Best Beekeepers’ Face Protection: A Guide to Beekeeper’s Mask Covid
The following are some tips and considerations for beekeepers when it comes to choosing the best beekeeper’s face protection.
1) Choose a good quality product with good performance.
2) Use the most appropriate type of beeswax (or other wax).
3) Make sure the beeswax does not melt or break down during use.
4) Avoid products with strong odors.
5) Do not use any kind of chemicals, such as paraffin, which may cause skin irritation.
Beekeeper’s Mask Covers: What Are They Good For?
When it comes to beekeeper’s masks, there are two types of covers. There are those made from natural materials like beeswax or animal hair and then there are those made from synthetic materials.
Natural Beeswax Beekeeper’s Mask Covers: These coverings have been used since ancient times and they provide excellent protection against stings and bites. They come in different thicknesses, colors, shapes and sizes. They may or may not be treated with chemicals. These are also the most natural choice and they are an excellent cover for beekeeping.
Synthetic Resin Beekeeper’s Face Protection: These are less expensive than their natural wax counterparts and they also last longer, which means that you will have to replace them less often. However, some people complain that these products smell bad and can cause skin irritation.
The Most Important Part Of The Beekeeping Equipment: Most beekeepers will tell you that the most important part of your beekeeping equipment is your protective clothing, such as your beekeeping suit and your veil and gloves. If you are serious about honey, you need to take good care of yourself and this is especially true if you have a large number of bees in your hives. When you get the right kind of protective clothing, you will find that working with bees is a lot safer and a lot less intimidating.
So What Is The Best Choice For A New Beekeeper?
If you are brand new to beekeeping, then the best choice for protective clothing is going to be a full suit made up of a jacket and trousers. This will offer you the maximum in protection against stings without being too restrictive or bulky.
Of course, if you already have a protective jacket and trousers, then you are good to go with just the veil and gloves. It really comes down to your personal preferences and the amount of bees that you have. The more bees, the more protective clothing you are going to need to wear.
Buy your protective clothing in advance and try it on at home before going to the bee yard. Make sure that it is not going to be too restricting, especially in your arm and leg movement. You do not want to feel like your muscles are constantly being cramped while you are working.
Lastly, make sure that you are completely comfortable with all your protective clothing. If you feel restricted or uncomfortable, then the clothing is wrong for you no matter how many stars or reviews it has received.
Good luck and keep coming back to our website for more of the latest beekeeping news, products and techniques.
Beekeeping Gear: A Quick Glance
When you are new to the world of beekeeping, you are probably going to find all the equipment a bit overwhelming. There are so many different types of gadgets, gizmos, tools and equipment that it can all be a bit confusing. Never fear, we are here to help you choose the right beekeeping equipment for your needs as a beeginner.
We are going to divide our equipment list into three sections:
3.Budgeting For Your Equipment
Necessary Beekeeping Equipment
This is where the bees are going to live. You can choose from a variety of different types of beehives, but the two main types are “Langstroth” and “Warrus” hives.
The Langstroth hive is arguably the most popular hive in use in North America today. It was designed by L.L. Langstroth in the 19th Century.
This beehive is stackable, which makes it very convenient if you want to expand your beekeeping operations. It consists of removable wooden frames where the bees build their combs.
The Warre beehive was popular in the past and still has some fervent supporters even today. However, it is less popular than the Langstroth beehive. The Warre beehive is made up of several stacked boxes. Each box has a hole at the bottom where the bees build their comb.
The big advantage to this hive is that it requires little maintenance or inspection. The disadvantage is that the combs need to be constantly re-filled with honey (in the bottom box) so that the bees have access to nectar (the bees rely on this and not the honey that is in the frames).
You are probably going to need some sort of protective clothing. In fact, you may find that you need two different types of clothing: 1. Something for protecting you when you are working in your bee yard or hive and 2. Something for protecting you when you are handling your bees (when you are extracting the honey, adding boxes, etc)
Protective Clothing For Your Bee Yard
You are probably going to need some sort of protection for when you are working in your bee yard. This is true whether you just have a few hives or you have hundreds of hives. There are a few reasons for this.
It is no fun getting stung by bees. This is especially true if you are particularly allergic to bees. You can go into anaphylactic shock and even die if this happens. So, it is always a good idea to have some sort of protection when you are dealing with bees.
The other reason is that you do not want bees swarming all over you and your clothes. Even if you are not allergic, bees will still bite you and it is not exactly comfortable or pleasant experience. Bees are very protective of their hives and you do not want them treating you like a foreign invader.
Here are some of the protective clothing options available:
This is the most common option and one that most beekeepers choose to use. These are suits that envelop your whole body (except for your head). They do a pretty good job at protecting you from stings, but you might still get the occasional one here and there. They also do a good job of keeping the bees from getting agitated and wanting to sting you.
These bee suits are usually made out of a thick, durable material and have a helmet and gloves as part of the ensemble.
Examples Of Beekeeper Suits
These are similar to regular beekeeper suits, but they do not include the additional headgear (the headgear is necessary, because bees can get inside your clothes and attack bare skin). The extra material and the inclusion of the helmet makes these suits a little bulkier than some other options. However, many people like them since the suit makes them feel more secure.
Examples Of Beekeeping Suits
These are bee suits that have been treated with a chemical known as Nude, which is harmless to humans but deters bees (and wasps). The disadvantage of these suits is you need to re-apply the chemicals every six months. The advantage is that the suit is much lighter, cheaper and more flexible. These are probably best for hobbyist beekeepers.
Examples Of Bait Suits
These are the lightest form of protective clothing and are usually worn by more experienced beekeepers who know how to handle bees with less intrusion. The veil covers your head and shoulders, but leaves your arms free (and covered). In addition, the veil is loose enough that the bees can still get inside it. The advantage of these suits is that they are very lightweight and you can still move about easily.
The disadvantage is that you have less protection from bee stings.
Examples Of Bee Veils
These are protective gloves that are made out of some sort of material that protects you from bee stings (some are even dipped in the same chemical as bait suits). These are good especially if you are doing things like handling frames with honey that you do not want to get warped from the bees.
Examples Of Gloves
This is a great tip for anyone who gets stung by bees (or wasps). Cover the area of your body that got stung with vaseline. Bees cannot sting through the grease and wasps are deterred by the smell of it. Even better, use this in combination with some protective clothing.
This a long sleeved shirt and heavy duty pants. You put the vaseline on and then get dressed in these clothes. It is best to get clothing that has not been dyed since the bees are more likely to find you if they are not distracted by color (not that they will attack you, but they will be more likely to notice you). This option provides good protection and is probably the heaviest suit.
The only disadvantage is that it is hot in these suits and they can get heavy when they get soaked with sweat.
Examples Of Long Sleeved Shirts And Heavy Duty Pants
Other Defensive Measures
When it comes to deterring bees, there are a few options for those who do not want to wear protective clothing. The first is to make the area around your beehives less attractive to bees. Do not plant flowers, especially not sweet smelling ones. Do not leave out buckets of sugar water or other sweet substances for any reason.
Do not leave out birdseed if it could attract small creatures that may die near your chosen hive location and rot (and thus attract insects that may in turn attract bees). Do not leave out dogfood or other pet food. Do not put out hummingbird Feeders (especially if you have nearby invasive flowers such as trumpet vines that draw in lots of bees). If there are trees nearby, do not leave out piles of mulch or leaves since these may attract various worms and insects. There are also special sulfury compounds known to repel or kill bees, but they are hard to get and toxic so only professionals usually use them.
The second option is to actually get yourself some guard dogs. Dogs can be great guardians and hunt down anyone who gets close to the hives (which is why you should make sure that your dog is on a leash or has a tall fence to prevent it from attacking a visitor). The disadvantage is that dogs can bark at people, sometimes even if they are on a leash or behind a tall fence. While this will most likely not result in someone calling animal control (especially if you live in the country where it is common to have dogs roaming around), it is possible that someone may complain and it will draw attention to your beehives.
The third option is to get yourself a personal defense weapon. This can be anything from a simple handgun (or even a airsoft gun) to a simple BB gun. Shotguns are also an option, but they tend to be loud and may damage the hives if you miss your target. There are also less lethal weapons such as tazers and pepper sprays.
The advantage of any of these weapons is that they can quickly stop a beekeeper from being attacked. The disadvantage is that if you are not skilled in their use or you accidentally hit a bee (such as one flying near you or the one you are trying to kill) then you can cause a swarm. There is also the risk that using any of these weapons may result in a fatal accident.
The final option is only for those with access to guns and an extreme tolerance for risk taking: shooting the suspects. Be sure to aim your gun so that you or anyone else don’t get hit by a stray bullet. Never shoot to wound, always shoot to kill. And never keep shooting when the threat has been eliminated.
Making Your Own Hive Tools
You may have read about beekeepers who claim to never buy hive equipment because they make their own. While this may be a valid approach, it is not necessary for the average beekeeper nor is it always easy.
One thing you may want to consider making is your own hive tool. This is a handy little device that helps you manipulate frames in a hive without getting stung. Since most hives are fairly uniform and come with their own tools, this item is not really necessary for keeping bees.
If you would like to make your own hive tool or variations of it, there are numerous online tutorials   .
Keeping Stings Off Your Mind
Whether you use store bought or homemade equipment, stings are a reality of beekeeping. There are few things as pleasant as sipping a cup of tea or eating some delicious fruit while watching the bees go about their business in your garden.
However, stings come with the territory and you will need to keep your mind focused to avoid getting them. Here are some tips on how to stay focused and limit your own stings.
Wear protective clothing. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how easy it is to forget. A jacket with long sleeves in the summer or long pants in the spring can keep those deadly little legs from reaching your skin.
Avoid moving quickly. Bees can only sting in direct contact with your skin, so the slower you move the less likely they are to sting you. Of course this is not always practical, but when working a colony and inspecting hives you will want to take your time.
Work when bees are sleeping. While most bees are generally active in the hours between dawn and dusk, individual bees have a cycle of activity that varies from a few minutes to a few hours. If you work with the bees’ schedule, you are less likely to be stung.
Avoid working when the honey flow is in full swing. Honey flows occur at different times of the year depending on where you live and last 2-6 weeks. During this time, the bees will be far more defensive due to the possibility of starving if they do not successfully raise beelings or get robbed by other bees. The best time to work your bees is during the pollen and nectar flow when the demand for honey is low.
Know your bees. If you know a particular bee is prone to attack, avoid it. Watch for bees with clipped wings (they can’t fly far) or large distended bellies (a sign that they are about to leave the hive and might be more defensive).
Avoid wearing odorants. There is some evidence that bees can sense certain chemicals and if you are wearing these, it might make the difference between being ignored or attacked.
Keep your attention focused. It is all to easy to get distracted when working bees and this will tends to increase your heart rate which in turn increases the likelihood of a bee attack. If you know that a particular bee always attacks you when you wear a blue shirt, you will want to avoid distractions so you do not forget this detail and end up wearing the shirt!
Ventilation. One of the chemicals that bees can detect is ammonia. This is a byproduct of sweat and if it builds up it might cause them to attack. To avoid this, make sure you are well ventilated when working bees.
My Thoughts on the Issue
I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of bees, more like respectful. Without them and other predators, the world would be overwhelmed with insects of all kinds. Also, they tend to have stingers and can kill an over-eager human. Still, I want honey so every year I venture out to get some bees and every year I’ve been stung.
It is just a part of the experience.
Getting stung sucks and it hurts. I have had the misfortune of having one or more get into my eye on two occasions. I don’t know if it was due to bad luck or if bees are crafty enough to evade eye-lashes, but it really hurt and my eyes swelled up for hours. It also made me tear up a lot which only made my eyes swell more.
Sources & references used in this article:
Best Practices for Collaborative Beekeeping in Northern Greece by JA Roy, KP Franca, NV Stralen, SK Opalka – 2019 – digitalcommons.wpi.edu
Honeybees and the Law: Protecting Our Pollinators by E Knobbe – J. Envtl. L. & Litig., 2015 – HeinOnline
Impact of traditional beekeeping on Mgori village land forest reserve in Singida District, Tanzania by S Augustino, JJ Kashaigili, EF Nzunda – 2016 – 18.104.22.168
A beekeeping guide by HHD Attfield – 1989 – ftp3.us.freebsd.org
Bees in the Neighborhood: Best Practices for Urban Beekeepers by VL Bolshakova, EL Niño – 2018 – escholarship.org
Beginning Beekeeping For Kentuckians by RT Bessin, LH Townsend – masterbeekeeping.com