I wish we had a beekeeping supply store in Newfoundland so I could try on bee suits and jackets before I bought them. I have two beekeeping suits, one with an attached hood, one without. Both are supposedly exactly the same size, but one of them rides a little tight when I bend over or bend down. Very annoying. I keep that one around for guests who are shorter than me. I also have a hooded jacket that looks like this when I spread it out on our back deck at 5:30pm:

The jacket is my go-to suit now because the full bee suits are human-cooking machines when the sun is out. Here’s a tip for beginners: strip down to your underwear if you can before you put on a full suit. Because if you’re in it for more than 15 minutes on a hot a summer day, you’ll be sticky and stewed in your sweat by the time you get out of it.

Anyway, I have another tip that might make wearing the bee jacket less of an annoyance. The bee jacket can get hot too, but for me, the annoying part of it is the brim of the hat or hood part of the jacket that rides too low to my brow. Whenever I bend over or try to look closely at anything in the hive, the brim slides down or sideways or moves in some way that interferes with my vision. People who have a romantic notion of beekeeping should try walking around in a bee suit sometime. Anyway, here’s what my bee jacket looks like when I hold it up by the hood:

It looks like Pac-Man’s mouth because I sewed the back brim of the hood to the bottom of the hood like this:

You could staple it together, use duct tape, whatever works. Here’s a close up my fancy sewing job:

It might not seem like much, but it’s a huge improvement in the design of the jacket. The front of the hood will always stay wide open and the brim will never fall in your face. You get the widest possible view and nothing ever obstructs your vision. Am I repeating myself? Anyway, from this day forth, it shall be known as the Mud Songs™ Patented Beekeeper’s Jacket.

8 Responses to “The Annoying Beekeeper’s Jacket”

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  1. lynn says:

    you are right! they are hot and not to wear much under them. I bought a hood that has a mesh t-shirt or vest that I can wear just with a light shirt for easy work or coveralls for indepth jobs.

  2. Don John says:

    I’m surprised you wear the jacket and veil/hood. I normally just throw on a white shirt. And if the bees are grumpy, I will put on my hat with veil. But I usually don’t keep it on very long.

    I find if I treat the bees well, they treat me well. I rarely, rarely get stung.

    • Phillip says:

      I probably could attend to the bees most of the time without much protective clothing. I know people who do. But I’m just not there yet.

      I had the tops off two of the hives yesterday and had my face right in the hives, inches away from the bees for several minutes while I tried to visually inspect the frames, and the bees acted like I wasn’t even there. They’re not always like that.

  3. Mark's Bees says:

    Just what every man likes to brag about – being tight in the crotch, haha! Great job in the sewing department. I was in a hurry to get to my hives the other day and forgot to zip my veil to the overalls. Just lucky I didn’t get stung, but the girls were good as gold that day.

    • Phillip says:

      Hmm… I wonder if I should change that sentence. I try to keep Mud Songs family friendly. I was just stating a fact, though. Both suits are supposed to be the same size, but they are definitely not the same fit. That particular discomfort is annoying. Whenever I bend over or bend down in that suit — hike! It’s fine for short people, just not for me.

      Yeah, I’m going to modify that crotch sentence.

  4. Mil says:

    Not sure about your bee jacket, but the bees are able to sting me through my bee suit! I have to have a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of sweatpants underneath. Once I wore a regular t-shirt and of course, the girls got me right below the sleeve line.

  5. Gary says:

    I find wearing a Plastic Pilth hat under my veil, help by keeping the veil away from my face. Got stung on the end of my nose once when the veil was touching.

    See ya…Gary

  6. Phillip says:

    THREE bees got into the jacket today. One stung me in my lower back. Another got me in the stomach. The third actually made it into my screen hood. I managed to swish it before it could get me in the face.

    NOTE: Jackets are okay for easy beekeeping, but for big inspections that get the bees crawling all over you, the full suit may be better. Or just remember not to bend down while wearing the jacket. The elastic waist band rides up and the bees crawling all over you find their way in.

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