An African proverb states, ‘the gratitude of the bee is a sting”. This saying is indeed true particularly for any beekeeper who ever tried keeping bees without protection.
A beekeeping suit is an indispensable gear in beekeeping especially during collection of honey. This article explores some of the most useful beekeeper suits in the market today. We look at their features and as well, why users prefer them over others.
Much as such protective gears as bee suits are a must have, manufacturers have been keen on designing products with some distinctive and competitive features. There is never one suit fits all when it comes to beekeeper suit.
There are certain important features to look for in a suit. Our buyer’s guide gives comprehensive information concerning why, how, and which suite to buy and why they are important.
After reading this article, you will be better placed to select the best beekeeper suit for your task and who knows, even be a source of information to others in need.
Bee keeping is an interesting venture for both the commercially oriented and recreational enthusiasts.
Let’s look at a summary of some of the suits that topped our review.
- 1 Best Bee Suits – Comparison Table
- 2 Best Beekeper Suit Reviews
- 3 Mann Lake Economy Beekeeper Suit with self Supporting Veil
- 4 2. Natural Apiary Beekeeping Suit, LARGE – Full
- 5 Pest Mall Complete Be Keeper Suit
- 6 Natural Apiary Beekeping Suit Complete **BEST CHOICE**
- 7 Vivo New Professional Cotton Full Body Beekeeping Suit
- 8 Aspectek Proffesional Beekeeper Suit-L,
- 9 Humble Bee 410-M Polycotton Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil
- 10 BEEKEEPER SUIT BUYERS’ GUIDE
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions about Bee Suits
- 12 How to put on a Beekeeping Suit
Best Bee Suits – Comparison Table
|Beekeeper Suit||Material||Veil Description||Elastic wrist and ankles||Thumb and foot holds|
|Mann Lake Economy Bee Keeper Suit||60% Cotton|
|Self Supporting Collapsible||Yes||Thumb Holds|
|Natural Apiary Complete Bekeeping Suitt||65% Cotton|
|100% premium cotton fencing veil||Yes||Yes|
|Pest Mall Complete Beekeepijng Suit||50% Cotton 50% polyester||Square zipper veil||Yes||No|
|Vivo Professional Full Beekeeping Suit||Cotton||Self Supporting and collapsible veiled hood||Yes||No|
|Humble Bee 410-M||50% cotton 50% polyester||Round removable veil||Yes||YEs|
Best Beekeper Suit Reviews
Mann Lake Economy Beekeeper Suit with self Supporting Veil
Just as the name suggests, this beekeeper suit is for those who are looking for something affordable but still functional in terms of protection from bee-stings.
Mann Lake beekping suits are known for being well designed with utmost protection and durability in mind given the heavy duty zippers and tough lasting cotton and polyester material.
- 60% cotton and 40% polyester
- Flexible on the ankles and wrists
- Heavy duty zippers enable you to put on and off
- Self supporting collapsible veil
- Double layer at the back of the hood
- Flexible thumb holds
This suit may be economical which is great but there is more. The heavy duty zippers on the ankles make putting on and off a breeze if you are the non-complicated type.
It includes thumb hold elastic loops to keep the sleeves from moving up your arms. Two more zippers are included on the front side and on the veil.
It also includes 4 pockets which come in handy when you need a place for your tools and accessories.
Its light weight is a plus particularly during hot weather when all you need is to obey the weather and be comfortable with a 60:40 blend of cotton and polyester respectively, you can expect that it will give you some useful years of service.
The hood is breathable and allows for clear visibility. Washing the hood is quite simple with a quick hand wash but you will need to machine wash the jacket. As for the sizes, there is something for everyone.
2. Natural Apiary Beekeeping Suit, LARGE – Full
If protection, comfort, and versatility are anything to go by, this beekeepers suit is indeed a worthwhile investment.
It takes into account some of the most overlooked aesthetics features like color to cover for different preferences. In addition, it comes with the optimum utility you would expect from only the best suites.
- 100% premium cotton Fencing Veil
- 65% cotton and 35% polyester
- Machine washable
- Stretchable hands and feet
- Detachable veil
- YKK zips
- 3 lbs
- Comes in 5 color codes
- 8 pockets
- Reinforced knee patches
What’s not to love about this Natural Apiary beekeeper outfit? The design itself tells you volumes about what you are about to buy.
The manufacturer has not only used premium material but also made quality stitches for longevity. Additionally, the YKK zippers are the best any garment can have.
Quite notably, all its openings are elastic to prevent bees from getting in. never mind if you are extra large or small in body size, the elastic at the waist fits just about all sizes, yet still there is a size for everyone. Sizes are available up to 3XL.
An extra thick collar around the neck is just what you need to protect your neck from stings. Several pockets are included on both sides of the suit for both right and left handed keepers.
You can also put in tools you may need to use at the beehive.
The Natural Apiary Bee Keeping Suit is available in an array of light colors so you still look fashionable even when at work. After all, bees do not like dull colors.
Pest Mall Complete Be Keeper Suit
Apart from the bee keeping functionality, the Pest Mall complete beekeeper’s suit is ideal for the professional or home owner who needs to get rid of harmful stinging insects like wasps and spiders from their environment.
- Square zipper Veil
- 50% cotton 50% Polyester
- Elastic wrist and leg openings
- Available in L, Xl, XXl
- Ventilated helmet and gloves
- 3 Quality beekeeper gloves
What makes Pest Mall different from other companies is that they always make sure they ship the right sizes.
They actually won’t ship this bee protection suit if you do not email them your size. I love their idea as it ensures you get the perfect fit so no chance is left for any bee to reach your skin.
Comfort is guaranteed once you put on this bee costume on thanks to its comfortable 50:50 cotton: polyester material and its ventilated helmet so you can breathe easily no matter the weather.
Its package includes 3 beekeeper gloves in different sizes for when you need a quick replacement or fitting glove. The double stitches are a guarantee for more years of service plus reinforced pockets for carrying your tools.
This bee suit is costly compared to those we have reviewed above but it is certainly worth the cost.
Natural Apiary Beekeping Suit Complete **BEST CHOICE**
Whether you are beginner or pro beekeeper, this beekeeper suit is for you. Much like the previous mentioned Apiary design, this too is high quality and you can be certain to get good value for your money going by its features.
It is a size higher than the previous mentioned which means this brand takes into account human body size among other features.
- 100% Fencing Veil
- 65% cotton and 35% polyester
- Elastic wrist and ankle openings
- YKK zips
- Machine wash
- Extra thick collar
There is no slightest chance of being stung by bees with this beekeeper outfit on. It features premium YKK zips known for durability and the fencing style veil for easy zipping when putting it on and off when needed.
As your neck can be susceptible to bee stings, especially with ordinary outfits, the Natural Apiary bee keeping suite makes sure all parts of your body are completely protected, the neck included. The extra thick collar does just this.
Elastic wrist and ankle openings are there for flexibility. Easily keep your outfit clean by machine washing it before you store.
A cotton polyester blend is a tough material that you can expect will last you a while. In addition, have it on in any kind of weather and it will still be quite comfortable.
You may need to replace it not because of wear and tear, but because you need a size higher. You will appreciate its 2.9 lbs light weight especially when there is so much to be done and the last thing you need is to bear extra weight in the name of a beekeeping suit plus such weight is not fun to bear at the peak of summer.
When ordering this product, the manufacturer recommends that you measure the shoulder/collar to ankle, waist and chest diameter, collar to crotch, and don’t forget to add an extra inch to each measurement found for a comfortable fit.
Vivo New Professional Cotton Full Body Beekeeping Suit
Any professional would look out for every important detail in a bee outfit and the New Professional beekeeping suit by Vivo sure comes designed with every essential feature.
The professional spends longer periods at work especially during the day and certainly needs utmost protection and a long lasting outfit.
A ventilated bee keeping jacket and a self-collapsible beekeeper veil makes this suit the most sought after by the serious professional.
- Self-supporting collapsible veil
- Elastic ankle and wrist openings
- Light weight
- Protective material
- Ideal for 5’7’’ to 6’2
Need something comfortable and fitting? Vivo New Professional BEE-V106 makes a great choice particularly for the vertically endowed beekeepers with a height of between 5’7’’ and 6’2’’ yet it is still a great outfit for the shorter keepers.
What’s more, you can be rest assured that bees won’t have the pleasure of releasing their toxins in your skin, thanks to the elasticity of the wrists and ankles.
The bee jacket is ideally machine washed while for the veil, a quick hand-wash is sufficient. The self supporting and collapsible veil also includes a zip that zips to the end.
There is Velcro on top of the zip which prevents bee stings at that particular point.
Vivo ultra breeze bee suits are definitely worth considering. If you are a bee keeper who owns a colony of bees, this suit will allow you do everything needed at the beehive without getting stung.
That means that even if you are allergic to bee stings, you can still practice bee keeping and so can any beginner.
Aspectek Proffesional Beekeeper Suit-L,
In addition to the great features this and other beekeeper suits in this review have, this one is color coded for when you want to look natural among the bees and not alarm them.
Taking bee keeping to the next level, this Professional Bee Keeper suit by Aspectek will make bee keeping a fun and somewhat peaceful activity.
- 100% cotton-heavy duty
- Self supporting veil
- Two-way neck zips
- Elastic thumb and wrist holds
- Available in large size
- Natural color
- 9 lbs
Bees are sensitive to color and the Aspectek Professional Beekeeper Suit-L array of colors is carefully picked to blend in their natural environment without provoking them.
This beekeeping suit is a light weight and stays put on your arms given its elastic thumb together with wrist holds.
Cotton is a fair quality material for all weather, and this is another feature you will most definitely appreciate about this suit.
The self supporting veil has a fencing style which can be tossed back anytime you want. It also has good visibility.
When buying the suit, always go a size higher than your usual size. That way you avoid buying a bee protective suit that is too small or too big.
As for washing, you can machine wash it the way you do the rest of your clothes excluding the veil without worrying about it wearing out.
Humble Bee 410-M Polycotton Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil
Round veils are always comfortable to wear, as they don’t touch the face. The Humble Bee 410-M has a round veil that goes all the way to the back for utmost protection and visibility.
In addition it combines the comfort of cotton material to the ease of maintenance from polyester into an all weather comfortable material that you will find easy to clean and maintain.
- 4 lbs
- Heavy duty brass zippers
- Round polycotton veil
- 50% cotton and 50% synthetic blend
- Elastic waist, wrist. and ankles
- Thumb and foot holds
- Unisex design
- Long lasting double stitched pockets
- Deluxe canvas carrying case
Every time you purchase this bee protective suit, you will be doing it for a good course as the manufacturing company donates 10% of its revenue towards educating people about bee keeping.
However, apart from this, it comes with some great features which justify its purchase.
The carrying case comes in handy when you need to store your suit away. The suit comes with 8 pockets ideal for carrying stuff around.
Elastic waist, wrist, and ankle provide comfort as you move around with ease and as well holds everything well in place.
It is perfect for all weather conditions and the unisex factor gives it another plus. The linen white color enables you get near the bees without them feeling alarmed.
The material is durable enough and the double stitching will hold it off for some more years of use without literal wear and tear but most definitely if put into good use and maintenance.
Bee keeper’s suits are indeed essential for any serious budding or professional beekeeper. They protect you from bee stings and as well other stinging insects when getting rid of them.
Our review is never complete without a top pick. Today we based our evaluation on versatility, material, and the veil and Natural Apiary Beekeping Suit- White-Extra Large- Complete, full (All-in-one) is our best pick for its tough quality construction and versatile utility.
BEEKEEPER SUIT BUYERS’ GUIDE
Bee keeping does not require a huge initial investment to start as most equipment can be improvised or made at home. However, an essential protective gear to have is the beekeepers suit.
Naturally, bees are known to sting when provoked. The sting can be catastrophic depending on the number of bees and the part of your body they will sting.
In order to protect yourself from this, you need a suit that covers your entire body when handling bees. A good suit will cover your face, hands, torso, and feet. It does not leave any room for the bees to come in contact with you or your clothing.
Why You Need a Bee Keepers Suit
Until the bees attack, some people will never fully realize how risky it is to handle them unprotected. This is why it is not unusual to find keepers with half the uniform, sometimes wearing only the bee keeper veil alongside normal clothing.
The first two points listed below are the most crucial, while the others are secondary but still noteworthy.
- Protect against bee stings – Bees are usually kept in hives. Each hive hosts such a large number of bees that a beekeeper needs to be fully protected to be able to harvest honey. This is because bees are likely to be provoked during honey harvesting, and when they do, stings follow. One bee sting is can be manageable but several bee stings at the same time can be catastrophic.
- Protection from allergies – Some people are allergic to bees and it becomes worse should they be stung. In such instances, a bee’s suit is important for prevention of contact with bees.
- Protect your honey bees – Honey bees are usually reluctant to sting since they die after a single sting. A bee keeper suit keeps them away from you and since this will in turn prevent them from stinging, you will have saved their lives. Here, it is best to choose a white colored suit as it is known to repulse bees away from you.
- Professional reasons – For most commercial bee keepers, a sting proof bee suit is a must have especially when attending to hives. This is according to their work guidelines to prevent any unnecessary accidents. For anyone practicing bee keeping, a bee keeper suit is a professional gear just as a police uniform is to a police man.
Types of Bee Protection Suit
While some experienced bee farmers will opt for non-complete protection, only a handful particularly the new farmers, will care to have a full suit.
Based on this observation, there are two types of suits to choose from depending on your activities and expertise:
- Half suit
Half suits are mostly used by experienced bee keepers. They are made of the hat, veil, and jacket. They are designed to be won by long under garments that cover the feet.
Bee keepers’ gloves and boots can be worn together with the half suit for more protection, allowing minimal body exposure to bee stings.
- Overall full suits
Overall suits are most preferred especially by new bee keepers since they cover the entire body. They can be worn over normal clothing.
They should be easy to get in and out off and properly ventilated. These suits can be accessorized with gloves and boots to ensure the entire body is covered.
Essential Parts of a Bee Keepers Suit
- Beekeeper Veil
Veil is the mesh that covers the hat and is designed to protect your face and neck from bee stings. Usually the veil covers the hat from the outside and they can come separate or attached. Most people prefer when they are attached.
Veils come in different types. Round veil is the traditional type and provides a wide field of view as well as great ventilation because there is a lot of space between the face and mesh.
The fencing veil is the modern design and guarantees minimal contact between the head, hair, and veil. The square veil comes with its own jacket. The jacket has side mesh which allows air into the jacket. The veil also provides a wide view area.
- Beekeepers Hat
The hat is an important accessory of the bee keepers’ costume as it protects the head from bee attacks. However, the hat alone is not effective as it leaves the face and neck exposed.
Therefore, it is covered with a veil from the outside and together they protect the head, face and neck.
- Bee keeping Jacket
The best design for a bee keepers’ jacket allows the hat and veil to be attached on it with a zipper. This allows the farmer to easily remove and wear the hat as it always attached to the jacket.
The best color is white since it reflects a lot of heat maintaining cool temperatures within the jacket. In addition, bees are easily repulsed by color white making it easy for the farmer to access the hives.
Bee jackets are made of different materials. The most common types are poly cotton bee jackets and ventilated jackets.
Beekeeping jackets made of poly cotton material have foam panels and mesh added on the back and chest for more aeration.
Ventilated beekeeping jackets are made of synthetic fabric on the outside and 3D layer designs. In between the fabric layers is a foam core that provides a long air gap for extra protection.
- Bee keeper Gloves
Gloves are extra accessories to the suit to protect your hands from bee stings. Gloves are optional and some farmers do not wear them but this is not advisable.
Other than the bee stings, allergies to bees are prevented by wearing the gloves. It is important to be extra careful not to harm the bees while wearing gloves.
Boots protect the feet from bees. The best boots are made of rubber to last longer. During harvesting, bees may fall down on the ground or feet of the farmer. This is why boots should be worn for protection against stings from the falling bees.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Bee Keeper Costume
There are several bee keeper suits to choose from in the market. When buying a bee costume, the most important factor you need to consider is protection. Other important factors include:
- Ventilation – A good suit should allow free flow of air within the suit. During the hot season, temperatures go high making it quite uncomfortable for the bee keepers whose suits are not well ventilated.
- A bee keepers’ suit should be easy to wear and remove – A good design allows the user to take off part of the suit such as head or jacket yet still, they will remain attached to the suit.
- Size – Try not to get suits that cling to the body, as they do not sufficiently protect against stings. This is because the sting could easily penetrate the suit and come in contact with the body. The best designs are sting proofed. Choose a thick suit and one that allows you to wear it over your clothes.
- Material – The best suits are made of light material and are less cumbersome to use. The material should be easy to clean and durable too. The most preferred costumes are made of poly cotton or ventilated material.
- Bees proof – A bee keeper suit should not allow bees enter the suit. Most suits have elastic thumb holds on the jacket’s cuffs and waist and on the suits bottom legs part to hold it firmly in place leaving no room for bees to enter the suit.
Dos and Don’ts of Using Bee Keeper Jacket
- Buy a jacket bigger than your normal size as it will be worn over your other clothes.
- Do not buy a jacket made of heavy material. This is because most harvesting is done during the hot season. Heavy suits retain a lot of heat as compared to light material suits.
- Do not wear shorts with bee keeper jackets. This is because your legs are exposed to bee stings. Always wear trousers to cover your legs.
- Always zip up your jacket. Do not leave any zippers open when attending to bee hives.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bee Suits
What kind of bee suit should I buy?
This depends on your activities and expertise. Most expert bee keepers prefer the half suit while beginners prefer the full suit. However, the full suit is the best option for all bee keepers as it protects your entire body from bee attacks.
Is a bee keeper’s jacket that important or can it be improvised?
A bee keeper jacket is an important, must have for all bee keepers. While attending to bee hives, your upper body is the most exposed and a jacket helps cover you.
Go for a jacket that is attached to its hat and veil. These have no room for bees to enter the jacket.
Do I need a bee suit?
A suit is needed to protect you from bee stings and bee allergies. The stings can be painful and do cause swellings. For those allergic to bees, they stings can be cause serious allergic reactions. All these can be avoided by wearing a suit.
In case my beekeeper suit gets slightly torn, can it be repaired?
Most bee keeping suits are designed to last but with time, they tend to wear out. Always replace your suit in case of it is damaged or it wears out.
Other than the suit, what else should I have for protection?
It is good to have beekeeper gloves and boots. The gloves protect your hands from bee stings while the boots cover your feet. Some farmers do not use gloves in fear of squeezing their bees.
But with a little bit of practice, you can learn how to use gloves without harming your bees.
Boots need to fit properly and be made of protective material such as rubber. Bee keepers’ gloves and boots are mostly bought separately from the suit.
How to put on a Beekeeping Suit
Bee keeping is a fun activity to engage in whether as a hobby or business. However, it is important for the bee keeper to be well protected while engaging in this activity.
Both beginners and experts need to have a bee keepers’ costume. The costumes come in a variety of designs and sizes. Choose one that effectively protects you and does not affect your work or bees. With the best beekeeper suit, anyone can be a bee keeper.