The Beekeeping Suit – Ultimate Protection For Beekeeping

Do You Have Allergies to Bee Stings?

The first thing you need to consider when preparing to work with bees is to possess a good understanding of the bee’s first line of defense. Despite having a thorough knowledge of the behavior of bees, beekeepers should always wear their beekeeping suit. A great number of people suffer allergies to the sting of a bee, but sometimes, being stung for the first time is the only way to know if you are among this number. If you are seriously thinking about keeping bees, you need to determine if you will suffer allergies to bee stings. Even the most experienced beekeepers get stung from time to time, despite all the measures they have taken to avoid it. Actually, some beekeepers believe that the more stings they sustain will help develop a resistance to the inflammation the sting causes over time and that it’s a good thing to experience a few stings each season. The venom in the sting triggers the body’s natural defenses to produce the necessary antibodies to build a resistance, and over time, the more stings that one receives, the stronger the resistance will be. Knowing as much as possible about honey bees before physically handling them will certainly start you off in the right direction.

Protect Your face and Neck!

Understandably, even the most hardened of beekeepers will want to reduce the number of times they are stung, and will use a beekeeping suit that has a hood, a hat with a veil and gloves most of the time. Some beekeepers are known to forgo the gloves as they can be cumbersome when performing intricate tasks when working with bees. Also, if a bee sting is experienced on the naked hand, it can most times be simply brushed off using a fingernail. If this is done fairly quickly, the amount of venom received by the body will be lower. The face and neck are most susceptible to bee stings due to defensive bees being drawn to one’s breath. The face is extremely sensitive compared to the rest of the body, and as a result, the pain and swelling will certainly be acute. Unlike removing a sting from one’s hand, it’s far more difficult to remove a sting from one’s face, as a mirror will be required. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to be in close proximity to bees without inadvertently provoking an attack that is primarily concentrated toward your face.

The Design of the Beekeeping Suit

The beekeeping suit is a full-length jumpsuit that should always be worn when working with beehives. The beekeeping suit is typically light in color, usually white, and constructed of smooth materials. The suit being smooth and also light in color helps “mask” the beekeeper from the colony, as its natural enemies; such as bears and skunks; normally have dark coats of fur. The beekeeping suit also provides the beekeeper a convenient method of removing stings and venom by simply tugging on the cloth. Wearing protective clothing can also help to impede the venom from entering into the body. When stings are left in the fibers of the suit, they will continue to release the “alarm” pheromone that induces hostile behavior and repeated attacks from the colony. To minimize the risk of the bees latching onto the lingering scent the next time the beekeeper enters the bee hive, regular washing of the suit is highly recommended. Using vinegar to rinse one’s hands in will also reduce the attention of the bees being directed at you. For more information on how to safely handle bees, you can browse through the “Interesting Articles” on the right hand side of this page or subscribe to my free Beekeeping mini-course below!

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