If you want to feel confident with beekeeping, you need one of the best bee suits to protect you from stings. Getting stung is unpleasant, and it’s hard to be patient enough to do a good job when you’re in pain. Protecting yourself with a top quality bee suit makes good sense. Like the saying goes, “fences make good neighbors.” You’ll be a better beekeeper if you can focus on the work without fear.
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Some keepers begin with only a veil and gloves, and they wear heavier clothing instead of a suit. This may save you money, but it puts you at risk and doesn’t usually save much time, either. Any opening you left gaping could be an entryway for an intruding bee. It’s easier and safer to have an entire enclosed environment that you can wear when needed.
Not every bee suit is hot or uncomfortable. There are some, like our top pick today, that actually allow air to pass through the protective layers without letting stings penetrate.
Features to look for when shopping for the best bee suit
When you begin shopping for bee suits, you may be lucky enough to be able to try on a few of them. Do keep in mind that you may find a much lower price online than in a store. Here are some features to consider:
- Fit—does the manufacturer provide a sizing chart? What are customers saying about the fit?
- Ease of putting it on and taking it off—are there zippered openings or elastic cuffs? How is the veil attached?
- How much protection does it offer? It is sting proof, or only sting resistant? How much protection do you need?
- Is the suit washable?
- Is it durable enough for your needs? This includes material, stitching, and zippers or closures.
Now let’s start off the reviews with our top choice for the best bee suit. The cost is a little higher than some brands, but it has features that any serious beekeeper will appreciate.
Best bee suits on the market
|The Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Suit with Veil||– Size: X-Large|
– With veil
– Very cool & comfortable
|Ultra Breeze Large Beekeeping Jacket with Veil||– 1 Unit, White|
– Size: Large
– Cool & comfortable
|Humble Bee Polycotton Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil||– 410-XXXL|
– 6’4″ – 6’6″ (192 – 197 cm)
– Unisex design
– 10 Pockets
|Humble Bee Ventilated Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil||– 430-L|
– 5’9″ – 5’10” (174 – 179 cm)
– Fabric: Ventilated
– 4 Pockets
– All-day comfort
|Humble Bee 420-L Aerated Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil||– 420-L|
– 5’9″ – 5’10” (174 – 179 cm)
– Fabric: Aerated
– 7 Pockets
|MANN LAKE Economy Beekeeper Suit with Self Supporting Veil||– X-Large|
– 4 Pockets
– 60% cotton & 40% polyester
– Extremely comfortable
|New Professional Medium/Large Cotton Full Body Beekeeping Bee Keeping Suit||– Best fits: 5’6″ to 6’0″|
– Hand washable
– Great coverage
|New Professional Medium Cotton Full Body Beekeeping Bee Keeping Suit||– Medium Size|
– 100% cotton cloth
– Well designed
|Complete Bee Keeper Suit Helmet Pants Gloves Pest Control bee wasps hornets yellow jackets||– Large or X-large|
– 50% cotton & 50% polyester
The Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Suit with Veil
The top choice of many pro beekeepers and serious amateurs is the Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Suit. It was designed by an experienced beekeeper to keep the wearer safe and cool. It has three layers of polyester mesh and polyester vinyl material, enough to keep stingers from reaching skin. You won’t have to dress up in winter clothes underneath to protect yourself, and you’ll still be safe if you get wet. The suit is thick enough to protect you from Africanized bees.
But don’t let the suit’s thickness make you think it’s hot or heavy—it’s not. Although it isolates you from stings, it lets air pass through to keep you cool. If there is a breeze, you’ll feel it on your skin. If you’re working during spring or fall, you might even need a jacket underneath!
Yes, this is a somewhat bulky suit compared to some, but again, it’s sting-proof. It’s easy to put on and take off because it has long zippers. For example, the legs have durable brass zippers along their full length. There are also two long brass zippers on the jacket. All these zippers are the well-known YKK brand, so there’s no skimping on quality.
Think of it this way—if you have a comfortable, trustworthy bee suit that fully protects you from stings, if one overexcited bee attacks, its barb won’t stick in the mesh. It won’t release the alarm pheromone, so there won’t be a frenzy. The suit protects you, and indirectly protects the bees, too.
The Ultra Breeze suit gives you a helping hand so you can get work done quickly. Not only is it quick to don, it has pockets so you can carry a few items with you. All the pockets are made of the same mesh material so they don’t block airflow.
The cuffs of the pants and jacket have elastic gathers so there’s no fussing with Velcro straps. The hood is detachable—it’s there to keep the veil off of your face. One of the few complaints we saw regarding this suit is that the hood can block a little of your peripheral vision unlike a traditional veil. The hood rather resembles a fencing suit in this respect.
When you want to wash the suit, most of it can be machine-washed with cold water. The hood must be hand-washed.
If you love the Ultra Breeze material and quality workmanship, but aren’t sure you want a full suit, take a look at the jacket below.
Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Jacket with Veil
The Ultra Breeze Beekeeping Jacket here comes with a zip-on veil, but no pants. It’s made of the same polyester/polyester vinyl mesh fabric that provides superior protection against stings but lets air flow on through. It’s too thick for the stinger to penetrate, but it’s not heavy and it’s not as hot as other brands of bee suits.
The jacket is designed to be easy to put on and take off. The sleeves and waistband have elastic gathers, and the jacket has top and bottom pockets for carrying tools.
The hood with the veil zips on with a brass YKK zipper, a brand known for durability. The gap seals shut with Velcro to keep out any unexpected visitors. The hood keeps the veil off of your face, but some wearers may find it blocks a little peripheral vision. On the plus side, you won’t need to wear a hat underneath to support the veil.
The jacket is machine-washable with cold water, but the hood must be washed by hand.
Humble Bee 410 Polycotton Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil
Humble Bee makes an assortment of different styles of bee suits. This one with the round veil is one of the most popular. One of the reasons it’s well-liked is the fact that it gives an unobstructed view all around the wearer.
The suit itself is sewn from a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers that’s heavy enough to protect against stings, but light enough to not feel too bulky or too hot. The elastic wrists and ankles are a common feature on most beekeeper suits, but this one also has thumb and foot holds to secure it from rolling up.
While the model 410 is breathable, the next bee suit from the same company is even more comfortable in hot weather.
Humble Bee 430 Ventilated Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil
The difference between the Humble Bee 410 above and this 430 model here is that this one has five ventilation panels. These panels make up the back, parts of the chest, and parts of the arms of the suit. But if you want even more airflow, take a look at the Humble Bee 420 below.
Humble Bee 420 Aerated Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil
The 420 is the coolest bee suit that Humble Bee sells. It’s almost completed made from the ventilated mesh that makes up the airflow panels on the 430 suit above.
Besides the superior ventilation that this 430 beekeeper suit offers, it has other quality features like thumb and foot loops to keep the suit in place, plus brass zippers, and a round veil with great visibility. If you work with bees in a hot and humid environment, give yourself the gift of this suit or the Ultra Breeze at the top of our reviews.
MANN LAKE Economy Beekeeper Suit with Self Supporting Veil
MANN LAKE sells an economical beekeeper suit that is made of a sting-resistant blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester. It’s washable, but not as breathable as the Ultra Breeze suit.
The wrists and ankles have elastic gathers to keep bees out. There is also an elastic thumb to hold sleeves in place. The ankles of the pants have sturdy zippers to help you put the suit on and take it off with ease.
There are five pockets total, two covered flaps on the chest, and two hip pockets, plus a hive tool pocket on the leg. The veil is self-supporting, and has two layers of fabric at the rear for extra protection.
Users comment that the MANN LAKE suit seems to fit well enough even though it isn’t the coolest option for hot weather.
New Professional Cotton Full Body Beekeeping Suit, with Veil Hood By VIVO (BEE-V106)
VIVO’s Professional Cotton Fully Body Beekeeping Suit is machine-washable and its hood with self-supporting veil is hand-washable. It has heavy duty zippers that attach the veil, and Velcro over the zippers to provide an extra layer of protection. Both the ankle and wrists have elastic gathers. The front of the suit has two 6-inch pockets while the rear has one.
Users say it protects against stings, but some recommend wearing another layer of protective clothing underneath. The veil provides good peripheral vision, but may fit a little close to the wearer’s face.
Aspectek Professional Beekeeping Suit Full Body Self Supporting Veil with Fixable Strap Protects from Stings
Aspectek’s Professional Beekeeping Suit solves a problem that some bee suits have. It has thumb and foot holds to keep sleeves and pants from rolling up. The veil also has a strap to keep the veil in the correct position to give you clean vision and protect you from stings. There are two pockets in the front and one on the back.
The material of the suit is 100% cotton to make it as cool and breathable as possible. One wearer commented that it’s not sting-proof as they were stung through the suit. Do also pay attention to the area where the zipper closes around to veil to make sure bees cannot enter there.
Deluxe Complete Beekeeper Suit from Pest Control Pros
This bee suit comes with a full body suit plus ventilated helmet and gloves. The suit is made of a poly-cotton blend and it has elastic gathers at the ankles and wrists. The glove hands are made of leather while the rest is a thick canvas. The sleeves have thumb loops to keep them in place underneath the gloves. The veil has a square zipper design that is supported by the straw helmet, just a like a traditional suit.
Users say it’s worked well for them so far. They like the veil zipper with overlapping ends that keep out bees. Some say they have used it to eliminate wasps, not just for beekeeping.
FOREST BEEKEEPING SUPPLY Beekeeping Gloves – Reinforced & Ventilated Cuff – Long Twill Elastic Gauntlet
Gloves are an important protection when you work with stinging insects. Although some beekeepers don’t like them because they are afraid to crush their bees, most keepers would prefer to avoid stings.
These gloves from Forest Beekeeping Supply are made of premium cowhide leather that resists stings, but isn’t stiff or uncomfortable. The long sleeves are made of double-stitched canvas and have elastic cuffs.
Users say the gloves fit well and flex easily. They like the tailored fit and the durability of the gloves. They will protect your hands while you work with your hive.
Humble Bee 210-ST Polycotton Beekeeping Veil with Round Hat
If you just want to do a quick check on your hive, this veil may be all you need. You’ll have an unobstructed view all around you while you work. The lightweight hat and veil combination is made of 50% cotton and 50% synthetic materials so it’s cooler in hot weather than some other brands are.
Accessories for working with hives
Equipment like a hive tool is essential for working with your hive.
KINGLAKE Steel J-Hook, Bee Hive Tool Frame Lifter and Scraper, Beekeeping Equipment, 10-1/2-Inch
The steel hive tool from KINGLAKE is ten and one half inches long, perfect for lifting up a super or reaching down into a Langstroth hive to lift out frames for inspection. It has a sharp edge for cutting off or scraping off beeswax.
Aspectek Beehive Smoker Beekeeping Bee Repellent Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Protection 11 x 8.5 inch
Aspectek’s Beehive Smoker is built with heavy duty stainless steel so it will last for years of working with your hives. It has a heat shield and a top hook to keep you safe from burns.