Bee Suits

One of the more recognizable images in beekeeping is the beekeeper in his/her protective gear. A reader asked me, "How long does it take to put on a bee suit? Does the beekeeper always have to wear it?" I'll try to give good answers to these questions.

I don't have a full head-to-toe bee suit, though most beekeeping suppliers sell them. I use a hat, veil, gloves, a tucked-in long sleeve white shirt, jeans tucked into my socks, and boots.

The point of a bee suit is to protect you from bee stings. Getting stung once in a while isn't so bad, if you are not allergic, but no one wants to be stung a lot. I wear my bee suit when doing hive inspections, fixing crazy comb, or doing other things that may upset the bees. I don't bother with it when I am just filling the feeders or checking the outside of hives. Honeybees are fairly calm creatures when they don't feel threatened.