Beekeepers dress in head-to-toe suits designed to protect them from stings. You can create costume versions of these concealing white suits from readily available craft materials and items you have in your closet. When you make beekeeper costumes for young children, keep safety concerns in mind.
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The Basic Outfit
Although beekeeper suits vary in style, most are white. The reason is simple: bees are attracted to dark colors. For the foundation of your costume, use one-piece painter's coveralls, available at home-improvement stores, or a pair of loose white pants and a long-sleeved white shirt. Wear work boots, tall rain boots or high-top sneakers. Tuck the pant legs inside -- as real beekeepers know, bees are good at finding their way inside clothing. Gloves are another beekeeper essential. Wear leather work gloves with your costume if you have them; if not, use a pair of yellow dishwashing gloves.
Beekeepers wear veiled hats that you can copy with basic craft supplies. Start with a white brimmed hat made from canvas, straw or plastic. Use mosquito netting or white tulle, available at fabric stories, to make the hat's screen. Cut a piece of netting that's slightly longer than the circumference of your hat. The width should equal the distance from the brim to just below your shoulders. Use white duct tape to attach the netting to the hat and to seal the edges where the pieces of netting overlap. Although real beekeeper hats are often sealed at the bottom, you can keep yours open so you can eat and drink in your costume.
The Beekeeping Accessories
When working their hives, beekeepers use an assortment of tools to calm the bees and get at the honey. Some of these are made of metal, so they might not be welcome at a party for children. A bee brush, a soft-bristled brush that's used to move bees, is quite harmless. Carry a wallpaper brush or dust brush as an alternative to the real thing. Beekeepers use smokers to dispense soothing smoke to their bees. You can make a DIY version of a smoker from a metal funnel and a metallic travel mug with a handle by attaching the funnel to the top of the mug with duct tape. You can also pass off a metal watering can or plant mister as a bee smoker.
The Creative Touches
With a little creativity, you can turn your beekeeper costume into a prizewinner. What could be more clever than a swarm of fake bees? Use sewing thread or hot glue to attach chenille bees, available at craft stores, to your beekeeper suit, hat and veil. To make your costume look like it's dripping with honey, decorate it with wavy lines and drips of puffy yellow fabric paint. Use your beekeeper suit to inspire a group costume theme. For a couple's costume, pair a beekeeper with a queen bee or drone. To include kids, make child-size beekeeper or bee costumes -- just leave them free from small pieces and other safety hazards.