Starting a new hobby is always a fun experience, but some hobbies come with a greater risk of harm than others. For better or for worse, keeping your own bee hive tends to fall closer to the “dangerous” side of the safety spectrum, which means it’s all the more important to invest in the proper safety equipment.
You’ve researched your hive, the types of bees you want, and the equipment you’ll use to extract the honey out of your hive, but have you thought about what you need to do to keep yourself safe? A hive of bees can be incredibly dangerous to be near if they all decide to attack you at once, which is why wearing a proper beekeeper suit is extremely important for staying safe. However, with all the models and styles available today, how are you supposed to know which suit is a smart buy and which one will leave you stung and swollen?
You don’t have to worry or give up your new hobby. We’ve done the difficult work for you and have looked through some of the top beekeeping suits to identify which ones are a smart choice. We’ve found five suits to highlight that we think are great pieces of beekeeping equipment that will keep you safe from stingers, no matter your price point.
However, before we look into those five suits, let’s identify some of the standards you need to keep in mind when researching what kind of beekeeping safety suit to buy for yourself.
What to Look For When Buying a Beekeeping Suit
Quality beekeepers suits will vary from about $60 to hundreds of dollars, but they all tend to have several key features. All well-made suits will have plenty of pockets (sometimes eight or more) double stitching on all important seams, a removable, self-supporting bee veil and hat, and elastic or Velcro around the ankles, waist and wrists to keep bees out of vulnerable areas.
The Beekeeper Hat
Your head is one of the most important parts of yourself that you can protect, which makes a bee hat a crucial piece of equipment for staying safe. Most beekeeping hats are covered by a veil from the outside that keeps it seamlessly as one piece or as a removable piece that can be attached to the hat. Whether you want yours attached or removable comes to personal preference, but an attached design tends to be harder for bees to access. Most bee keeper hats have a veil that extends well past the neck to ensure that this vulnerable body part is completely protected by both the collar in the suit and the hat’s veil.
Types of Bee Veils
There are three main types of veils that are used to cover your face in sting proof bee suits: round, fencing and square.
– Round veil suits are the classic design and provide you with a wide range of view while protecting your face with a layer of breathable mesh. This gives you great ventilation and prevents you from overheating in severe summer temperatures.
– Fencing veil suits are a more modern design that helps keep your hairstyle from getting destroyed from wearing a hat while you work with your bees. It’s a smart choice for anyone with long or styled hair that doesn’t want to compromise it for their beekeeping hobby.
– Square veil suits are designed to be compact and fold-able, ensuring that your suit is easy to store in the often provided beekeeping bag. You’ll get a great range of view while also allowing cool air to come in and keep your head from over heating. For the space conscious beekeeper, this design is a great option.
Types of Fabric
There are several types of fabric that beekeeping clothing can come in. The most common options are polycotton, ventilated and aerated. Polycotton tends to be a blend of cotton and polyester that is close to a fifty- fifty ratio of the two, and the woven combination of the two produce a durable fabric that is a great way to avoid bee stings. Ventilated bee suits tend to be made up of three layers, with a synthetic layer on the outsides and a foam core in the middle that creates an air gap between the fabrics, a space just large enough for a bee stinger to get lodged in without making any contact with your skin. Finally, aerated suits are made from polycotton fabric but have foam panels and mesh added to the chest area to keep you safe and provide extra air flow.
Getting a Proper Fit
When you buy a bee protective clothing, it’s important to pay attention to the size that you order. Getting a bee clothing that swallows you up because it’s too big will make taking care of your bees a miserable experience for you. Pay careful attention to the sizing charts on the beekeeping outfits website and take measurements of yourself if you aren’t sure what size you fit into. Trust us, buying a properly fitting bee suit will make a huge difference in how well the experience goes for you.
Beekeeping gloves are an important accessory because they protect the part of your body that is most likely to provoke the bees: your hands. Make sure you order gloves that have a good seal along your wrists and that connect directly with the rest of the suit so that no part of your arms is vulnerable. Getting bee gloves with elastic or Velcro attachments is a smart idea.
Owning the right gear is an essential step in starting to be a beekeeper, and buying the right suit is one of the most important beekeeping purchases you will make. Wearing a high quality beehive suit can make the difference between a successful collection of honey and a visit to the hospital. Do your research and find the best beekeeper suit for your needs, and you’ll be sure to have a better overall experience with this fun hobby.
Best bee suits for sale on Amazon
Now that you know what to look for when you buy a bee keeper suit, here are our top suggestions of suits on Amazon that are guaranteed to keep you safe without breaking the bank.
1. Natural Apiary Beekeeping Suit- Deluxe
You won’t have to worry about any bees stinging you when you wear this bee protective suit from Natural Apiary. This bee keeping suit is made out of a cotton polyester blend, and the thick fabric is fully washable, ensuring you’ll be able to run it through the washing machine without a problem. Your wrists and ankles will stay protected with the elasticized seals that provide a tight enough coverage that not even the smallest bee will be able to make contact with your skin, and a reinforced extra thick collar gives the same level of protection to your neck. A detachable veil makes it convenient for you to up your protection, and reinforced knee patches allow you to bend down and get to work without having to worry about wearing holes in your suit. A full- suit zipper makes this beehive suit easy to take on and off, ensuring that tending to you bees won’t become a bigger ordeal than it has to be.
Sizing doesn’t have to be a worry, as this suit comes in small, medium and large and an elasticized waist ensures that this suit will fit all adults less than 350 pounds, though some exceptionally tall beekeepers have complained that this suit isn’t big enough for them. However, if you are an average size this sting proof bee suit is the perfect option to keep you safe.
2. Eco-keeper Premium Beekeeping Suit
At less than $70, this bee keepers suit is an absolute steal that gives you incredible value for your money. It’s as light in fabric as it is in price, as the lightweight material weighs less than heavy-duty cotton but keeps you just as safe from bee stings. This is a big advantage on sweltering hot days when the last thing you want to do is put on a heavy beekeeping suit and go out in the sun. Weighing just five pounds, you’ll barely even be able to tell this suit is on you. The secret to the material is that it’s made from a blend of cotton and polyester that has such a tight weave that even the tiniest bee stinger can’t get through, though if you’re worried, simply adding a long sleeve base layer underneath this suit will be sure to keep you safe.
If you manage your bee hives in hot climates, then this is the bee protective suit you want to invest in.
3. Humble Bee 411 L Polycotton Bee Suit
If you want to take care of your bees and feel like you are doing good things for the environment at the same time, you should consider buying this excellent bee keeping suit from Humble Bee. Not only is it a steal at less than $90, but the company also promises to donate 10% of their earnings to non profit organizations around the country that are encouraging small scale beekeeping activities and are helping to aid the global conservation efforts of honey bees. Even if you aren’t entirely motivated by altruism, this is still a smart suit to invest in. Made with a mix of cotton and synthetic blends, this suit is amazingly light while still providing you with exceptional protection from bee stings. Elastic around the waist, wrists and ankles are sure to keep you safe, and a removable veil makes the suit much easier to keep clean. Best of all, it comes in a deluxe carrying space that makes storage a snap.
There’s a lot to like about this suit, and you’ll find that it is the perfect option for keeping you safe in the middle of your swarming bees.
4. Natural Apiary Max Protect Beekeeping Suit
Are you allergic to bee stings? If so, even a beehive suit that is ninety nine percent effective at keeping bees from stinging you simply isn’t good enough, because even one sting is enough to send you to the hospital, or maybe an early grave. If this describes your situation, you know that you can’t commit to the “second best” bee suits available- only the absolute best quality will do, which is why this Max Protect bee suit from Natural Apiary is such a smart buy. This suit comes with a full replacement warranty if you aren’t completely satisfied. It’s over twice as expensive as similar models, but for the money you get the absolute best fabrics that are used for beekeepers. It’s made from 100% cotton and has strong elastic, extra Velcro seals and a reinforced collar to give you the best protection possible. The included veil is made from clearview nylon to ensure that your vision won’t be obscured at all, and the entire suit is completely machine washable. To top it off, the suit comes in a modern cut and the fabric is printed in a cool camouflage design. What’s not to like?
5. Pest Mall Complete Bee Keeper Suit
Your safety is the number one priority at Pest Mall, which is why they have released this high quality beekeeping suit that is sure to keep you safe. This company takes special care to ensure you get the right suit for your body type; in fact, they will refuse to ship your order until you specify what size you need, making sure that you don’t create unnecessary gaps from overly bulky fabrics that would allow a bee to come in and sting you.
This suit is made with a comfortable mix of cotton and polyester fabric, and the included helmet is ventilated to help you stay cool no matter the weather you are dealing with. Plenty of extra features like reenforced pockets, double stitching along seams and three different sizes of gloves to choose from ensure that this bee suit will fit you perfectly and keep you safe. It’s a little more expensive than some other models, but customers that have ordered it have all agreed that the extra level of personalization and protection is well worth the cost.