26 Practical Tips For Using A Beekeeping Suit
Stings are a painful part of beekeeping, so protecting yourself when working with bees makes sense. A beekeeping suit is an essential piece of equipment for beekeepers. While you won’t get 100% protection, a good quality suit will reduce bee stings and allow for more relaxed hive inspections.
This article shares some beekeeping suit tips to ensure you get the best out of it.
Top beekeeping suit tips for beginners
- Choose the right size: Get a suit that fits you well. If it’s too tight or too loose, the outfit can be uncomfortable and may not provide adequate protection.
- Wear a hat and veil: Head and face cover usually come with the jacket. Check the veil is securely fastened to the hood, preventing any gaps.
- Wear gloves: Gloves are a handy accessory to protect your hands from aggressive bees. Choose a style that is thick enough to prevent stings but thin enough to allow you to handle bees and other intricate tasks.
- Tuck in your clothing: Before putting on the suit, tuck in your first layer of clothing to prevent any gaps where bees could get in.
- Zip up completely: Once you have put on the suit, fully zip it up and check that there are no gaps.
- Use elastic bands: Most beekeeping suits have elastic at the wrists and ankles to seal off entry points for angry pollinators. These areas are common points of entry for bees and wasps, so check for a snug fit.
- Check for holes: Before using the suit, check for any holes or tears. If you find any, repair them before heading out to the hives.
- Avoid perfume or scented products: Bees are attracted to strong scents, so don’t spray on aromas before working with bees.
- Move slowly and calmly: Bees are less likely to sting if you move without sudden movements and avoid making loud noises.
- Invest in a good quality brand: A well-made beekeeping suit will be more durable and provide better protection against bee stings.
- Practice wearing the suit at home: Before working with bees, practice putting on and removing the suit so that you can do it quickly and efficiently if needed.
- Consider ventilation: Ventilated suits keep your body cooler in hot weather and reduce the risk of dehydration and overheating.
- Have a spare on hand: In case the one you’re wearing gets damaged, it’s a good idea to have an extra one ready to go.
- Keep the suit clean: Bees are attracted to old bee stings and pheromones on your jacket, so keep it clean and free of debris. Check out how to wash a beekeeping suit for best results.
- Don’t wear tight clothes underneath: they restrict movement while you work and make it easier for a stinger to penetrate the fabric.
- Store the suit properly: Store the overalls in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and other potential sources of damage.
- Avoid damp storage: Over time, moisture will damage the suit’s fabric, so store it in a dry place. Never leave it in a damp basement or garage.
- Use a protective bag: A large plastic bag will help keep the garment clean and protect it from pests and dust.
- Keep away from chemicals: The colony may become agitated if they detect residue from harsh chemicals on the suit.
- Hang the suit properly: If you choose to hang the jacket, do so by the shoulders rather than the neck or hood. This trick will help prevent damage to the fabric and maintain the suit’s shape over time.
- Avoid dryers: Dry the jacket in a well-ventilated area after cleaning. Avoid using a dryer or exposing it to direct sunlight, which can cause damage.
- Look for adjustable features: Adjustable zippers, drawstrings, and elasticized waistbands will allow you to customize the suit’s fit for maximum comfort and protection.
- Read reviews and ask for recommendations: Before purchasing, read reviews from other beekeepers and ask for advice from experienced beekeepers to get a high-quality suit that does the job.
- Look for a suit with reinforced knees: Patched fabric will provide additional protection and durability in areas prone to wear and tear.
- The more pockets the better: Multiple pockets will provide convenient storage for tools and other beekeeping supplies.
- Consider the fabric’s weight: Heavier fabric provides more protection against bee stings but may be cumbersome and less comfortable. Lighter material will offer comfort but may not work as effectively.
If you enjoyed this list, check out our best alternatives to a beekeeping suit here. Beekeepers on a budget may want to learn how to make a bee suit at home.