Bee-Keeping Protective Suit - your recommendations appreciated

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New Bee
Dec 30, 2012
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Telford AND Rhandirmwyn
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Hello it's me again. Many thanks for all the help/tips so far. I attended the Shropshire BKA meeting last night and really enjoyed it. Networked a little and was engrosed at the presentation given by Graham Royle from Cheshire who was interesting and entertaining. As mentioned before we will be attending the Beginners Course commencing March 18th, but in the meantime I am doing plenty of research and thanks to you guys getting lots of help!!

Today's question... Bee-Keeping Protective Clothing...

I would prefer the all-in-one design as I dont mind wearing overalls although dont think the 'cheesy' Onesie I received as a Chrimbo present will give me much protection, although would amuse the bees with a 2-footed 5'6" dalmation dog approaching the hive!!! :icon_204-2:

Although money doesn't grow on trees, I dont mind spending a few Bob on the best quality/safest suit as that's one area I will not compromise on (I'm sure you know what I mean?!)

So, yet again, I thank you all in anticipation.
Lots to choose from and no doubt lots of suggestions to come .

Sherriff suits are well made and will last an age , they are a bit heavy for my taste so i went for a BB Wear all in one . This one is in its 8th season and gets worn for 2 solid days , and sometimes more a week during the Summer and is still in good order .

Worth having a chat with some folks at your local Assoc now you have been . They will gladly show you what they have and you get a better idea of whats available .

I (or rather Mater) bought a new suit for me last year, here's the thread, i'd already narrowed it down to two manufacturers by then.
You could buy one for half the price on fleabay but you takes your chance - you may get one that lasts years or fall apart after two washes (My spare suit is a fleabay one by Buzz beekeeping supplies - taken a bit of a hammering but still going strong)
Here's a link to the thread

I plumped for a BB wear one in the end although there's not much between either (Father and daughter I believe)
BB Wear gets my vote. I've been very happy with them. Run it through the washing machine no problems which is always I good test of stuff :)
Sherriff for me.
Whatever you decide, don't compromise your safety :)
First off - what's the budget?

Top notch suit is going to be £100.
Lots of cheaper options - even T's sale!

Definitely all-in-one.
For your own bees a £5 (T's sale again) "Occasional veil" (thin one-piece smock) is simple and quick for when you are doing something that is so trivial, the full suit seems like a bother, but you want something to keep accidents from happening.

Your call on "hat" vs "fencing veil".
Pro's tend to the latter, as being less fuss in use.
The association should have some kit for beginners to use for their first bee encounters (likely months away still).
So - apart from sale bargains - NO RUSH... !
BBwear seems to be the more popular choice these days. Biggest factor to consider is hooded or round veil, IMO.
If your bees lose their temper they can sting through the suit anyway.
Sherriff or BBWear.
Similar price and quality.

I'm fairly sure both also do a good discount for a bigger order. Maybe your BKA can put an order in, or else the people on your course?
If it's bbwear you can get 20% discount but wont get your free gloves (if you order online you do but no 20%) if your local BKA association will confirm you are a paid member.
I bought a cheap jacket from T's when I started, then a cheap suit from a stall at the convention................. and eventually I now own a Sherriff jacket and a full suit.
Should of saved my cash and gone to BB or Sherriff 1st.

I have a cheap jacket and suit you can buy..............:spy:

Pete D
I like the hood's attached to a vest top ( I have a sheriff and a bb wear, both excellent)which can then be worn under either a boiler suit or jacket depending on the weather and what I'm up to.
I've got a lovely bb wear full suit. It's the lightweight one and I haven't been stung through it yet, even though it is ridiculously thin. Most importantly is that they come in all sorts of really lovely pastel shades. I opted for the pale green :)
Sherriff and BBwear are made in the UK, and will do repairs by post, a potential saving if you're extending the suit's life. On the other hand, if you're not wearing the suit all day, there are those who have a cheap one in the allotment shed.

You might also want to consider the colour. The cheapest suits are available only in chemical-spill white. Which is fine, but you might not want to stand out if visible from public footpaths etc. Flourescent and bright pastels even more so. The sage/buff/khaki options are available in the better ranges but some of the cheaper options are also appearing in a limited range of colours. And not just plain colours, camo for hiding in the bushes or even floral print.
The main thing to remember is bees tend to climb upwards so if you have a separate veil or a jacket then the bees will climb up....and in! Likewise with feet, wear wellies or boots that come over the bottom of the legs!! Nothing worse than a bee on your bare thigh just as you finally find the queen! A full suit with zip veil and wellies is pretty bomb proof, a sting through a suit is easy to take but a bee trapped inside can bring tears to your eyes!
Cheap ones will be thin, if you don't mind more stings then worth a risk but ..... Finally make sure the veil stays clear of your face, if the veil rests on your cheek they will take advantage! A peaked cap can solve the problem to some extent but try and buy the best to start with and it will last a lifetime!
Pale mint green Sherriff for me!

Comfy, practical, lots of useful pockets, zip overlaps well protected.

I feel more confidence in this, than the white Th***ns I got from my BKA.

And I can celebrate my feminine side!


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