The Origins of
Guardian Bee Apparel
In the summer of 2016, Guardian Bee founder Terry Chapman was tending his bees in the unforgiving South Georgia heat. Although he was hot, he wanted to finish his work. Rather than going through the struggle and risk of removing his entire veil in the field to take a drink of water, he wanted to push through. That decision proved to be a dangerous one.
As a result, he became sick and remained ill for the rest of the day. He was fortunate that what could have ended in heat stroke only led to heat exhaustion. As a firefighter/E.M.T. and first responder, Terry was bothered by the incident and aware of how much worse it could have been. Surely, there had to be a better way for beekeepers to stay safe from bees without losing the ability to stay hydrated and cool.
Inspired to Make A Change
Taking a cue from his father Parker Chapman, a lifelong, successful businessman, Terry decided to find a way and meet a need. He got to work. Using the entrepreneurial spirit he learned from his father, he decided to innovate a hobby they both enjoyed.
After months of research, he designed the first Guardian Bee Apparel Beekeeping Suit with Easy Access Veil. This ingenious design was the first of it’s kind to put a “line of sight” zipper right on the front of the hood for Easy Access to the face. His exclusive design allowed beekeepers to take a sip of water, brush away hair, or use an inhaler without removing the entire veil.
But he didn’t stop there! Terry wanted to design the best suit to help beekeepers care for bees. He designed the suits with triple-layer mesh fabric that let air in and keep bees out. The breathable fabric helps keep beekeepers cool while they are tending their hives.
For added accessibility, the triple zipper system gives quick access to pockets for medications and tools. The hip zippers mean Guardian Bee suits slip easily on over boots, and extra “z-space” keep zippers clear from snags and overruns. Finally, he added Velcro© at the wrists and ankles for added protection.
Terry had learned from his father that many of the most successful companies began when a creative person solved a problem and followed through with quality and customer service. After completing his design, Terry made the brave decision to get his bee suits produced and available to beekeepers across the globe. He launched a Kickstarter campaign that was 200% funded within just 10 days. This was an idea that resonated with beekeepers around the world.
Offering backer rewards including hats, t-shirts, and tumblers and even early releases of the vented suits, the Guardian Bee Apparel campaign was a tremendous success with over $25,000 in backing to help kickstart this innovative company. Backers included beekeepers from around the world representing 13 countries.
Since Kickstarter was successfully funded, Terry and the team at Guardian Bee Apparel have continued to add original designs to their catalog with the Pro Fit Veil, the Round Veil, and more. Although the company has grown to serve their ever-growing customer base, Terry’s passion for offering beekeepers safe, effective beekeeping protective gear is still a driving force behind Guardian Bee apparel. He still uses the wisdom and skills he learned from his father to guide him. Customers still receive courteous, timely answers to questions, and the community of Guardian Bee Apparel users continues to grow.
We hope you will find our products just as life-changing as the hundreds who backed the Kickstarter campaign and the thousands who trust their safety to Guardian Bee Apparel. Discover the difference Guardian Bee Apparel can make for you.