Bees sting! As wonderful as honey bees are, they have the ability to inflict a great deal of pain with their venomous sting. Therefore it is common for beekeepers to have the well-known “bee suit”. I recall the first time I was stung very well. I was eight years old and was accompanying my mentor to one of his bee yards. He told me he had to mow the yard first then he would get into the hives. As he started mowing, I noticed he did not have his veil on. So naturally, I thought all was safe and I proceeded to follow him and out of nowhere…bang! I was stung on my head. I quickly retreated back to the truck and cried for a few hours.
There are many options available when it comes to protective equipment from Kelley Beekeeping. Here at Kelley Beekeeping, we have an in-house sewing department that was added by Mr. Kelley in the early 1930’s. With that many years of experience in manufacturing and the added benefit of being an American-made quality product, the caliber of our protective clothing line is unmatched.
Depending on your experience with bees and especially your reaction to bee stings, will determine what type of protective clothing you’ll want for yourself. If you react poorly to stings or just want the best protection available, you may want to consider coveralls. We have cotton, nylon, and ventilated style coveralls with different styles of veils. Our ventilated style is made of three layers of mesh and allows air to pass through but is still thick enough so the bees’ sting can’t reach your skin.
If you have experience with beekeeping and would prefer less-restrictive protective clothing, you may want to consider a jacket. Like the coveralls, we have three different styles which include cotton, nylon, and ventilated. We also carry a tough canvas style jacket. The jackets are easy to put on and comfortable for working with your bees. For added protection, you might want to pair your jacket with a thicker pair of pants.
Whether you choose coveralls or a jacket, we have two styles of veils that will you can attach to either style. The Hat/Veil Combo is a veil with a built-in hat that fits securely on your head. We also have a Hooded Veil which is based off of a European design and works well if you wear ball caps often. If you’re a veteran beekeeper and you prefer not to wear any protective gear other than a veil, we offer a veil with elastic, drawstring or zipper. We have produced these specific veils have been produced for decades and are worn paired with a helmet. It was Kelley Beekeeping that improved upon the original design and has made it a staple in the industry.
Last but not least, don’t forget about gloves. Kelley Beekeeping offers many styles of gloves. The Kelley Goatskin Gloves with double mesh vent are a great choice to protect your hands while working with bees, and less expensive than traditional cowhide leather. We also offer a high-quality cowhide pair with vent.
When I first started keeping bees, I had cotton coveralls with a hooded veil. And while it gave me the best protection against bee stings, it took a good deal of time to get on, and not to mention, it was hot during the warmer months. Now I have a ventilated jacket with hooded veil, which I love. Although it cost a little more and I do get the occasional sting through my cheap denim jeans, it is easy to put on and take off. It is much cooler and the veil is, in my opinion, the highest quality one can buy.