The image everyone has of beekeepers is one where they wear a full body suit with a large hat complete with mesh to cover the face. The suit is almost always white. You may be someone who has always wondered why beekeepers suits white. After all, it is hardly the easiest color to keep clean! Well, there are particularly good reasons for the white suit.
Why Choose a White Beekeeper Suit?
Perhaps the main reason beekeepers’ suits are white is because it means the beekeeper can easily see any bees that have landed on them, which they inevitably do. With a white suit, the beekeeper can have a quick check before leaving the hive and remove any bees that are clinging on.
Another reason for the white suit is because it reflects the sun. As most beekeeping is carried out during the warmest times of the year, a white full-body suit is a good choice in this respect.
Do Bees Like the Color White?
White is also a less threatening color for bees which have, over time, learned to be fearful of dark colors as most of the predators they encounter in the natural world are dark in color.
When wearing a white suit, the beekeeper is able to approach the hive without the bees feeling threatened and hence attacking in order to defend their home.
That being said, there may still be times when a bee will attack and sting a beekeeper regardless of the fact that they are wearing a non-threatening color. If a bee feels overly threatened or is angry, the color of a suit will not prevent an attack, so it pays to always be careful when attending a hive.
Do Beekeeping Suits Need to be White?
There is no law that says a beekeeper suit must be white, but for the above reasons most are. A white suit will be most comfortable for the beekeeper when the sun is out as it will help to keep them cool by reflecting most of the light and absorbing less heat than a darker colored suit.
However, that does not mean that all beekeeper suits are white. Indeed, there are more light-colored beekeeper suits available online than ever before. If you are fed up with a white beekeeper suit, you can find other light colors available including pale lemons and pinks, which are less threatening to bees than darker colors.
Can You Be Stung Through a Bee Suit?
Bees do not sting without cause, but beekeepers should always wear a suit when tending their hive. Bees are very protective of their home and the queen within, and if they feel threatened, they will become defensive and attack.
A beekeepers’ suit is designed to protect against bee stings, but with the right conditions it is possible for a bee to sting through the suit. As well as this, if a bee has climbed on to the suit and is not returned in the hive, it could become angry upon removing the suit, causing it to sting. This is why a white suit is a great option as it allows a beekeeper to easily spot any bees that are clinging on.
What Else Makes a Good Beekeeper Suit?
While a white beekeeper’s suit is typically the norm, there is more to this suit than the color. For those who want full protection while attending their hive, the essential components include:
- hat with a veil
- jacket and trousers or full body suit
- foot coverings.
The most vulnerable part of the body is the face, and it is for that reason that the hat and veil are the most important items of beekeeping apparel. As you might imagine, the hands will also need protection considering they will be right in the heart of the hive at times.
Provided you have all the elements for protection, you will then want to think about comfort. If you are working for many hours tending your hives, you will want to have a suit that does not feel overly heavy and restrictive.
The type of beekeeper’s suit you choose will be the one that meets your needs best. Let’s face it, we all have different priorities in terms of style, so what works well for one beekeeper might not be the best option for another. You can click the link to check out my reviews of the best beekeeping suits.
Beekeepers’ suits are usually white in color because it helps to keep the beekeeper cool by reflecting light and absorbing less heat than darker colors. Bees find white less threatening than dark colors, which means the beekeeper can, in most instances, work in the hive without being attacked by an angry swarm. Furthermore, a white beekeeper suit makes it easy to spot any bees hitching a ride.