So, I see that you are planning to take up beekeeping. Well, you are undertaking a noble occupation. The point is that beekeeping is very important for agriculture on the whole, and not just for honey production. As bees fly about and collect nectar from the flowers to produce honey and for their own food, they also pollinate the flowers which later turn into the fruits and vegetables that we eat. People rarely realize the important role that bees and beekeepers play in agriculture. With this said, beekeeping is also very dangerous and can even be fatal if you do not have the proper protective clothing when you tend your hives. The most important article of protective clothing is the beekeeper hat.
The beekeeper hat is a special hat that is made especially for beekeepers to wear when they tend their hives. The beekeeper hat is usually white in color and has a wide rim around it which spans about six inches outward. The hat also has a veil that drapes down from the rim. The rim is made form some rigid material that can hold the veil. The veil is made from a fine transparent netting that you need to be held away from your face. The veil is to be draped down from the rim and then are tied around the collar of your protective jacket.
Other protective clothing besides the beekeeper hat is also needed to keep the exposed parts of your body from being stung. The face is the most sensitive exposed part of your body, hence this is why how the beekeeper hat is worn is very important. The veil should never touch your face. This can allow for the bees stinger to penetrate the netting and sting you in the face. Furthermore, the bottom of the veil should be snugly tied around the collar of the protective coat to prevent bees from getting up under the veil and stinging you.
The protective coat and pants should all be light colors, preferably white. There is an important reason why protective clothing needs to be white. Dark colors can trigger defensive pheromones in the bees to make them aggressive. This is because most of the bees natural predators, such as bears, are all dark in color, either dark brown or black and furry. If you wear white clothing which is made of smooth material, the bees will not recognize you as a threat as much and therefore will be less aggressive.
The protective clothing should be loosely fitted and worn over other clothing to give you good protective layers of protection from bee stings. Furthermore, all seams of the protective clothing should overlap and snugly be fitted to keep bees from entering in under the clothing through the seems. You should also wash your protective clothing, including the beekeeper hat after tending the hive. You need to understand that as you harvest the honey, the bees will defend it and will at least sting your protective clothing. As the bees sting, the venom released from the stinger is not the only thing that is released from the stinger. As a bee leaves its stinger in your protective clothing, it will also release pheromones that will be on the clothing that will make the other bees be more aggressive when they sense them on your clothing.
The cricket suit can be a great alternative to the beekeeper hat and other protective clothing needed for tending the hives and harvesting the honey. The cricket suit is a rather new invention when it comes to protective clothing for beekeepers and makes it even more difficult for bees to get under the protective clothing through the seems. This suit actually looks like an astronauts suit with a hood and is all white. The hood of the cricket suit serves the same function as the beekeeper hat, but is of a different construction. The hood has a screen in front, allowing you to see what you are doing and has removable plastic rods that hold the hood outward and away from your face, hair, and the back of your head. The plastic rods can be removed from their sleeves simply by opening velcro straps and sliding them out of their sleeves. Then the hood can be washed with the rest of the cricket suit.
Furthermore, you do not need to tie anything with the cricket suit. The hood can be removed, allowed to hang back, or kept over the head by a zipper that fastens it to the collar of the suit. Where the zipper meets the end is sealed with a velcro flat to keep bees from entering through the hole. Furthermore, the rest of the cricket suit is a one-piece suit that is zipped closed in front. This provides for seamless protection from top to bottom. Best of all, you can adjust the cuffs of the wrists and ankles with velcro to make sure that the cuffs are snug and bees cannot get up through the sleeves.
Leather gloves may not necessarily be worn by seasoned veteran beekeepers who already have hands that are immune to the venom of bee stings, as a beginner, you should have them. They protect your hands from being stung when you reach into the hive to harvest the honey.
Whether you get the beekeeper hat or other the cricket suit, you definitely should look into getting good reliable protective clothing to wear while tending your hive. Remember, this protective clothing can save your live. This is especially true if you are allergic to bees. Even for normal people, being stung by a large number of bees can land you in the hospital for a few days, or can even be worse. So, remember, wear protective clothing!