Essential Beekeeping Guide
Back in 1995, Rockne S. O’Bannon’s thriller movie, ‘Deadly Invasion: the killer bee nightmare’ had a less than average rating and perhaps considered a flop. Why? The bees never actually killed or seriously injured anyone!
“They can’t even kill an allergic little girl!” one critic mused. “Usually when you put killer bees in your movie, you actually let them kill someone and not just fly around!” went another review. Rockne was certainly on the receiving end as one of the top movie critics concluded that “… so all you got to do to be safe when you are surrounded by these bees is… wave your arms around like a moron and you’ll be safe”.Now, for anyone whom that last piece of ‘advice’ has actually worked, please get in touch with me.
Posthaste! For all I know, bees are one of the most dangerous insects. If you flip that fact around you might have something like; bees are the only insects that produce the sweetest know naturally occurring food substance. But don’t be fooled, these little stingers won’t give up their honey that easy and they will ferociously attack their predators and any kind of intruder.
With this in mind, beekeeper clothing should be your number one item on the list of requirements if you are intending to embark on beekeeping. Bees can seriously injure you and even kill you through their stings and venom. You have probably seen some documentaries of seasoned beekeepers working around the bees without protective clothing. Don’t attempt it!
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having protective gear if you are a beekeeper. Luckily, there have been some breakthrough inventions and designs of beekeeper clothing that have recently been developed. This has helped to strike the elusive balance between maneuverability and safety. Earlier on, the beekeeper protective gears had been a little cumbersome but modern day versions are extremely flexible and light improving efficiency when executing regular tasks around the beehives.
The beekeeper jumpsuit offers perhaps the best protection. It is basically a full or complete overall with an attached hood and hat. It is made of such materials like canvas or plastic that offers protection from the stings. Other suits are made of a combination of cotton and polyester which is a very light material but still offers optimal protection from the stings. The hood, which is the most important part of the suit, can either be attached or may come as a separate component. Bees will tend to attack the head region, that is your face and neck region, because they are attracted to your breath. That is not to say that your nether regions do not need to be protected, a sting is just as lethal and painful anywhere on your body. The hood is made up of a hat and a veil that keeps the bees from coming into contact with your skin. The beekeeper suit is not complete without a set of hand gloves and boots. White is the preferred color of the beekeeper clothing as it tends to be a distraction to the bees and make s them less hostile.Rockne is still my man!
Michael V. Taylor is a Long time Beekeeper, and enjoys helping others get started in this amazing hobby by sharing information about Beekeeping Clothing
His newest book,”The Ultimate Beekeeping Guide” teaches Beekeepers everything they need to know about pruducing Honey.