The beekeeping community is full of vibrant, diverse people, and everyone has a different method of handling their bees. When it comes to what beekeeping protective clothing you need, you’re likely going to get many different answers. Some beekeepers cover themselves from head to toe, while others are fine with just a hat and veil. Find out what works best for you with this guide to beekeeping gear.
Hat and Veil
No matter what kind of beekeeper you are, protecting your head is important. Even the most peaceful of colonies can have bad days, and a sting near sensitive places like your eyes or lips are particularly painful. You can buy hats and veils separately or as one piece in many different materials and designs, so look around for an option that’s best for you and your bees.
Some beekeepers opt for a full suit or coveralls to protect themselves. Once again, these come in many different materials and styles. If you live in warmer climates, you might want to look into the special ventilated fabric. Coveralls are especially great for beginners who are nervous or not used to being around their bees. Bees can sense tension, so a nervous beekeeper might agitate the hive. If a suit makes you more comfortable around your bees, it’s definitely worth it.
An alternative to a full-length suit is a beekeeping jacket. These are easier to get on and often come with handy features such as zip-on veils, durable zippers, and ventilated materials. The jackets are also more lightweight than coveralls, which is another plus when you’re inspecting your hive in the summer heat.
Bees are naturally curious creatures, so no matter what you wear, you’re going to have investigative bees roaming around the folds of your clothes. Leg straps are a simple solution to prevent bees from crawling beneath your clothes. If you’re not wearing beekeeping pants or a suit, these bands wrap tightly around the leg of your pants to keep out any stray bees.
Gloves are quite possibly the most controversial answer when it comes to what protective beekeeping clothing you need. Bee stings on the hand are no fun, but neither is a lack of mobility. Even more lightweight and agile gloves can impair your coordination. Bare hands are the safest way to handle your frames without accidentally hurting your bees. However, protective gloves can make a nervous beekeeper more confident, and they’re always good to have on hand in the case of an agitated or aggressive hive.
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to have all the protective gear you need on hand, even if you don’t use it regularly. No matter your style of beekeeping, Kelley Beekeeping has the right bee equipment for sale to help you find what works for you and your hives.