How Does A Beekeeper Suit Protect You From Bees? Protecting yourself against bee stings is an important part of becoming a professional beekeeper. Professionals use a range of different devices to calm their bees down and extract honey automatically, but one of the most important pieces of equipment to have is a beekeeper suit.
Many beekeepers think of being stung as part of the job. Once you have received a few stings your body begins to product antibodies that can fight the stings better and allow you to become accustomed to them. However, bee stings en-mass can be dangerous and even the most experienced keeper will wear a suit.
Beekeeper suits are made of thick material to prevent the stingers of the bees passing through and hurting them. However, it is also important that the suits remain light in order to allow the keeper to perform his more intricate tasks. Beekeepers suits are also usually light in color to differentiate the keeper from other animals. Bears are a great natural predator of bees and if the suit was to be black the bees might get confused as to what creature was approaching their hive and attack.
Beekeeping suits are also useful in that they can be removed after a visit to the hive and cleaned. Although bee stingers will not usually penetrate the thick material of the suit, they can still be dangerous if they are left protruding from it. Venom sacs from bees can pump poison for hours after the bee has become detached. They can also send chemical signals to other bees in the area to start attacking. Washing the suit after every visit will ensure any remaining stingers are removed.
Beekeepers wear a few other pieces of equipment along with their suit to protect themselves around the bees. The face can be a vulnerable area in general and it is a good idea to wear a hat and veil when approaching bees. Bees are particularly attracted to the mouth and nose of their keepers where their warm breath is released, so having a veil here is vital. Gloves are also used when walking around the colony, although may be taken off when difficult tasks that require dexterity need to be completed.
Article by Martin Broad. For more information on the benefits of working with a beekeeper suit, visit my website.