How To Get Rid of Sweat Bees

To Bee or Not to Bee?  That is the question!

Pesky insects. They wield the power to derail outdoor activities and make a typically unflappable person absolutely hysterical.  When the weather begins turning humid and your skin gets sticky, the sweat bees come out in droves.  Why?  Let’s talk about what sweat bees actually are and do, some key landscaping tricks to help keep them at bay (or just let them bee), and even a helpful recipe (or three).

What ARE sweat bees, anyway?

Sweat bees don’t look like your typical yellow and black stinging bee, but rather are quite small and are usually all metallics: black, green, blue, or purple.  They do sport sharp tongues and use said tongue to lick the sweat off your body (that sounds way more disturbing than it did in my head. Alright, moving on.).  They are not aggressive, but will only pinch if you “attack” them.  Just like your body requires certain things and experiences cravings when your body lacks necessary nutrients (like doughnuts), sweat bees also have needs.  They love sweet things, but because of their high energy, they also need protein and salt to balance things out.  Hence, the sweat.

What landscaping tricks do you have for me?

If you want to reduce the likelihood of sweat bees, you need to take away their favorite spots.

What is the sweat bee’s favorite flower?  A Bee-gonia.  (Ha!  See what I did there? 

I’ll bet you thought this was going to be solely informative… but we can be punny, too!).

Sweat bees live (or nest) in earthen burrows.  They like sunny, dry weather, and can also be found nesting in soft wood.  Since they are attracted to sweat and water, they are often located in populated areas.  The main question, when you’re considering eliminating a “pest,” is whether they serve a purpose.  And these guys definitely do.  They are essential in pollinating plants and crops over long distances. So rather than eliminating them, consider the following tips for lowering the risk of your home becoming their hangout: 

  • Get rid of any rotting wood.  It takes away a potential nesting spot.
  • Fill in all the holes or burrows in your yard, especially sunny areas.
  • Mulch the soil areas in your yard to prevent a nesting spot.
  • Get rid of excess water around your house (if you can).

Some other personal suggestions include:

  • Wear an insect repellent.
  • Limit your skin exposure.  They can’t lick you if you’re covered up!
  • Take a quick rinsing shower when you’ve become sweaty.
  • When they do land or fly near you, simply blowing them away will help.  They’re persistent, but they won’t hurt you.
  • If it becomes an infestation, call us and we can help. 

What are some natural recipes for managing sweat bees?

  • Try a natural repellent by rubbing your skin with mint soap.
  • Discouragement spray:  fill a bottle with 1 part dish soap and 3 parts water.  Ready, aim… spray!
  • Bait and Switch: Using cut mango pieces (remembering to replace them periodically), put it in a box, and hang it on a tree.  Then, move the box to another tree (far away from the first spot).  Repeat until the box is really far away from your house.

We would love to help you control your pesky problems so you can enjoy a sweat-bee free lawn.  Call us!

Our last pun before you leave for more productive things… here is a list of famous beekeepers from yesteryear:

  • “To bee or not to bee” – Shakespeare
  • “To do is to bee” – Nietzsche
  • “To bee is to do” – Sartre
  • “Do bee do bee do” – Sinatra

–Borrowed from THONE HUGO, THONEH@btmaa.bel.alcatel.be

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