As with anything in beekeeping, there are several options when it comes to choosing a bee suit. The easiest way of choosing the most suitable bee suit is to try it out in your local beekeeper store. Trying it out enables you to test how comfortable it is and if it is the right size. Remember, you might wear it for more than an hour at a time so it should feel comfortable in it.
You know that your head is one of the most important areas to protect and a beekeeper hat does just that. However, the hat alone is not enough so it should always be worn with a beekeeping veil. The hat is used to protect the head while the veil is protecting the neck and the face. If you wear glasses, you should try the veil first before buying. Because of different quality among veils, some of them in combination with your glasses might hinder your sight.
The hat and veil can be a one piece or separated, but having them separated seems impractical and insecure. The veil could get separated by accident, and that could enable bees to enter, getting you in danger of being stung on the head. Another advantage of having the hat and veil as one piece is that they are easy to fasten to the bee suit so bees cannot enter the suit.
There are several options of veils to choose from, and each comes with some positive and negative aspects to it. You can choose among the three shapes of veils: round, hood, and square.
Hood veil - minimizes contact between the veil and the head and hair, so it offers excellent protection to your head and neck. However, if the design is off the hood can hang too low and obstruct the view in certain angles.
Round veil - provides a wide field of view and has plenty of space between the mesh and the head. Its design and breathable mesh provides excellent ventilation and help the beekeeper stay cooler on hot summer days.
Square veil - consists of a hardhat and mesh veil which are sold separately. The front mesh is quite spacious for sufficient view, and the side mesh allows good ventilation.
No matter what style you choose, we recommend selecting a suit where the veil zippers to the body of the bee suit. They are more secure than strings and elastic, plus easier to put on and take off.
It should be white because dark colors remind bees of predators encouraging them to attack even more. Bees usually avoid white clothes. Another reason to wear white is that most beekeeping activities are done during the summer. White clothes absorb less heat from the sun, helping you stay a little cooler.
Traditionally suits are made from a heavy cotton canvas, but nowadays you can also get ventilated suits. Ventilated bee suits are made from several layers of mesh which allows air to pass through. Choosing a ventilated bee suit will be a significant upgrade since they tend to get very hot. On very hot days the heat itself might prevent you from doing proper work on your hive, so good ventilation will greatly help you deal with it.
Since this bee suit is usually worn over your clothes, you should take the one larger than your body size.
They protect beekeeper’s hand while working with the bees. Opening the hive and moving frames can agitate bees and your hands are their first target. Because of that beginner beekeepers should always wear gloves, until they learn to recognize the signs of agitated bees. Because of materials used, gloves range from very thick and clumsy ones to thin and precise ones. Thicker gloves offer better protection against stings but are also more clumsy, which can result in some bees getting crushed. Thinner gloves provide lesser or no protection at all but are more precise. As you get more experience with your bees, you can choose thinner gloves and still not get many stings.
While harvesting honey some bees might drop to the ground, crawl inside your clothes and sting you. Beekeeper boots ensure that no bee can crawl up into your trousers and sting you. You should choose quality rubber because they are strong and will last a lot longer.
Every beekeeper knows that having a good quality bee suit helps significantly. Being a beekeeper you use your bee suit quite a lot, so being able to handle the heat while staying protected is very important. If you are not sure which bee suit you would like to get, find some beekeeping store and try out some suits. Take your favorite bee suit, and you are ready to hang out with the bees!