What size do I need?

The measurements in the table below should be used as a guide to selecting the correct size of suits and jackets. Remember you should wear the protective clothing over other clothing to ensure full protection. Therefore, the waist measurement of the protective clothing should not be the measurement you normally use for selecting trousers. Add at least a couple of inches to your normal size to allow for any trousers worn underneath. Better still, measure your waist and chest etc., whilst wearing clothes and then add a bit for comfort. Finally, we strongly recommend you choose a size a shade on the large size to ensure comfort and maximum protection. We will of course offer a full refund or exchange if you select the wrong size. You only need pay for the return postage.

* Height - is the maximum height of the beekeeper. If the suit is too small for your height the hat brim will be pulled down if you look up. Always go for a size a little on the large size if possible.

How do I clean and look after the clothing?

The detachable hat and veil should be fitted to the jacket or suit before putting it on then run the zips round until they are about half closed, this will make the ends easier to find later. Put on the jacket or suit in the normal way and to ensure a bee-proof seal ensure the main zip up the front of the garment is closed right to the top. Then close the zips round the bottom of the veil and ensure the Velcro is pressed firmly together. If the bees join you in the veil it is a sure sign the main zip has not been fully closed. The Observer Smock has no zips - so just wriggle in!

The detachable hat and veil should only be hand washed. A soaking in mild bleach such as Napisan helps clean and sterilise. If it is put through a washing machine the metal ring is liable to be damaged or will cut through the cloth. Allow the damp hat to dry naturally. Do not tumble dry. If it is a warm day you could wear it while it dries. This will amuse your friends and family.

After removing the hat and veil, the remainder of the garment can be machine washed on a cool temperature (30oC). Higher temperatures will soften the elastic and will not remove propolis stains and may only soften it, potentially leading to sticky deposits left in your washing machine drum. We do not recommend the garment is tumble dried because if there are still wax or propolis deposits on the cloth the higher temperatures of the drier may cause the wax to melt - leading to marks on the next load of clothes through the machine.

We have heard of people putting our gloves through a cool machine wash but we cannot recommend this. The gloves can be hand washed with mild soap or saddle soap. Create suds in a bowl and apply the suds to the leather surface with a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use the soapy water. Be careful to keep the cloth only barely damp, not wet. After washing, buff the gloves dry with a second soft cloth. Do not try to dry the gloves with heat, as this will cause the leather to become brittle and possibly shrink. You could try walking round wearing the damp gloves but people are liable to whisper and hide their children from you. After washing and drying the gloves rub a leather conditioner into the fabric. This conditioner serves to protect the leather and helps keep it soft and supple. Leather conditioner can be bought from your local shoe or saddlery shop.

As the Observer Smock does not have a detachable veil it must be hand washed only and then allowed to dry naturally. While waiting for the jacket to dry you can reflect on how environmentally sound you have been.

Do you sell replacement veils?
Yes we do sell replacement veils, they can be found here. The design of our suits and jackets slightly changed around 5 years ago if you own a suit or jacket that is older than this the new veils that we sell may not fit your current suit or jacket. The one size fits suits and jackets from Medium to XXXXL.

How do I measure myself for gloves?
Gloves are sized by measuring across your four knuckles, not including the thumb, i.e. the width of the palm at its widest point. This distance in centimetres is your glove size. For example, if the distance measures 9cms then you need glove size 9.

Do you offer a tailoring service?
We do not offer a tailoring service as the customer needs to be measured by the tailor doing the work. for the best results. However, if you cannot find a garment to match your shape they can be altered by any professional tailor. If you are broad for your height we recommend choosing a suit over a jacket as a jacket with suitable breadth will also be long and will hang down around your legs, making a bee-proof seal difficult to obtain. A suit can be readily shortened in the legs and arms without compromising safety.

Can I return an item of clothing if it does not fit?
Yes, it is no problem at all to return any unused equipment to us for an exchange or full refund. All you need to do is send it back to us with a covering note stating your order number and whether you require an exchange or refund.

I live outside of the EU, will I have to pay vat, duties and taxes on clothing if I buy it from you?
If you live outside of the EU we would not charge you VAT as you are not required to pay it. If the items you purchased are subject to duty in your country (not everything is), the freight carrier usually has the amount due and will contact you to process the payment for duties and taxes. The rate of duty varies depending on the type of thing you've ordered, however our experience shows that clothing in some countries has a high import tariff so it may be worth you checking with someone at the port of entry where your goods would be entering prior to ordering.