Staying sting-free while managing your hives is key to making beekeeping a pleasurable experience.
Beginner and amateur beekeepers are more likely to get stung as they familiarise themselves with how bees behave and act. We’d all love docile colonies that happily let us extract honey without lifting a wing but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
New to beekeeping? Check out our guide on how to start beekeeping for an in-depth look at what is required to start this fantastic hobby.
Finding the best beekeeping suit for your requirements can be harder than you think so we’ve done the hard work for you, testing and reviewing some of the most popular beekeeping suits available in the UK today.
The best beekeeping suits reviewed
Let’s take a closer look at some of the beekeeping suits available to beekeepers and how they stack up against the rest.
Revive a Bee’s choice: Natural Apiary – Apiarist Beekeeping Suit – Polycotton
The budget choice: Simon The Beekeeper Beekeeping Suit – Round Hat
Natural Apiary – Apiarist Beekeeping Suit – Polycotton Fencing Veil
Natural Apiary has established itself as one of the top suppliers of UK beekeeping equipment.
The apiarist beekeeping suit is their mid-range model, offering a high level of sting resistance they do still recommend you wear under clothing for an extra layer of protection.
I have personally used this suit and didn’t suffer from any stings despite wearing thin shorts and a t-shirt underneath so think they may just be covering their backs here.
The suit is available in 5 sizes and 6 colours so variety is a key standout here.
The suit is made from polycotton incorporating a 65% Cotton and 35% Polyester blend designed to keep you sting-free and cool in the warmer summer months.
Each suit uses high-quality YKK zips and non-flammable veils alongside fully elasticated ankles, wrists and waist for a great fit and protection against bees entering your suit.
Apiarist suits are completely machine washable making them easy to clean between regular hive visits.
Most customers have nothing but good things to say about this beekeeping suit but some points to be aware of are:
- Sizing can be on the small side
- Elastic cuffs are tighter than normal beekeeping suits
- Veils tend to deteriorate after the 12-month mark
Simon The Beekeeper Beekeeping Suit – Round Hat
Simon the Beekeeper is a well know name in beekeeping circles in the UK. Offering a range of products for beekeeping alongside suits like hives, frames and bee feed, Simon the Beekeeper is a trusted brand.
This suit sits as the cheapest on this list by a long shot but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality. Despite their price, these beekeeping suits are very well received by amateur and professional beekeepers alike.
Equipped with a round hat and twin veil this suit is the definition of the stereotypical beekeeper look (which we love!).
You can pick from a range of eight sizes but this suit is only available in the traditional white colourway.
Equipped with reinforced knee patches, elasticated waist, ankles and wrists and 9 pockets this suit has all the features of more expensive models.
Thi suit features 100% pre-shrunk cotton that will keep you sting-free even when managing aggressive hives.
While this suit is fantastic value for money there are a few things to keep in mind before making your decision:
- The round hat is removable and requires hand washing
- 100% cotton build can be very hot during the summer months
BeeProGear Ventilated Bee Suit
The BeeProGear Ventilated Bee Suit is fantastic for keeping you cool in hot climates. Beekeepers in the southern counties of the UK and Wales will likely benefit the most from this suit designed to keep the wearer cool.
This suit champions comfort, the self-supporting veil and hood remove any pressure from your neck and shoulders making checking your frames a breeze.
The large open face veil aids in visibility giving you your whole range of vision (we like to call this the widescreen veil).
Equipped with 5 pockets this suit sacrifices extra pockets to stay as lightweight as possible.
You can purchase this suit in a white or brown colourway.
What makes a good beekeeping suit?
Looking for the best beekeeping suit for you can be hard. There’s a wide range of options available and a myriad of technical features to choose from.
Forgetting about brands and manufacturers let’s take a quick look at what makes a great beekeeping suit and elements you should look out for when purchasing your next suit.
Fit – Getting the fit of your suit right is critical. Wherever you buy your beekeeping suit, always try it on at home before you use it to actively manage your hives and colonies.
Check you can easily bend down and move freely without the suit being overly tight. Beekeeping suits work primarily by creating a gap between the suit’s surface and your skin.
This is critical because any areas the suit is pulled tight to your skin will be vulnerable to potential stings.
Functionality – Your suit should allow you to carry out all of the activities you need to tend to your bees. Suits that severely limit visibility can be a danger, particularly when using a bee smoker.
What is the best material for a beekeeping suit?
A half and half cotton and polyester synthetic blend will provide the best compromise between comfort and protection.
It will allow for proper airflow keeping you cool in the warmer months alongside ample protection for any potential stings.
Do you still get stung in a bee suit?
While it is doubtful you’ll be stung through a beekeeping suit if a bee stings you while the material of the suit is pushed up against your skin, there is a possibility the stinger will penetrate through to your exposed skin.
Does my suit need to be white?
We always recommend purchasing a white beekeeping suit.
Bees have developed a wariness of animals with dark coloured fur due to animals like bears and badgers raiding nests for honey stocks and larvae.
Wearing a darker suit can cause the colony to become agitated in the expectancy of an attack on their nest or hive.
Will a beekeeper suit protect you from wasps?
Yes, beekeeping suits will effectively protect you from wasp and bee stings.
Are there any other options for protection while beekeeping?
Yes, you can opt for a beekeeping jacket which protects your upper body. Check our article on beekeeping suits vs beekeeping jackets to find out more.