Best Beekeeping Suits – Buying Guide for Beginners
Here are some tips for choosing the best beekeeping suits. Most beekeepers enjoy the protection of a bee suit. In fact, it may be one of the most important item in your beekeeping equipment category. Don’t let the “nay-sayers” keep you from feeling relaxed why working your bees.
One of the first questions asked by new beekeepers is – Do I need a beekeeping suit? Perhaps? But-you have many protection options to choose from.
Many beekeepers enjoy the protection and feeling of security provided by beekeeping suits or bee 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.
Shopping for a Protective Beekeeping Suit
“Whoa Nelly.” Before you head off looking for the BEE SUITS FOR SALE signs, you have a bit more thinking to do.
What kind of bee suit do you really need? Some of that is up to personal preference but you should be able to find something that fits your budget and style.
Now, the search for the best beekeeping suit begins. Alas, the confusion also begins because you will find hundreds of beekeeping suits to choose from.
Some will seem expensive and some will be cheaper. Maybe, too cheap to be true???
Now is not the time to give up, keep shopping. Don’t let fear stop you from joining the world of beekeepers.
How Should Your Bee Suit Fit?
Loose, your beekeeping suit or beekeeping jacket should fit loosely. 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 – find a beekeeping suit that fits 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. This is a great time to “say no to crack”.
A roomy fit allows you to bend, twist and work in the bee yard during hive inspections.
Are all Beekeeping Suits White?
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.
Bee Suits that Can Stand up to the Job
Searching for the Sting Proof Bee Suit
Yea… good luck with that one. Beekeeping suits vary in the degree of protection that they offer.
Most quality made bee suits in combination with gentle hive inspections will do nicely. If the bees are feeling very defensive, no bee suit offers 100% protection.
Some of the Best Bee Suit Options
- Standard Full Length Beekeeping Suit Cotton
- Ultra Breeze Ventilated Jacket
- Full Ventilated Bee Suit
- Economy Full Beekeeping Suit
- Colorful Beekeeping Jacket
- Deluxe Bee Suit with Square Veil
- Kids Beekeeping Suit
Natural Apiary – Full Bee Suit
It is hard to beat a full cover beekeeping suit in a poly/cotton blend. The fencing type veil is easy to keep on and I like the pockets on the leg to hold my hive tool.
This type of bee suit can be washed and will last for years. It is also available in several light colors.
Some beekeepers do not prefer the fencing style hood but I find it to be comfortable and actually prefer it to the standard round veil.
Ultra Breeze Ventilated Jacket
My favorite. I love my ultra breeze jacket and you will too. Made in the USA with the best zippers I have seen on ANY piece of beekeeping equipment.
Yes, it is very bee sting resistant – feels a bit heavy at first. Cooler while working bees – I love it!
Many foreign made ventilated beekeeping suits are on the market now. Some of them work well but you must take care to be extra gentle with them. The Ultra Breeze can “take a licking”, I know.
Ultra Breeze Full Beekeeping Suit
Let’s not forget the Ultra Breeze in full length version. Cooler in the bee yard than other types of suits. Pockets to help you keep up with your hive tool. And, great quality and workmanship. This is the Cadillac of beekeeping suits.
Economy Full Suit from Mann Lake
Getting started with beekeeping is not an inexpensive endeavor. If you would like a more economical investment for bee protection, consider the economy full suit.
Usually a type of poly/cotton blend, I have 2 suits like this. They are durable if you take care when cleaning them and be gentle with the veil during storage.
Apiarist Beekeeping Jacket
The full length beekeeping suit is not for everyone. A beekeeping jacket is a nice addition to your bee protective wardrobe. It can be paired with blue jeans or even better a pair of beekeeping pants. ( Or any light color).
Who says beekeeping style has to be completely boring? You will love the quality and style of this jacket. It is a poly/cotton blend and comes in fun colors.
The addition of many women into the world of hobby beekeeping has had some nice affects on bee clothing options.
Deluxe Beekeeping Suit with Veil
For those of you looking for the traditional type of bee veil, the Mann Lake Deluxe suit is a good option.
This is similar to the economy suit above but the material, seams and zippers are more sturdy.
A roomy bee suit with large pockets, it will last for years.
Kids Beekeeping Suit
Sharing the world of bees with children is a wonderful experience. But, we don’t want this early experience to turn bad. Most kids outgrow their bee suit before it wear outs.
The Best Beekeeping Suit For You
There is no perfect beekeeping suit. No suit can promise zero bee stings.
But, I have rarely been stung through one of my beekeeping suits. And I am sure my suit has saved me from many sting situations.
Quality Beekeeping Protective Wear
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.
However, lower quality and less expensive bee suits do serve a purpose. They are usually lighter weight and easy to fold and carry. A great think to keep in the trunk of the car in case of a bee emergency.
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.