5 Best Beekeeping Suits – Buying Guide for Beginners
One of the first questions asked by new beekeepers is – Do I need a beekeeping suit? Perhaps? Many beekeepers enjoy the protection and feeling of security provided by beekeeping suits or jackets. While it is certainly okay to choose a beekeeper’s hat and veil only, there is no shame in buying a good beekeeping suit.
Now, the search for the best beekeeping suits begins. Alas, the confusion also begins because you will find hundreds of beekeeping suits to choose from. Now is not the time to give up, keep shopping. Don’t let fear stop you from joining the world of beekeepers.
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Your Beekeeping Suit Should Fit Loose
The bee yard is not the place to be over concerned about fashion. The last thing you want is a tight fitting bee suit or jacket. You will want to try the beekeeping suit on if possible or order from a source that will allow returns.
Fortunately, beekeeping suits are available in a variety of materials and styles, so you can still have a little bit of fashion flare when working your bees. No matter the fabric or color – the best beekeeping suits fit correctly.
Think loose – but not too loose. The fit must allow easy movement and cover all of your “essential parts” when you bend over. Remember, you will not be spending a lot of time standing still and straight in this suit. A roomy fit allows you to bend, twist and work in the beeyard during hive inspections.
Best Beekeeping Suits Are A Light Color For A Reason
Ok, now you realize that you need to buy a suit that fits loosely. What color are the best beekeeping suits? Are they always white? No, beekeeping suits are traditionally white but they don’t have to be white.
When feeling threatened, honey bee colonies become defensive. Over the years, beekeepers realized that angry bees are more attracted to dark colors. That white or light-colored suit is sounding better and better – isn’t it.
Any suit that is a light-color will be fine. No matter which color you choose, it won’t stay clean for long anyway! I will say that you do not want to wear black in the bee yard. Why would you want to look like a bear?
** Personal Story – A few years back a magazine was doing an article on me and my bees. They sent a photographer to take pictures in the bee yard. The young man arrived for the photo session. He got out of his little sports car dressed in tight black jeans and a black tshirt. My first thought – “Hmm, this is not good.” I had a spare suit so things turned out well.
Top 5 Best Beekeeping Suits
These are the top 5 beekeeping suit types and why I like or dislike them. They are in no certain order.
#1 – Beekeeping Suit From National Apiary
It is a poly-cotton blend – light weight and washable.
The fencing type veil stands well away from the face and it easy to see through.
Elasticized ankles and wrists keep bees out of the suit.
Offered in several colors and in jacket form as well.
#2 Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Jacket
I have this Ventilated Beekeeping Jacket – Available in Suit Also
Quality better than any other jacket or suit I have seen.
Yes, it is very sting resistant – feels a bit heavy at first.
Cooler while working bees – I love it!
#3 Mann Lake Economy Beekeeper Suit
A Economical Quality Choice
Roomy fit with sturdy zippers
Poly/cotton blend is lightweight and washable
Fencing veil collapses for storage
Extra layers protects back of head
#4 Natural Apiary-Apiarist Beekeeping Jacket
I love the quality & style of this jacket.
Available in Fun Colors.
Poly/cotton & washable
Roomy pocket, sturdy zippers
I want one!
#5 Mann Lake Deluxe Bee Suit with Veil
Great choice for standard veil
Roomy fit/ washable poly/cotton
Elastic wrist and ankles with thumb straps
Con: Does not include Hat must purchase separately
Choose The Best Beekeeping Suit For You
There is no perfect beekeeping suit. No suit can promise zero bee stings. I have rarely been stung through one of my beekeeping suits. However, if I have a bee on my inner arm and bend my elbow, I get stung.
Beware of cheap beekeeping suits or jackets. Most of the time, they will be of poor quality. The veils are notoriously fragile and hard to see through. Zippers break easily and sizes run small.
Purchasing a quality beekeeping suit will ensure years of use. Having a cheaper suit for a spare is okay. You never know when a photographer will show up in black clothes.
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