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Which Bee Suit Material is Best: Cotton, 3-Layer, or Air Mesh?

Not All Beekeeping Suits Are Created Equal

(No time to ready? Watch our video at the end of this article)

Cotton Bee Suit

Cotton Bee Suit Material

Temperature: Hot

Ventilation: Not Ventilated

Weight: Light

Protection: Less Sting Protection

Cost: Least Expensive

Cotton Bee Suit Summary

While cotton bee suits and jackets are the least expensive option, making them a favorite among new beekeepers looking to save some money they have many drawbacks and often leave beekeepers looking for a better replacement. If you are looking for good sting protection and keep bees where temps can get high in the summer a cotton bee jacket is not your best choice.

3-Layer Bee Suit

3-layer Bee Suit Material

Temperature: Cool

Ventilation: Some Ventilation

Weight: Heavy

Protection: Good Sting Protection

Cost: More Expensive

3-Layer Bee Suit Summary

With better sting protection and some ventilation a 3-layer ventilated bee jacket is a better choice than cotton, however they are very heavy and are often made of very rough material making them uncomfortable to many beekeepers.

Air Mesh Bee Suit

Air Mesh Bee Suit Material

Temperature: Coolest

Ventilation: Most Ventilated

Weight: Lightest Weight

Protection: Best Protection

Cost: More Expensive

Air Mesh Bee Suit Summary

A ventilated Air Mesh bee suit is the best overall choice for a beekeeper looking for sting protection, comfort, and a breathable suit. It is well ventilated, the lightest weight jacket available, and offers maximum protection.

Why "Air Mesh" and how did we get our start?

Ventilated Beekeeping Jacket with fencing veil

When we set out to make bee suits we wanted to make the best suits possible. We were beekeepers first and had already experienced the all to common process of buying a cotton bee jacket to save a few bucks. Then soon after realized that a cotton jacket did not protect us from stings to the degree we had hoped and more so it was HOT. So like many, I moved to a 3-layer jacket and found that I very much liked the cooler feeling of the ventilated jacket. I thought for many years that the trade off for having ventilation was that I had to wear a heavy scratchy jacket, which was worth it, but I came to find out it wasn’t necessary. When I discovered “Air Mesh” I was having a small manufacturer make me a few jackets for my bee school, NewBee University, so I had them make a single large Air Mesh jacket so I could give it a try. I NEVER wore another 3-layer jacket after that prototype. I LOVED that I could have all the ventilation with nearly half the weight and a much more comfortable material. I soon took my new bee school prototype to to my friend and bee shop owner to show it off because I was so excited. On the spot he told me he would stop selling his 3 layer suits and start selling this new design as soon as I could get him some. With this ComfortPro Suits was born. Many of our dealers find that once they start selling our Air Mesh suits and jackets the demand for three layer bee suits declines to the point that some dealers no longer carry them. So we might be a little bias, but after much personal beekeeping experience and research we strongly feel like a light weight Air Mesh bee suit or jacket is the best choice for old and new beekeepers alike. While there is a little more cost initially than buying a cotton jacket, in the long run we are confident you will agree with us that it is worth it.

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