A beekeeping suit is worn to protect a beekeeper from stinging bees. People who raise bees and have a honey farm need to wear protective equipment when heading out to the hive. It may look like a spacesuit to some, but it’s really very simple.
Here’s how to put on a beekeeping suit.
- Get your coveralls. Check the fabric and make sure that there are no tears or holes. The coveralls should have long sleeved arms and the pants should cover the legs. It should zip up to the neck to reduce as much exposed skin as possible. Coveralls are available in different sizes. Get the size that fits you best. If the coverall is too large, it will make it difficult for you to move around freely.
- Get the veil and put it over your head. A beekeeper’s veil is a type of hat that has netting covering the face, back of the head and extends to the chest of the body. There is a cord that you can pull to tighten the net to make sure that no bees can fly in.
- Wrap the cord around your body and make a knot in the front. This is to make sure the veil doesn’t come off your head.
- Get the leg straps. This is a strap of Velcro that is wrapped around the bottom of the pants to make sure the pants don’t ride up. Fold the excess fabric of the pant leg and wrap the leg strap around it. A small opening can be used by bees to fly inside up your pant leg and sting you. There should be one leg strap per pant leg. Make sure it is fastened securely.
- Wear tall boots. If you’re planning to work a long time around the bees, don a pair of tall boots. However, if you’re just doing a quick run, it’s ok to wear short boots or other sturdy footwear. Wear socks and the shoes should be non skid and cover your entire foot. Sandals and other open toed shoes are a no no.
- Put on the gloves. Be keepers use extra long gloves that go up to the elbows for complete protection. The material used on the forearms is usually mesh to provide some ventilation.
There are several designs of bee suits available. Some have knee padding to make bending down easier. Also, although the material is made of sturdy cotton, there are some parts that are ventilated. It can get pretty warm inside a bee suit. Wear light comfortable clothing under the bee suit. Also, make sure you already drink water and use the bathroom before donning the suit and heading out. It can get pretty inconvenient to put in the bee suit then have to take it off to take care of the call of nature.
Bee suits are available for purchase online and other specialty stores. Check online for resources.