Here is the answer to why are some beekeeping suit designs less or more expensive than the other bee suit designs.
Through the primary purpose of a beekeeping suit is help prevent beekeepers from being stung by honeybees, depending on the beekeeper’s needs, the design of a beekeeping suit can be scientifically varied.
Our four designs of beekeeping suit and jacket do just that, aiming at help with the most common needs of a beekeeper, the use of different materials and design used to address these needs make each of these suits very individual and also explains the different prices.
The Apiarist Beekeeping Suits is a very traditional bee suit intended as an entry-level suit for someone new to keeping bees. They may one have one or a few hives, that they will attend to on weekends, and may not be sure if this is a pastime that they will continue more than a few seasons.
That said, bee sting protection is paramount in any of our suit designs. So, with this suit, as will all our suits metal YKK zippers are used along with our very own non-flammable veil, in the fencing style.
The leg zipper on this suit is slightly shorter than our other designs at 12 inches long. 12 inches is more than ample to help you put your feet through the legs of the suit with ease, but also helps reduce to over cost of the suit.
This suit is made of a tough 65/35 polycotton blend. As with most beekeeping suits the thickness of a single layer of fabric won’t stop a direct sting, as the main, the purpose of the suit is to create an enclosed environment to stop bees from getting in and having unimpeded access to your skin. This bee tight enclosure is reinforced with Velcro and elasticated seals.
To stop a direct sting with a single layer suit, you will need to wear some extra layers underneath. This is perfectly fine normal for most beekeeping, as a lot of beekeeping in cooler hemispheres. For me in the UK, the summer isn’t that hot, and most of my beekeeping is done is Sprig and Autumn, to the extra layers are a must just to keep warm.
The Max Protect Suits (formerly: Sovereign) is the next step up. If you are and experience beekeeper and are attending multiplies hives or you just want something better, then this suit is for you.
Again, this suit has metal YKK zippers and a non-flammable veil, well this comes with two veils, one fencing and one round. This is because the round and fencing their own benefits and some beekeepers prefer one over the other. I personally like the fencing style.
The leg zipper length is 18 inches to make it even easy for you to put your feet through the legs, which is great as you won’t need to take you shoes off to do this. I wear boots, so I take my shoes off anyway.
The fabric is pure cotton, as a natural hollow fibre, the suit is soft and more breathable. So, a thinker fabric be used, reducing the severity of a direct bee sting. But, again as this is a single layer fabric suit, additional layers of clothing are recommended.
Cotton has many relevant benefits over polycotton, some of which are listed here:
- Can withstand heat, so won’t catch fire or melt when in contact with your smoker
- Can withstand detergents, and bleach, so is easily cleaned and machine washable
- Cotton is a natural cellulosic fibre, so these suits are recyclable and biodegradable
- Cotton is more breathable, allowing your body’s heat to escape, keeping you cooler on hot days, making these extremely comfortable to wear.
- When cotton absorbs water, it becomes 20% stronger, so if you get caught in a local shower, and your suit gets wet, you will be better protected
- Cotton resists static electricity build-up, you won’t build up a static charge and discharge an electric shock to your bees when you pick up your first frame.
The Zephyros Protect Ventilated Suit is the best of the best when it comes to sting protection. Again, this suit has suits metal YKK zippers, with 18 inch leg zippers and two non-flammable veils (fencing and round) and just like the Max Protect Suit.
But what makes this suit special is that it is made of three layers of fabric, making this bee suit the only suit that will prevent direct stings from bees. This is because the three layers of fabric create a 5mm gap, were as a bee’s stinger is only 3mm long, so the bee’s stinger won’t be able to reach you, making this suit very sting proof.
Plus, because the fabrics is used are mesh, it is still light to wear, and air can flow through the bee suit making is very comfortable to wear in hot climates like Texas USA.
This is the most expensive suit, simply because it uses three times the amount of fabric and extra stitching is needed to hold it all together.
If you really hate being stung, or you live in a warm state or country, then this suit is made for you.
The other suits that we make are jacket versions of the above and our very own beekeeper smock. These are great to use if you just need to make a quick visit to your beehive and don’t need to full protection of a beekeeping suit or, you just want to do a spot of gardening around your apiary.
So why choose Natural Apiary when there are so many other beekeeping suits available… Well, Natural Apiary mission is to Stop beekeepers from being stung, as this is the biggest reason why people don’t take up beekeeping and why many quit.
We always make our suit safer with constant improvements. Whether we change something big or small we don’t wait to release a new version, we just add these improvements to our existing production. This is so you can benefit from these changes sooner. Whether this is adding metal zippers or adding non-flammable mesh to our veils or just changing the way we stitch the Velcro seals, you get them all as soon as we approve the new design.
We want you to take up beekeeping, we don’t want you to quit, and this means being safe and being sting-free.