Which is Better a Beekeeping Jacket or Beekeeping Suit?
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One of the keys to being a successful beekeeper is feeling safe and protected enough to work your bees. Fear has kept many beekeepers from taking proper care of their bees and ultimately lead to them getting out of beekeeping.
Choosing the right protective clothing, especially the choice between a bee jacket or a full bee suit, is a big part of feeling safe.
While most experienced beekeepers have long made their choice between a beekeeping jacket or a full beekeeping suit, this is a big decision for many new beekeepers. There are some definite pros and cons for each type of bee suit that can help you determine which is the best for you.
From our experience working with many new beekeepers, we find that they often purchase a full suit because they see this as necessary or feel they will need this to be fully protected, but once they get their bees and feel more comfortable with them, they soon realize they don’t need a full suit. Within the first year or two of becoming a beekeeper they often transition to a bee jacket.
Beekeeping can be expensive and buying both a suit and a jacket is an unnecessary expense for most beekeepers. I hope that this list of pros and cons for bee jackets and bee suits will help you make the right decision from the beginning.
- Fast / Easy to Put On / Off
- Less Cumbersome to Wear & Store
- Chance of Gapping Between Jacket and Pants*
- More Chance of Getting Stung in Legs
- Need dedicated pants (They will get stained)**
*ComfortPro Difference: We worked very hard to eliminate one of the major negatives to wearing a bee jacket when doing inspections, the gap potential gap between your jacket and your waist where bees like to sneak in. On our jackets we use a wide and very stretchy elastic so that they pull tight around the waist and keep bees from getting in.
**ComfortPro Difference: We have developed bee pants, allowing you to have the protection of a full suit and ease of a jacket and the versatility to choose.
Beekeeping Full Suit
- Full Protection Including Legs
- No Risk of Gapping At Waist
- Harder to Get On / Off*
- More Cumbersome to Wear & Store
*ComfortPro Difference: While still harder to get on and off than a bee jacket ComfortPro suits feature a long zipper on the outside of each leg making it much easier to step into than most full suits.
**ComfortPro Difference: While still a bit warmer than a jacket, ComfortPro’s lightweight material makes our suits cooler and less cumbersome to wear than other full suits on the market.
A beekeeping jacket is easy to throw on for a quick inspection, cooler and less cumbersome than a full suit making it an appealing choice. However, the key is to feel safe when working your bees. In my experience wearing a jacket and jeans keeps me feeling protected. Even if there is a rare, but occasional sting through my jeans, a quick reaction pulling at the sting site usually removes the stinger quickly and makes the impact of the sting minimal. For most new beekeepers who don’t experience a high level of fear a jacket is likely the best choice.
UPDATE: A Third Option: Jacket / Pants Combo
Our recently released ventilated bee pants make a bee jacket an even better choice. Wear the jacket for quick inspections and add the pants when you are doing more intensive work or the bees are agitated. Bee pants really add the best of both worlds. See them here: Ventilated Bee Pants
We have discovered that this jacket pants and combo is also a great option for those who feel restricted by a full suit and those big and tall beekeepers that don’t fit traditional sizing. We recently had a 6′ 6″ beekeeper come to us and with doubt in his voice say, “You probably don’t have anything for me do you?” Yes, yes we do! He was able to get a jacket and pants combination that fit his tall frame and kept him fully protected!
If however you have apprehension about working with your bees, or you have overly aggressive bees the comfort of being fully protected from head to toe in a full suit may be the best choice for you. The key is feeling safe in the bee yard.
Whether you choose a beekeeping jacket or a full suit, ComfortPro Suits offers the most breathable, lightweight, and comfortable protective clothing available with a fencing veil, Round veil, or get both!
Visits our shop and make your choice of a jacket or full suit today!