Beekeeper Hats & Apparel
If you want to be a great beekeeper, you’ve got to dress the part. Not only will your bee-keeper hat and other apparel ensure your safety and effectiveness as a beekeeper, you’ll also gain the hard-earned respect of your bees when they see how stylish their beekeeper is, leading them to produce exponentially more honey that will taste even better. Okay, maybe that last part isn’t necessarily true, but it’s still of the utmost importance that you obtain quality beekeeping protective clothing before embarking on your newest hobby.
When most folks think of beekeeping, the first image that jumps to their brains is that of an old-world-astronaut-type costume with a head-to-toe jumpsuit and enormous brimmed and netted hat. While this awesome image is not far from the truth, it’s important to remember that there is actually a fair bit of variety when it comes to choosing your beekeeping attire.
Your first focus should be on finding a quality beekeeper hat. This will cover the most sensitive and most important parts of your body, the eyes, nose, mouth and ears, from harmful bee stings. When your face and head are properly covered, it allows you the peace of mind to be able to focus more fully on the careful maintenance of your hive and the safety of your bees. Most beekeepers refer to the entire headpiece as the “hat”, even though it technically consists of two parts— the actual hat section that covers your head, as well as the veil, which is the netted section that surrounds and en-closes your face. Some veils hang loose around the shoulders, and others connect to a structured lower brim that encircles your shoulders. Both are effective, but the structured lower brim does seem to provide more complete isolation from possible bee intruders. Keep this in mind when selecting your beekeeper hat.
When it comes to protecting your body, you essentially have two options. You could opt for the beekeeper suit, which is a head-to-toe jumpsuit that encloses the en-tire body while beekeeping. The benefits of such a suit are obvious— head-to-toe protection means very low possibility of bee stings. However, full suits can be difficult to maneuver in, and also can become extremely warm in the heat of spring and summer. Some beekeepers opt for a less obstructive beekeeper jacket, which is made from similar protective material but is worn only on the upper torso, often zippered up like a standard jacket. While more comfortable and less intrusive, this style of protection does not offer the total body security from stings that a full suit offers. It falls on the beekeeper to determine whether they are willing to put up with the occasional sting in order to ensure greater mobility and comfort. There’s no correct answer, and each beekeeper should decide for him- or herself which route makes the most sense for them.
Once you’ve got a suit or jacket, it’s time to select your gloves. Most beekeeping gloves will get the job done, but make sure that you have full range of motion in your hands and fingers so that you can still effectively go about the work of taking care of your hive. It won’t do you much good having sting-free hands if the gloves you use to protect them are bloated and unwieldy anyways!
Now that we’ve reached your feet, you should know that there is no hard and fast rule for beekeeper footwear. Many beekeeper’s swear that their tall rubber boots are the most important part of their beekeeping protective clothing, while others wear simple tennis shoes and have no issues at all. Once again, choose whatever style of footwear is comfortable for you and your beekeeping experience will be a pleasure.
Once you’re outfitted from top to bottom with the right gear, your bees will know who’s boss and other beekeepers will know that you’re a force to be reckoned with! Now get out there and make some honey! Well, technically the bees will be making the honey. Let’s not forget who the real heroes are…
Watch our Beekeeper Hats & Apparel educational video to learn more:
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