Home Beekeeping DO I NEED TO WEAR A BEE SUIT?

DO I NEED TO WEAR A BEE SUIT?

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DO I NEED TO WEAR A BEE SUIT?

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What Example Are We Setting?

If you are a beekeeper in the public’s eye, consider what message wearing or not wearing a suit sends a message to other people. I know that when I go to catch a swarm, I often draw a crowd of neighbors and kids. I wear my suit for my own safety as a rule, but when I am tempted to go without I think of the kids who might be watching. I don’t want them to get the false impression, that they, too, can mess with bees without a bee suit.

When accidents happen with bees and people, it turns into a big headline. Those stories harden the innate fear society has about the dangers of bees. Wearing a suit can keep you out of the headlines and make others think twice before approaching a hive unprotected.

The Glamour / Shame Complex

The motivation to go suitless is often about chasing an ideal. We are taken in by the allure. A beekeeper in everyday clothes looks romantically close to nature, like they in tune with the vibrations of the bees. The serene, suitless beekeeper seems less mortal than the rest of us. There’s mystique in the skill and grace it takes to work with bees unprotected, but does wearing a suit make you a less skilled beekeeper?

Some beekeepers like to boast about their ability to go without a suit and even go as far as implying that others are not good beekeepers because they wear a suit.  To me the qualities that make a good beekeeper are not related to whether or not a person suits up. Does wearing a seatbelt make you a worse driver?

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