John James are very high quality needles made in England. The difference with a beading needle versus a regular needle is that the eye of the beading needle is the same width as the rest of the needle, enabling it to pass through the beads. Choosing the correct beading needle is not an exact science, and different beaders will choose different sizes and lengths. A good bet is to get the same size as the beads you are working with, unless you are going to be going through the beads more than a couple of times (as in peyote stitch). In this case, you may need to get a size smaller in the needles.
We also carry Sharp (short) needles and Glovers needles. The Sharp needles are another option for beading, just shorter than the beading needles.
The Glovers needles are tri-tipped needles that are great for working with leather.