Why It is necessary to have Beekeeping Suits
Let’s face it nobody wants to get stung by a bee, not to mention by 1000′s of the little fellows. I started keeping bees in 1985 and have lost count of the number of times I must have been stung over the years, but I am sure it could have been a lot more if I didn’t have a beekeeping suit to protect me.
Its true that if you have been stung a number of times you begin to produce antibodies that help your body battle the effects of the stings; nonetheless no matter how long you have been keeping bees if you get a mass of bee stings in one go you could have a really severe reaction. So a beekeeping suit is an essential part of the beekeepers equipment and taking some time to choose the best is a great idea.
A beekeeping suit needs to be made of a material that is tough enough to stop the bee’s stinger from penetrating through to the apiarist skin, yet light enough not to limit movement. A suit is usually white or some other light colour this helps to differentiate the bee keeper from the bee’s normal predators who are usually a darker color.
Whatever suit you make a decision to use it will be of vital importance that it be cleaned after each use. A bee’s stinger is able to pump poison for up to several hours after it has become detached from the bee’s body. This will send out an attack signal to other bees in the area consequently you should ensure that any stingers are detached quickly.
Along with your suit a hat and veil is an excellent idea to protect your most vulnerable areas, your face and eyes. You will also discover that bees are especially attracted to your nose and mouth because this is where your warm breath is released. To guard your hands you will need to wear gloves, leather is usually best as it affords adequate protection but also allows for dexterousness when handling the different hive components.
Often you will find yourself doing some work not directly on your hives but close by them and deem that donning full protective clothing is unnecessary. On these occasions I have found it prudent to have a comb in your backside pocket to help you to remove any bees that may have got tangled in your hair. Lots of the times that I have been stung in the past were due to me brushing my hand through my hair to remove such a bee and getting stung between my fingers, not a pleasing experience.
Article by James Walker. To find out more about why you need a beekeeping suit take a look at Beekeepers Suit