It’s not a secret that bees are the tiny gardeners that help us grow our flowers. But as much as you want them to help you make your flower bed beautiful, there’s a type of bees that you may find pesky, especially when they start to land on you to get a taste of your sweat. These sweat lover bees are called sweat bees. If you want to get rid of sweat bees without killing them, read on as we break down the things you need to know about them.
What Do Sweat Bees Look Like?
- 1 What Do Sweat Bees Look Like?
- 2 How to Identify Sweat Bees
- 3 Life Cycle of the Sweat Bees
- 4 Where Do Sweat Bees Live?
- 5 What Attracts Sweat Bees?
- 6 Do Sweat Bees Sting or Bite?
- 7 What Scent Do Bees Hate?
- 8 What Does a Sweat Bee Nest Look Like?
- 9 Why Do the Sweat Bees Keep Landing on Me?
- 10 How to Eliminate Sweat Bees Naturally
- 11 How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees Around Pool
- 12 How To Treat A Sweat Bee Sting
As one of the common bees all around the world, sweat bees are metallic-bodied bees that are typically seen during summer. Also known as halictidae, these tiny flyers have a metallic green, purple or blue body with stripes that vary from red, green, or yellow. Like a typical insect, they have a pair of wings, six legs, and antennae. They are often mistaken as wasps or bumblebees due to their close resemblance.
How to Identify Sweat Bees
Next to honey bees, sweat bees are the most common bees among the six bee families. Depending on the subspecies, they can live alone or in a community. Sweat bees have a pretty small metallic-colored body, ranging from ¼ to ¾ inches in length. As their name suggests, sweat bees are uniquely attracted to sweat mainly because of salt and moisture.
Life Cycle of the Sweat Bees
Sweat bees undergo four life stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult.
Females will spend days digging a hole deep enough for their eggs. After she lays her eggs, she starts gathering nectar and pollen to bring to her nests. So once the eggs are hatched, the larvae will never go hungry for their prepared meals. The larvae will feed on this provision until it matures into a pupa. Before winter, the female adult emerges and mates with a male.
Where Do Sweat Bees Live?
Sweat bees are often found burrowing beneath bare soil or in partially rotten wood. As adults feed on pollen, their presence is abundant around flower beds. Some of them prefer to live alone, while others have developed a more communal social behavior.
What Attracts Sweat Bees?
Sweat bees being bees, pollinating flowers greatly attract them. Sweat bee mothers provide pollen and nectar to their babies during the larvae stage. Also, as their name implies, sweat bees are also attracted to salt, which explains why they’re attracted to sweat.
Do Sweat Bees Sting or Bite?
Sweat bees are stingers, and yes, they can sting you. Though they don’t really pose a threat to humans, they may be forced to display aggressive behaviors when they feel a need to defend themselves or protect their nests. So it is important not to disturb or relocate their nests when you’re not ready with precautions.
What Scent Do Bees Hate?
Bees hate the smell of mint and some essential oils. They are also repelled with the smell of lavender, citronella, lemon and lime. Hyssop and lemongrass are good repellents, too.
What Does a Sweat Bee Nest Look Like?
Sweat bees nest under a patch of soil that is bare and dry or has little vegetation. They dig holes deep enough to lay their eggs and hide their nests.
Why Do the Sweat Bees Keep Landing on Me?
As their name implies, sweat bees are attracted to human perspiration. The salty nature of your sweat is a yummy treat for them. As you bear the heat of summer while you work or play under the sun, sweat bees take this opportunity to get a lick of your salty sweat.
If you’re not so thrilled by the thought of these tiny flyers licking your sweaty body, you can apply scented lotion on your body to hide the smell of your perspiration. A citronella repellent patch may also help in keeping the bees at a distance.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Bumble Bees Naturally
How to Eliminate Sweat Bees Naturally
Repel with Scents
Sweat bees are not a fan of the minty smell, so planting mint in your garden will do the job of keeping them away. When tending mint plants is not your best option, making a homemade spray out of mint or using a diffuser with mint oils can conveniently help you a great deal.
Citronella and lavender are also your best friends when it comes to getting rid of sweat bees. Whether you plant them in your yard or use their oils for spray or diffuser, they can efficiently make bees out of sight.
Make No Way for Nesting
As sweat bees build their nests under bare soil, you can prevent them from making a home by growing plants in all your empty space. Covering the soil with a thick layer of mulch can also help prevent sweat bees from nesting.
As sweat bees are a helper of mother nature, it is best not to kill them but instead relocate them when you see a nest.
Provide Good Airflow
If you like to chill at your patio or garden, especially during summer, you might as well bring a fan with you. Plug it in to provide good airflow and prevent them from being comfortable to hang out with you.
Use a Trap
There are many different types of the sweat bee traps, and the most traps are too large for the tiny sweat bees. Sweat bees, hornets, wasps, and fruit flies have been defeated using Pic’s wasp and Yellow Jacket Trap.
It takes the place of the common Seicosy model, which featured a bottom seam that was notorious for leaking. Then, fill the bottom of the bee trap with a sweet mixture of your pick, and flies, wasps, bees, and other similar animals will crawl inside and become trapped. After that, they will drown.
How to Get Rid of Sweat Bees Around Pool
Sweat bees are attracted to the chemicals you use in your pool. That’s why they make a significant appearance around the area. They are attracted to the strong smell, whether it’s a chlorinated pool or a saltwater pool.
While you cannot altogether ditch the pool, especially during the heat of summer, using a pool cover when your pool is not in use can help you get rid of sweat bees. Moreover, having a nice barbecue next to the pool can never be avoided, especially on a nice sunny day. And as sweat bees are also attracted to sugary drinks, don’t leave your drinks wide opened and clean up soda spills immediately. You may want to provide a harmless trap by putting a cup of sprite a few meters away from the pool or anywhere far enough to distract the bees from going to your fun area.
How To Treat A Sweat Bee Sting
Apply Cold Compress
Unless you’re allergic to a bee sting, sweat bee stings are typically not harmful to humans. To help reduce swelling and pain, a pack of ice pressed on the stung area can provide relief.
Apply Essential Oils and Herbs
Lavender essential oil mixed with coconut or olive oil can help relieve swelling. Apply the mixture to the affected area. Aloe vera gel can also soothe your skin and relieve pain.
While home remedies may typically work, it’s always best to see the doctor if pain and swelling persist.