Beekeeping is one of man's most ancient activities? Yes, there are rock paintings dating as early as about 13,000 BCE to show just that. Today, beekeeping is considered an art, a hobby an a business.
Reaction to bee sting varies from person to person. While most stings are mild and some can be life threatening, all stings are itchy, painful and often result to swelling. Using the appropriate beekeeping suit will ensure total protection from bee sting when playing with your bee friends or sampling some of their honey. Let's take a look at some variations of bee suits and the accessories that come with them.
Coverall – Coveralls or full body bee suits are the most preferred type because they come in one piece with minimal openings and joints. White is the recommended color for this beekeeping suit because bees tend to avoid too much brightness. Typically made of a cotton and polyester blend, this one-piece bee suit comes with a collapsible hood attached to the neck by heavy duty zippers sealed by velcro straps. All other zippers and the cuffs around the wrists and ankles also need to be closed and sealed by elastic velcro to give no chance for the bees to creep inside the beekeeping suit. During warmer weather, you can choose a ventilated bee suit to keep you cooler without compromising protection.
Piece-by-piece Ensemble – Also available are separate pieces of bee suits like hooded bee jackets and trousers. Like the coveralls, they are made of similar materials. When using a jacket and trousers, make sure to securely tie the string of the elastic waists of both the jacket and the trousers so as not to allow the entrance of the bees.
Helmet and Veil – If the beekeeping suit or jacket does not come with a hood, you can use a helmet or a hat with a veil. Resembling the protective mask worn by fencing enthusiasts, a helmet and veil combination is as effective as a hood.
Bee Gloves – Bee gloves are generally made of cowhide or goatskin leather to ensure impenetrability. They should extend up to the elbows to create a bee tight seal.
Sweatband – A serious beekeeper or enthusiast will want to wear a sweatband to prevent sweat from reaching the eyes and other parts of the face without lifting the hood or the veil.