Protective clothing is essential, especially for a new beekeeper. You will find an array of protective gear that typically includes: a beekeeping jacket, full-body suit, gloves, and veil.
Suits are a beginner beekeepers’ best friend. Suits are a little harder to get into when compared to a jacket, but they cover you completely and keep the bees out. A one-piece suit zips up and covers from your ankles and up over the head [with the veil] and down to your wrists. Bees cannot get into the suit, unless there is a hole or it wasn’t put on correctly. The suit typically includes a veil but not gloves.
Suits should be 1-2 times larger than your typical clothing size, so they aren’t tight around any part of your body when moving about. Typically bigger is better, but not so big that you are tripping over the suit, or it becomes cumbersome.
Gloves are typically thick and made from goat leather, so that the bees cannot penetrate the skin underneath. We recommend purchasing in your typical glove size.
With a jacket, the chances of getting stung is more likely since you will be exposed from the waist down which also increases the chances of bees crawling inside the jacket. Usually more experienced beekeepers like to wear jackets, or just their regular clothes, because it allows them to move more freely.
As with the suit, when selecting a jacket, bigger is typically better. Since the jacket only covers the upper half of the body, we suggest that the bottom of the jacket needs to be tight around the bottom hem. This will make it harder for the bees to come inside the jacket..
Wearing a veil and nothing else, is not recommend. Even though the face is covered, there is a higher probability that you will get stung on exposed areas. With that in mind, veils come in handy because if you are just out inspecting the hives, this can be a great tool to have.