Recently I've seen on one of the blogs a bug net suit and it's use as a bee suit. Normally I just use a veil, jeans and a long sleeve shirt, but even that gets too hot here in Florida during the summer. And I don't think I have it in me to brave shorts while working with my bees. So I decided to give it a try. I got a Coghlan's Bug Jacket of amazon for $13 and pants for $9. All it is - is a nylon mesh jacket and pants. I didn't have high expectations for that price but was pleasantly surprised by pretty good quality. Jacket's waist, cuffs and pant's cuffs all have elastic drawstrings that are easy to adjust and they don't slide once adjusted. The veil got a zipper underneath and allows you to flip it back like a hood if you want to take a break or drink something without removing the jacket. Both the jacket and pants are really easy to put on. The pants seem to be a bit large, but you want them to be loose and not to cling to your skin.
The other day I got a chance to finally test it with my bees. It is not too terribly hot here yet, around 75F but it is hot enough to start sweating when you inspect multiple hives. I didn't break sweat throughout the whole inspection. I had my shorts and a t-shirt underneath and it felt like that's all I was wearing. It doesn't restrict your movements at all. By the end of the inspection the bees had enough of me and tried to let me know that their patience was wearing thin. I could see several of them crawling on my arms trying to sting me but having no luck. I got stung only once on my hand which was not covered, but that's just because I refuse to use gloves. Another thing that I noticed is that their stingers don't get stuck in the mesh and after a while they just give up, instead of getting stingers stuck and provoke more bees into stinging.
So, definitely a keeper. I'm gonna get a couple more for my kids too. They love to help me with the bees. The only negative thing I can think of is the fact that there are no pockets. To me it is not a big deal. You can use a belt with a hive tool holster or something else to that effect... or just do the usual, put it on the edge of the hive, accidentally bump it into the grass and then continue to support hive tool companies and keep them in business.
Oh.. and you would need to get yourself a hat with a nice brim to keep the net off your neck and face. I didn't have one, so I used a baseball cap, which worked ok, but a hat would work better.