I loathe bee suits and wish I had never seen one. Then again, sometimes I need oneor I think I do. The first one I ever purchased was just a jacket. I figured that would be plenty for a hobbyist like me. It turned out to be the most miserable garment I ever owned.
It was one of those with an attached veil. Invariably, the veil pressed against my face and I got stung on the nose and chin. Worse, the elastic on the bottom caught my shirt and pulled it up, so a bare patch of skin showed just above my waist. Bees loved this particular targetdelicate and stingable.
I was told that wearing a baseball cap would keep the veil off my face. But inside a hot and humid bee suit, I quickly got “hat hair.” Hat hair is not good; it freaked me out worse than the stings.
So instead of wearing a baseball cap, I started wearing duct tape across my nose and chin. This worked pretty well until it was time to take it off. A quick rip left more red and swollen welts than a dozen irate honey bees ever could. And it didn’t help with my mid-section, which was still bare.
So I finally broke down and bought the pants to go with the jacket. When the pants arrivedwomen’s extra smallI stood in one leg and a friend of mine stood in the other for a protracted giggle-fest. We virtually disappeared inside because the waistband came up to our shoulders.
But it wasn’t so funny when I tried to wear them. The amount of fabric around the waist was just too much for the drawstring. It bunched and bunched until it couldn’t bunch any further, but it would never get tight around my waist. It left a space for the bees to go down inside my pants, and since the pants didn’t connect to the jacket, there was still that bare spot around my middle.
Furthermore, the crotch of these pants was down around my knees, which forced me to take little mincing steps like a duck. The pants had two hive tool pockets that would have been very convenient if they weren’t near my ankles. Reaching them was particularly awkward considering my knees were tied together in the middle. I’ve tried to picture the model they used to design these pants, but I have no clue. She probably didn’t need a suit because she would have scared the bees away.
Then there was the ankle elastic. You would think ankle elastic was a good thing because it would prevent bees from walking up your legs. That’s the theory, but it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the elastic catches on the legs of your jeans and pulls them away from the tops of your socks so you have two bands of bare ankle which wouldn’t be there if you weren’t wearing a bee suit. I got stung on the ankles more than any other place, and it hurt.
I finally purchased a full bee suit. It cures the bare waist problem, but all else remains the same. I think that if I were to do it all over again, I would make a suit from old clothes and other “found” items. I’m sure it would work just as well, maybe better, and save me a lot of money and aggravation as well.