Beekeeping Suits – Important for Safety

Beekeeping suits are essential for beekeepers, whether beginners or seasoned professionals, wear at all times when caring for bees. A bee keeping suit protects the wearer from bee stings, which can have many adverse health effects should the beekeeper be allergic to bees. Beekeeper suits are specifically designed to create a barrier between the keeper and the bee and to help bees distinguish the keeper from their predators.Bee keeper suits are full-length jumpsuits that cover the entire body. They are usually made of cotton though they can be made of other materials, such as leather or Kevlar. While Kevlar suits offer the most protection, cotton suits are best for beekeepers who work in warmer regions. Suits include protection for the face and neck, as bees who feel threatened can be attracted to the beekeeper's breath and are more likely to sting those areas. Bee stings on the face and neck are considered some of the most painful areas to receive stings, and can cause severe swelling.Other components of a bee keeping suit are the headpiece and gloves. The headpiece features a sheer veil that allows the keeper to see what he or she is doing without compromising the protection of the face. Suit gloves cover the hands and forearms. The gloves are usually made of leather, which can cause maneuverability issues for some beekeepers. They may opt for gloves made of lighter material or no gloves at all, both of which leave the hands exposed to possible bee stings.Quality bee  keeping suits feature elastic cuffs or zippers on the arms and legs to prevent bees from flying in the suit and stinging the keeper.Another important aspect of the bee keeping suit is the color. Bee suits are white or another light color, which the bees find non-threatening. It is essential that suits be light in color so the bees can tell keepers apart from their enemies, such as bears and and skunks. It is also important to wash the bee suit regularly, as bees will recognize the scent of the suit and may be more likely to attack the wearer.Bee stings are easy to brush off a bee suit. Large suits that are still comfortable to wear are best as they provide the most protection from bee stingers.Understanding the importance of a bee suit is one of the first steps to a successful beekeeping career!