Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

What kind of Bee suit do you suggest/like?


#1

I have been reading around some and haven’t found a solid post about this (if I missed it please point me there, but I was just looking again). Obviously being new I’m not doing doing tons of Bees. I plan to work a bit with a local beekeeper come mid-late April and then I have my own NUC in late May. We can easily get to 100F (37C+) or better during the summer here.

What is everyone’s suggestion of suits? How long do they generally last for someone who currently isn’t looking to make this a full-time job?

Thanks a lot for the input.

I’ve read on several places that the Ultra Breeze suits are great, but I’m getting a bit of push back from my other half on the cost for starting haha! Can’t blame them though the do sound nice and American made is awesome IMO.

I have also seen another post where someone was listing their tools and they had the Ventilated Suit from Brushy - http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Ventilated-Suit/productinfo/987/

As always thanks a lot for all the input in advance!


#2

I ermmm “outgrew” my last bee suit before it wore out. Mine last one was at least 10 years, and it can still be used by a smaller person. :blush: Just to give you an idea, that is managing 1 to 4 hives fairly actively. The suits are pretty well-made, and I haven’t had the fabric fail on one yet. Sometimes the elastic can perish with time, but then I just use bicycle velcro straps to close the wrists or ankles.

I like the zippered veil type of bee suit, but you can do pretty well without that. Last year, we had a lot of days in the mid to upper 90s Fahrenheit in San Diego, and as I am “a woman of a certain age”, I was almost passing out in my bee suit. My husband has given his consent for me to buy a vented suit - you don’t have to buy Ultra Breeze, others make them too for slightly less, but the price difference is only $10 to $30 if I remember right.

Hope others will chime in their opinions.

Dawn


#3

Brands or links to any of them or were they just the “cheap suit at the store” kind?

Yeah a few others like the Breeze were maybe $180ish that isaw, less but being that close Made in America comes to mind haha.


#4

I guess it depends on your bees. Some are quiet and others quite hostile. The professional bee keepers would be best people to advise.

I bought the full kit and kaboodle and walked around like Neil on the moon.The first time I wore it was a warmish day about 34 C at the time and I absolutely got drenched in perspiration and I rarely perspire on the hottest of days.
What ever you go with you have to be relaxed around the bees. If that means full suit then its full suit. Some people just use shorts and shirt no other protection.

Now I just use the hat and veil. And gloves, but I think I am going to ditch them as well.


#5

I figure I need a full suit to have so if I get nasty ones I’ll be safe. I read plenty enjoy just a jacket with viel as well.

It would be nice to someday need nothing.

Sweeting to death is my worry with most “kit” suits


#6

Then you have to go with a Breeze, or similar, with a zip in veil.


#7

The Ultra Breeze or the Golden Bee Products are the top of the line. American made. Big brass zippers. I have several Ultra Breeze jackets, an Ultra Breeze full suit and a Golden Bee Products full suit. On a hot day the ventilation can literally save your life. It may actually save you from heat stroke… The other ventilated suits are much cheaper materials, plastic zippers etc. They will probably work fine. They probably won’t last as long.


#8

I will look into the cost of the Golden Bee as I hadn’t ran across that brand yet.

To a point I looking at pages and started searching forums since I needed feedback vs sales info haha!

I figured a ventilated would be the only way to go.

Looking forward to hearing to lifespan from anyone with the lower end or starter ones?


#9

The one I had for 10 years was just a cheap “off the shelf” suit from the bee supply store. It let stings through if I wore shorts and a t-shirt under it, but it was fine with full length clothing. The zips never failed, just the elastic got a bit loose. I think my veils have failed more often than the suit, and there is NOTHING worse than a bunch of angry bees inside your veil… Now I always inspect the veil fabric carefully before I put it on. I have this one, and like it a lot:
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Hat-Veil-Combo-w_half-zip/productinfo/990BZ/

Dawn


#10

I have one Ultrabreeze suit and one Brushy ventilated suit. The Brushy by far is my favorite suit and weighs 1/2 of the Ultrabreeze and keeps me cooler. Last year was the first year I didn’t receive any stings wearing that suit.


#11

Wow, that is great info, thank you! My favorite veil will fit, and I can save some sponduleks! :smile:


#12

Does the viel attach in any way to the suit or what? There photos are lacking. The price for the Bushy is a lot less even after buying a viel.
EDIT: I got the video to run so it looks like they attach via zipper.

Also the video stops all the time on me. What are the zippers made from? Also I’m curious what the County of Origin is on it?


#13

Beesuits are there to protect your clothing from propolis etc. and to protect you from stings. I have two; a one piece heavy-duty suit with detachable veil and a jacket and veil. I use the cover-all one piece suit for full inspections and for visits to other people’s apiaries and I use the jacket for less invasive work on the colony - feeding, checking monitoring board, inspections through the see-through cover board (inner cover).

I live in a maritime climate. The weather can change quickly and the bees can get upset if they’re exposed to wind and/or rain. I would not do anything with my hives without some sort of protection on. As has been pointed out, inspecting hives in 38°C with a full bee suit on would make you very damp! Suits are made of breathable materials but the weather here over the last couple of years has not justified the expense of buying one - I only have three colonies!

One of the best UK manufacturers is BJ Sherriff, who distributes worldwide - I saw their suits at Hornsby Beekeeping Supplies in NSW earlier this year. They are designed and manufactured by beekeepers for beekeepers in Cornwall. The founder of the company, Brian, is a thoroughly nice guy who supports beekeeping charities world wide. You can see his wares at http://www.bjsherriff.co.uk/about-bj-sherriff/

CVB


#14

I will have to give them a look.
EDIT: They sure do look good, but it also looks like the price goes with where it is made, kind of like the couple American made ones I’ve found too. Diffidently bookmarking so I always can go and look back when I have the $$ to spend :slightly_smiling:

Can any else comment on how many stings from the “kit” grade ones or how horribly got they are vs a bit better breathable.

I think to start I’ll have to start with a while suit and then I can upgrade to just a jacket. Not knowing how my Hive would be yet


#15

OK, I have now used the Brushy Mountain ventilated suit 3 or 4 times, and here are my thoughts.
Pros:

  1. It is my favorite ever bee suit. Ever. For lots of reasons. But it is the only suit that I am not in a hurry to take off when I have finished in the hive, it is THAT comfortable.
  2. If you have a Brushy zippered veil it works perfectly. The suit is very well thought out. There are 2 zips to attach the veil, and they start at the back, running to the front. There is velcro to seal the gap between the 2 zipper ends, so no bees can get in. The design makes it very easy to undo the zip part way and slip the veil off over the back of your head in just a few seconds.
  3. The suit has a stand-up collar all of the way around, which helps to keep the flexible netting part of the veil away from your skin - no stings on sensitive neck skin.
  4. Lots of pocketses… :smile:
  5. Zippers at the ankle, so you can wear long boots should you so desire.
  6. Foot and thumb straps to hold the legs/sleeves in position.
  7. Loop inside the suit for hanging it on a hook when not in use.
    Cons:
  8. You look like the Michelin man cartoon figure - I half expect to float away from being so bloated. But the suit is not stiff, the ballooning does not restrict movement or get in the way of hive management.

The zippers are YKK, probably plastic, but hard to tell. They look pretty sturdy.

Country of origin is impossible to tell - no label in the suit or on the paper sheet with washing instructions (machine wash warm, tumble dry low). Really great suit, and like @Red_Hot_Chilipepper, so far I have had zero stings. Hubby had 2 in the same time, but imho, he deserved them! :smile:


#16

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-supplies/category/page125.html
This is what I got(the jacket/hood only). I would recommend getting the same size you normally wear. I ordered a XXL based on peoples recommendations to buy it over sized and it is quite big on me. A regular XL would likely have been perfectly adequate for me.


#17

I purchased this suit from Brushy Mountain this year. So far so good! I can’t stand to be hot and I also don’t enjoy bee stings. I can feel the slightest breeze through the suit, which works well to keep me cool. The suit seems to be well made.


#18

Hi Dawn, you’ve almost talked me into wearing my breezy bee suit again. I got put off it because last time I wore it I caught a terrible cold. I was under dressed under it & the cold breeze blew right through me at the end of last winter. Your right about feeling like the Michelin man:). One thing for sure, you don’t get stung while wearing them.
The hoop on ours broke almost straight away. We did a good job of fixing that up using a bit of stiff ss wire & heaps of fishing rod binding.

My assessment of them is: They certainly stop bees from stinging you. If your dressed adequately under them & it’s breezy, you feel cool. If it’s not breezy, you feel very hot in them. I also wonder how long the material they use on them will last. Mine hasn’t been washed yet, it’s almost as new. I’m assuming we’re talking about the same suits.


#19

Hi @JeffH. I am sure that we are talking about the same concept in suits, but i bet you have a nice Ultra Breeze suit, whereas I have a cheap Brushy Mountain suit. It hasn’t been really hot weather when I have been wearing it so far - only mid 20s, but it will be interesting to see how it feels when the summer starts to get really warm. We had many days in the 30s last year, and my old bee suit was unbearably hot. At least it made my inspections quick - I couldn’t stand to wear it for longer than about 20 mins. I am not letting David wear my ventilated suit though - he might not give it back! :smiling_imp:


#20

Zipper coils are nylon. Sliders are metal.