I started using the Ventilated Bee Suit by Pigeon Mountain Trading Company this season and like it. It’s a little pricey, but not as much as similar suits at other suppliers and it is worth the expense when that mercury starts to creep into the 80s and 90s as it has this spring. In addition, it is heavier than traditional bee wear, but not uncomfortably so and the mesh really breathes. It’s nice to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the bee yard without worrying about coming out looking like a porcupine.
The Pigeon Mountain Ventilated Bee Suit has brass zippers and three layers of ventilated fabric. The ventilated fabric keeps you cool, but the layering method prevents bees from stinging you because their stingers aren’t long enough to reach your body. The suit also has two deep pockets at the chest, two deep pockets at the legs, elastic cuffs at the sleeves and adjustable velcro cuffs on the legs.
All in all, I like the suit but it is not without faults. First, the zippers don’t operate smoothly and the zipper handles are hard to get a grip on. Some rings on them would make them much easier to use, especially if you wear gloves. The second thing is the spacing at the lower front of the veil. I wear a cap under the veil to hold it away from my upper face, but it pulls back against my chin, especially if I’m looking up. I’ve been stung on the chin several times since I got it. The last thing is the velcro straps around the ankles. They’re too short and located where it’s hard to adjust them once the suit is on. Just making them longer would help.
UPDATE: 7 June 2012 – I had a small issue with this suit recently. One of the seams came unstitched on the sleeve. While I could have easily fixed this myself, the suit is only a couple of months old, so I contacted Pigeon Mountain and got a return reply from the owner within five minutes of my inquiry. He said they have not had any other complaints about this issue and told me to return the suit for an exchange at no charge. They agreed to ship me the new suit before I returned the old one which was excellent. Within a week, I had a new suit. Good customer service is sometimes hard to find these days, and this was better than just good. [sb]
Check out their website at: http://www.pigeonmountaintrading.com/Category/1-22636-ventilated-bee-wear.aspx