Beekeeping is a fabulous, if not unusual, hobby. It offers a challenging adventure in nature, the possibility of a new income source and the luxury of access to the bees' honey and wax. But nothing is more important for the beginning hobbyist than safety. A Tyvek suit is the ideal "suit of armor" for a new beekeeper just starting to get close to these beautiful insects: who don't always appreciate intruders.

Comparison Table

Safety Is the First Priority!

The proper gear can assure your relationship with the bee colony is a mutually satisfying one. Any new beekeeper starting to build a collection of correct gear should start with a coverall or suit of protection made out of Tyvek.

While you help provide an environment in which the bees can flourish, you need to protect yourself from potential bee stings. Bees are amazing creatures. They are hard-working, highly organized and productive. But when they are disturbed, bees can turn their natural organization into a disaster for even the most seasoned of beekeepers. Swarming bees create a situation very difficult to control. Wearing protective gear is your best defense.

Budget Is Important, Too

As with any hobby you may choose, starting a new activity means you will incur some expense. And, as you get further interested in that hobby, it is easy to drop some heavy cash on certain accessories you decide you want more than need.

Thankfully with beekeeping, choosing a Tyvek suit will be easy on your budget and will simplify some of your purchasing decisions from the start. Experienced commercial beekeepers may get by wearing only a veiled helmet and protective gloves. But any beekeeping hobbyist needs to wear full body protection, especially until they've reached that level of expertize and confidence.

You can be sure you're making an economical, sturdy and safe choice with a Tyvek suit — so named for the trademarked Tyvek blended fiber material it is made of. This unique synthetic fabric provides excellent protection from bee stings, offers good mobility to the wearer and is easy to wear and store. Choosing the right coverall style and fabric will be an easy decision when you know the facts.

FAQ | Protective Clothing for Beekeepers

1. What Do Beekeepers Wear and Why Do They Wear It?

A hat with a veil to cover the face and protective gloves are essential for even the most experienced beekeepers. For the beginner or hobbyist, full protective clothing will prevent painful and potentially dangerous bee stings. A coverall suit may include booties and a hood.

Searching for a color other than white? You won't find it. That's because white garments have been determined to be the best at helping bees remain calm when people are working on their hives. Human activity in the apiary is naturally disruptive to the bees, so keeping them calm is a very good idea!

It's possible that bees will become accustomed to someone working with their hives and that over time the beekeeper may feel confident in wearing less restrictive clothing. For someone just beginning this hobby, however, prevention seems like the wisest course of action. And, protective clothing becomes absolutely vital when the beekeeper is one of those individuals who have potentially life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings.

2. Why Choose a Tyvek Suit?

bee keeper

Image via Pixabay

A variety of fabrics are available for beekeepers. Cotton/polyester combinations are a common option. Yet, the clothing made of Tyvek's trademarked material offers a very economical alternative to more expensive fabrics, while still providing excellent protection.

Some Tyvek suits are billed as "disposable" after they are worn a single time or after just a few times. As such, they are sold in packages of multiple coveralls. By purchasing in multiple units, the beekeeper can offer protective garments to friends and family members who may well want to see the bees and beekeeper's methods in action.

The design and construction features of Tyvek suits compare favorably to the cotton/poly professional versions. Elasticized wristbands and ankle bands provide the protective barriers to keep bees out.

3. How Does Tyvek Work?

Tyvek resembles paper, but it is a completely synthetic material made up of tiny olefin fibers. These tiny fibers, much thinner than human hair, are spun and bonded together through high heat and pressure. Tiny perforations allow water vapor to escape through the material, but liquid cannot penetrate it. The material is incredibly strong and provides an excellent barrier from the bees.

As a side note, you probably have seen Tyvek at construction sites when they are being framed up. You'll notice big sheets of material with the word "Tyvek" printed in large letter, where the material is used to create a protective barrier from the elements.

4. Where Can You Buy Tyvek Suits?

Beekeeping protective gear is available through online resources or farm-and-ranch retailers. For your convenience, every single suit featured on our list of recommendations is available at Amazon.com.

5. How Much Do Protective Suits for Beekeepers Cost?

bee honeycomb

Image via Pixabay

Protective coveralls vary in price from under $ for a coverall to $$. Tyvek is the winner in affordable material, making it appealing for the hobbyist. Full coveralls are available in multiple packs ranging from $ for a six-pack that includes booties to about $$-$$$ for a 25-pack. Individual cotton/polyester fabric outfits range from about $$ to $$$. Some of the more expensive suits come with booties, gloves and/or a hat with veiling. The necessary accessories, however, can be be purchased separately.

How We Reviewed Available Protective Clothing

We reviewed the Tyvek suits available and compared them to each other. We also looked at products made from alternative materials and compared them to the Tyvek garments. 

Our comparison led us to the conclusion that Tyvek suits are the ideal choice for the beginning beekeeper. Having determined that, our analysis then focused on the two brands made with this material. A coverall made of Tyvek is the ideal starter element to the total protective wardrobe needed in the apiary. Headgear with a veil to keep the bees away from your face and protective gloves complete the outfit. Booties are another valuable accessory and are included with some of the Tyvek suits,
as well as some cotton/poly ones.

Eventually you may want to purchase one of the more expensive garment models, usually a cotton/polyester blend. Or you may develop enough confidence to work freely among your hives with the protection of only gloves and a hood. But being familiar with the Tyvek suit, you will still want to keep a supply on hand to offer protection to visitors.

What We Reviewed

  • Little Giant Farm & Ag Beekeeping Tyvek Coverall
  • DuPont Tyvek 400 TY125S Disposable Protective Coverall
  • Humble Bee 410-M Polycotton Beekeeping Suit
  • Bee Smart 600
  • Eco-Keeper Premium Beekeeping Vented Bee Suit
  • Mann Lake Economy Beekeeper Suit 
  • Pest Mall Complete Bee Keeper Suit

Little Giant Farm & Ag TYSUIT LG BEEKEE Beekeeping Tyvek Coverall,...
  • Made of DuPont tyvek.
  • Disposable for easy clean up
  • Water resistant

Features

Little Giant Farm & Ag's garment provides full-body coverage for the wearer. It features a full zipper closure in the front and elasticized wrists and ankles for added protection. Made of Dupont Tyvek, it is lightweight, water-resistant and comfortable to wear while working in the apiary.

                               Pros

  • Strong, affordable Tyvek suit    
  • Full front zipper closure
  • Elastic at wrists and ankles
  • Water-resistant
  • Disposable

  Co​ns

  • In-stock selection limited
  • There has been a consumer complaint about quality
  • Sold as single garments

Price

This product can be found on Amazon.

Durability

This product is described as disposable. Tyvek is an extremely durable material, but when made into a garment it is subject to wear and tear.


DuPont Tyvek 400 TY125S Disposable Protective Coverall with Elastic...
  • Comfort fit design based on extensive wearer input to provide our most comfortable garment design that: enables a...
  • Laydown collar
  • Elastic opening for tighter fit at wrist

Features

Little Giant Farm & Ag's garment provides full-body coverage for the wearer. It features a full zipper closure in the front and elasticized wrists and ankles for added protection. Made of Dupont Tyvek, it is lightweight, water-resistant and comfortable to wear while working in the apiary.

                               Pros

  • Zippered front closure
  • Elasticized wrists and ankles
  • Varied selection of multiple packages

  Co​ns

  • This is a disposable product
  • Online selection may seem confusing

Price

This product can be found on Amazon. 

Durability

This product is described as disposable, but consumers who have used it have said that it stands up well over multiple times worn.


Humble Bee 410-XL Polycotton Beekeeping Suit with Round Veil (X Large)
  • Polycotton beekeeper suit with self-supporting round veil, heavy duty brass zippers, durable double-stitched pockets,...
  • Medium-weight 50% cotton / 50% synthetic blend (280 gsm) provides outstanding protection against bee stings, plus...
  • Tailored fit with an elastic waist, elastic wrists, and elastic ankles, plus thumb and foot holds to keep everything...

Features

This 50% polyester/50% cotton blend suit includes a round veil. It is made to last a long time and be worn and washed repeatedly.

                               Pros

  • High-quality fabric
  • Includes veil
  • Easy care fabric

  Co​ns

  • Relatively expensive
  • Sold as a single unit, so does not provide protection option for visitors
  • Requires storage and cleaning

Price

The purchase price this suit. 

Durability

This product has good durability because of its high-quality fabric and excellent construction.


Bee Smart 600 - Heavy Duty Bee Keeping Suit with Removable Round...
  • High quality and tough 280 g/m2 polyester/cotton fabrics beekeeper suit with round head/veil, with heavy duty...
  • Designed very carefully from the thumb straps that hold the sleeves inside the gloves to the well-placed pockets, to...
  • Suit fits perfectly even with pants and/or a shirt underneath, it has a removable head-cover/ veil

Features

This polyester/cotton blend suit features thumb straps to keep sleeves tight in the gloves. It has a removable round hat and veil. Construction details have been designed to keep the bees out!

                               Pros

  • Good closure details for protection from bees
  • High-quality fabric
  • Includes removable veil and hat

  Co​ns

  • Relatively expensive
  • Sold as a single unit
  • Requires storage and cleaning

Price

This product can be found on Amazon. 

Durability

This suit is made of quality material and has good durability.


Eco-keeper Premium Beekeeping Vented Bee Suit with Bee Veil - (Bee...
  • BEST BEE KEEPER SUIT ON THE MARKET
  • fits up to height 6'6" -weight 208-250 lbs
  • Approx. Height - 78"...Approx. Chest - 68"...Approx. Shoulder - 32"

Features

This suit features specially layered fabric to make it comfortable in hot temperatures, while at the same time providing adequate protection from aggressive bees. It is vented and includes a bee veil for head and face protection.

                               Pros

  • Excellent construction
  • Designed for comfort in hot weather
  • Highly rated by consumers

  Co​ns

  • This is the most expensive suit we reviewed
  • Provides protection for just one user

Price

This product can be found on Amazon.com. 

Durability

This is a highly durable, professional-quality beekeeper suit.


MANN LAKE Economy Beekeeper Suit with Self Supporting Veil, X-Large...
  • 60-Percent Cotton 40-Percent Polyester
  • Elastic at the wrist and ankles
  • Elastic thumb holds to help hold sleeves down

Features

The Mann Lake Economy Beekeeper Suit offers a self-supporting veil, with two layers of fabric at the back of the hood. This reinforcement provides extra protection. It is construction of a 60% cotton/40% polyester blend. Details include ankle zippers, elasticized wrists and ankles and elastic thumb loops for securing the suit in gloves.

                               Pros

  • Excellent construction details for safety and protection
  • Includes veiled hood
  • Less expensive than other cotton/poly alternatives

  Co​ns

  • More expensive than Tyvek suit
  • Requires storage and cleaning

Price

This product can be found on Amazon.com.

Durability

This well-constructed suit off​​​​ers good durability.


Complete Bee Keeper Suit Helmet Pants Gloves Pest Control bee wasps...
  • Complete Bee Keeper suit For Sale By Pestcontrolpross
  • You Have to email the size of suit you want when you order when you order..
  • Suit will not ship til you send me the size. Large, or Extra Large or XXL

Features

This professional-quality suit includes the coverall, gloves, helmet and booties.

                               Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Complete outfit providing head-to-toe protection
  • Options for veil attachment

  Co​ns

  • Relatively expensive
  • Sold as a single unit
  • Requires storage and cleaning

Price

This product can be found on Amazon. 

Durability

Quality fabric provides good durability.


The Verdict - The DuPont Tyvek 400 TY125S Is A Winner!

beekeeper getting some honey

Image via Pixabay

Starting with the two important criteria of safety and economy, choosing the best suit for someone just starting beekeeping proved an easy decision. The Tyvek suit offers the greatest advantages for the beginning beekeeper.

With that in mind, we reviewed two available brands of Tyvek suits and determined that the DuPont Tyvek 400 TY125S Disposable Protective Coverall offers the most advantages. It meets the two essential requirements of providing protection at a very economical price.

The DuPont suit comes in multi-packs, which makes it budget-friendly for the new beekeeper. An added upside of these packages of multiple coveralls is the ability to provide affordable protection to visitors to the apiary. A hobbyist's needs will differ from that of a commercial beekeeper. Sharing their newfound interest and excitement about beekeeping with others is an important, natural aspect of this hobby. Still, those visitors will need protective clothing to assure their safety.

The DuPont Tyvek400 TY125S coverall is made of quality Dupont Tyvek material and is offered in a variety of multi-packs including some with booties. While providing excellent protection, the affordability factor makes this suit very attractive. A new hobby always seems to cost more than expected at the beginning. By starting with this Tyvek suit, the hobbyist keeps his or her costs down and is able to have a ready supply of protective clothing. 


Featured Image via Pixabay

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