Beekeeping Clothing, Tips For Beginners: The naked Truth!

Beekeeping Clothing, Tips For Beginners: The naked Truth!

Article by Jack Pomare

Strip back the layers of your beekeeping clothing and you’ll find that the most expensive beekeeper range of clothing is not necessarily the BEST!

The main consideration when choosing your beekeeping clothing is protection. Having said that, you don’t want to go around walking stiff legged, because your beekeeping clothing is that thickly padded that you can’t even bend over. Try things on for comfort as well, as protection and flexibility, and remember, get a suit that is a little larger, so that you can wear your street clothes underneath them!

The main pieces of clothing that you should wear when doing hive manipulations is a full length suit, hat and veil, gloves and sturdy LEATHER shoes or boots.

Why can’t I wear a pink suit? White or light color beekeeping clothing is better suited to tending your hives as bees are less likely to be attracted to lighter clothing than pink clothes. The science is in the suit, there has been a lot of thought and theory that has gone into beekeeper clothing. It’s not an arbitrary color that someone thought of and the world followed. If fashion had its way the colors probably would be pink, actually all the colors of the rainbow.

Actually a tip about fragrances.Insects are attracted to odors and fragrances in personal hygiene products. So before you go beekeeping. Don’t use any cologne, perfume, hair gel or spray, and avoid wearing fragrant deodorants. Actually, if possible, if you shower in the morning before you go beekeeping, use shampoos and soaps with little or no fragrance in them at all!

Hat and Veil choose one that suits your particular style.

1) Those that are open at the top to fit over a hat. This type of hat and veil are actually two separate pieces. The hat piece, and the veil.The hat is similar to an african safari hat and the veil has a round hole cut out in it that fits over the hat, and this combines to make the hat and veil combination.

2) Completely hatless veils. This type of veil consists of a white colored cloth fabric that actually forms the hat. Vision is provided by a one-piece, rounded wire screen veil. An inner elastic headband holds the veil in place on the head.

3) Veils that form part of a bee suit. The all in one combination suit with an all in one Hat-Veil is generally made of cotton/polyester mix. These suits are generally all in one , similar to coveralls, but with a veil attached to it. The veil might form part of the hood, similar to a fencers helmet or be a separate hat and veil. Elastic leg and wrist cuffs help the fit snugly against your body, so that it closes any possible gaps for stinging bees to get in. The Hat/Veil fits with spring steel band rings to keep the veil out away from the head and the hat flips back when unzipped.

TIP: When buying your beekeeping clothing, order the next size up. You’ll want your suit to fit comfortably over your street clothes.

Leather glovesYou should wear heavy leather gloves, similar to that of welding gloves that extend up to the biceps if possible. There are some jobs that require more intricate dexterity, and therefore wearing gloves will be clumsy and cumbersome. But most of the time you should be fine.

Strong sturdy shoes or bootsOrdinary shoes and socks aren’t recommended as bees could sting through socks and canvas shoes. Use light colored sturdy, leather, work boots with the sides of the boots extending up over the ankles.

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