Dress for Success: Beekeeping Protective Gear
Essential tools for a burgeoning beekeeperBy Tara Verna
Although experienced beekeeper Betsey Spencer often bypasses protective gear, using solely a smoker, most beginners feel more comfortable with the following items in their arsenal:
1Brush: A brush comes in handy to gently remove bees while observing a frame or harvesting honey.
2Gloves: Thick work gloves may be too cumbersome for bee work while thin latex ones may add some mental comfort. If you get stung on your hand, it’s often because you accidentally crushed a bee.
3Smoker: A smoker (typically filled with lit pine straw) will calm the bees, buying you time to check on them or harvest honey. Fun fact: The smoke makes the bees think there is a forest fire, causing them to gorge on honey in case they need to find a new home in short order.
4Long sleeves/long pants: You can purchase a head-to-toe bee suit that includes a hood/face covering, but you can also just wear long pants and sleeves.
5Hive tool: A hive tool is a small crowbar for separating the boxes that make up your beehive, which are often stuck together with beeswax and/or propolis.
6Veiled hat: If you don’t have a bee suit with a hood, you’ll want to add a veiled hat to your ensemble.
Learn even more about bees!
From safe havens for pollinators to our top 10 tips to get your own hives up and running, here are a few other articles about this important insect.