most beeks anyway.
 
E

Earthboy

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Unverified Content: Some or all of the content of this post contains unverified claims. Information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.
I would rather wash the staff suits weekly than patch them when they start to rot.
View attachment 194
When not washing after work, keep them outside the house like in the cab of your pickup; otherwise, the bee venom on your suit, in the form of micro aerosol particles, will make your family member hypersensitive, if not allergic, to bee sting in the future.

Earthboy
 

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