Quality bee suits will vary from about $60 to hundreds of dollars, but they all tend to have several key features. All well-made suits will have plenty of pockets (sometimes eight or more) double stitching on all important seams, a removable, self-supporting bee veil and hat, and elastic or Velcro around the ankles, waist and wrists to keep bees out of vulnerable areas.
The Beekeeper Hat
Your head is one of the most important parts of yourself that you can protect, which makes a bee hat a crucial piece of equipment for staying safe. Most beekeeping hats are covered by a veil from the outside that keeps it seamlessly as one piece or as a removable piece that can be attached to the hat. Whether you want yours attached or removable comes to personal preference, but an attached design tends to be harder for bees to access. Most bee keeper hats have a veil that extends well past the neck to ensure that this vulnerable body part is completely protected by both the collar in the suit and the hat’s veil.
Types of Bee Veils
There are three main types of veils that are used to cover your face in sting proof bee suits: round, fencing and square.
– Round veil suits are the classic design and provide you with a wide range of view while protecting your face with a layer of breathable mesh. This gives you great ventilation and prevents you from overheating in severe summer temperatures.
– Fencing veil suits are a more modern design that helps keep your hairstyle from getting destroyed from wearing a hat while you work with your bees. It’s a smart choice for anyone with long or styled hair that doesn’t want to compromise it for their beekeeping hobby.
– Square veil suits are designed to be compact and fold-able, ensuring that your suit is easy to store in the often provided beekeeping bag. You’ll get a great range of view while also allowing cool air to come in and keep your head from over heating. For the space conscious beekeeper, this design is a great option.
Types of Fabric
There are several types of fabric that beekeeping clothing can come in. The most common options are polycotton, ventilated and aerated. Polycotton tends to be a blend of cotton and polyester that is close to a fifty- fifty ratio of the two, and the woven combination of the two produce a durable fabric that is a great way to avoid bee stings. Ventilated bee suits tend to be made up of three layers, with a synthetic layer on the outsides and a foam core in the middle that creates an air gap between the fabrics, a space just large enough for a bee stinger to get lodged in without making any contact with your skin. Finally, aerated suits are made from polycotton fabric but have foam panels and mesh added to the chest area to keep you safe and provide extra air flow.
Getting a Proper Fit
When you buy a bee protective clothing, it’s important to pay attention to the size that you order. Getting a bee clothing that swallows you up because it’s too big will make taking care of your bees a miserable experience for you. Pay careful attention to the sizing charts on the beekeeping outfits website and take measurements of yourself if you aren’t sure what size you fit into. Trust us, buying a properly fitting bee suit will make a huge difference in how well the experience goes for you.
Beekeeping gloves are an important accessory because they protect the part of your body that is most likely to provoke the bees: your hands. Make sure you order gloves that have a good seal along your wrists and that connect directly with the rest of the suit so that no part of your arms is vulnerable. Getting bee gloves with elastic or Velcro attachments is a smart idea.
Owning the right gear is an essential step in starting to be a beekeeper, and buying the right suit is one of the most important beekeeping purchases you will make. Wearing a high quality beehive suit can make the difference between a successful collection of honey and a visit to the hospital. Do your research and find the best beekeeper suit for your needs, and you’ll be sure to have a better overall experience with this fun hobby.