what are beekeeping suits made of_

What Are Beekeeping Suits Made Of?

Bee suits are full-body garments generally made from heavy white cotton canvas or multiple layers of bee-proof mesh netting. A long sleeve is attached to elastic at the end of the wrist, and long legs are attached to elastic at the ankle.

Special head protection hoods with mesh face masks are also available with some bee suits.

A full bee suit, in combination with heavy beekeepers’ gloves, is one of the safest ways to prevent getting stung.

What Do Beekeepers Wear?

The first thought people have when they think of bees is getting stung.  TV shows frequently depict bees attacking and stinging people. It is a common misconception that bees are aggressive.  It’s really not their intention to sting us.

A bee will sting only if it feels that its hive will be threatened or if it is accidentally hurt.  Because beekeepers handle bees so much, they sometimes get stung. To protect themselves from stings, beekeepers wear clothes that have special materials. To be safe, beekeepers wear the following clothing:

Bee Suit

Beekeepers wear bee suits or beekeeping suits, which they call bee suits. In a full bee suit, the beekeeper has long sleeves and long pants to protect himself from the elements.  Bee suits often come with hats and veils as well.  

If you wear a bee suit, make sure your hands, feet, and neck are free of gaps, as bees can enter your suit from these areas.  A bee suit with a veil often has thumb holes and elastic on the hands and feet, and a zipper on the neckline that attaches the veil so the suit can be worn by both hands.

Bee Jacket

Beekeepers are also commonly seen wearing bee jackets.  The jacket is made of material that is sting-proof.  In addition to a bee jacket, beekeepers wear thick jeans. 

Hat and Veil

Beekeepers wear hats and veils to protect their heads from the elements.  The hat has a wide brim, and mesh hangs down to your shoulders.  If you’re going to be beekeeping, you’ll need to wear a hat and veil since they will protect your face and neck from stings.

Three types of beekeeping veils are available. Their name comes from the shape they take. Among the three types of veil available, the fencing veil is the most popular. A veil is often included in bee suits.

Gloves 

Also, beekeepers wear gloves to prevent their hands from getting stung.  The gloves used in beekeeping are typically made from cotton, leather, and extend up to the elbow. Beekeepers can also use nitrile gloves, which are thinner and more flexible.  

What Materials Are Beekeeping Suits Made Of

What Materials Are Beekeeping Suits Made Of

Beekeeper’s suits seem to be a recent development in comparison to other things. Beekeepers in ancient Egypt reportedly lacked any protective clothing at all. In Europe, the first beekeeping suit appeared in the 16th century.

There once was a time when beekeepers wore wicker masks over their bodies, covering the rest with an outfit like a choir robe. Due to masks that were difficult to see through and robes with gaps that allowed bees entrance, the suits proved predominantly ineffective.

Beekeepers today use a much better suit than those of past generations. In modern suits, there are three main materials:

1. Cotton

The most common material for hundreds of years is cotton. Bee stings are hard to penetrate thanks to their thick material cotton, which is naturally white. Cotton isn’t very breathable, which is the main problem with it. During the summer, cotton suits can become extremely warm. 

There’s a good chance you’ll sweat.

2. Nylon

Until a few decades ago, beekeepers would never have imagined wearing a suit made of nylon. There is no resistance to stingers due to their thinness. In comparison to cotton, however, it has one advantage: Bees have a hard time gripping it long enough to reach and sting. Often, they slide off before completing the job.

Let’s talk about warmth now. It is even harder to breathe in nylon than in cotton. The temperature will rise because of that. Wearing a nylon suit makes you sweat more. 

3. Mesh

Several layers of mesh material are used in some modern beekeeping suits. In a single layer, mesh does not offer much protection from stings, but when layers together, they offer a thick enough covering to repel most stings. Mesh is breathable, which is an obvious advantage.

Mesh has the drawback of being harder to find a high-quality garment made with it. Bee suits manufactured from mesh tend to not last as long, and they may not be as well finished and made as those made from leather.

Can You Make My Own Bee Suit?

Most beekeepers are satisfied with buying one of the commercially produced suits. However, some prefer to make their own. Beekeeping suits aren’t terribly expensive, but that is entirely up to you. For around $100 to $200, you can buy a good suit.

Those who enjoy making their own suits can skip buying patterns and make them from scratch if they choose. By modifying existing clothing, you can make it fit your needs. Make sure you wear heavy cotton or denim garments.

You need a heavy shirt with Velcro straps to start. In order to make the Velcro enclosure that replaces the buttons, you will remove the buttons and sew all of the buttonholes closed. Your next step will be to sew a Velcro strap around the neckline so the hat veil can be attached.

It is also possible to modify thick cotton and denim pants in the same way. You can stop bees from coming in when your shirt is tucked in by stitching Velcro strips into your waistband and the bottom of your shirt. Make sure the shirt and pants are tight by sewing gathers into their cuffs and finish everything off with a pair of work boots and heavy-duty gloves.

Learn more about making beekeeping suits online. We have merely described the general idea here.

Where Can I Buy Beekeeping Suit?

Buying a bee suit is not something you can pick up at your local store since it is a specialty item.  For beginning beekeepers, there is an extensive selection of beekeeping suits you can buy online.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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