There are ways to keep sweat bees at bay this spring and summer

Cheryl E Preston
Sweat beePhoto byJody ConferonUnsplash


Sweat bees are attracted to body sweat

There are 13 types of insects from the bee family in Virginia-most notably bumble bees, honey bees, and carpenter bees. There is also the sweat bee which was quite a nuisance when I was a young girl. They seemed to chase us children and would get inside of our clothes during the summer. We would be running, screaming, and pulling at our attire in an effort to be free of the pests.

The scientific name for the sweat bee is Hymenoptera: Halicitidae, and they are attracted to body sweat because they collect it for the salt so please wear deodorant. When we found tiny red welts we knew we had been stung but it was an irritation more than extreme pain and itched really bad. Their colors range from black, metallic, brown, and green and they are noticeably smaller than bumble bees and wasps.

Sweat bees hang around trash cans

Sweat bees are recognized for their bright, metallic coloration and they are also beneficial pollinators. Most halictids have their nests in the ground, in habitats like clay soil and river banks, although some nest in wood. These bees also mass-provision their young.

a mass of pollen and nectar is formed inside a waterproof cell, an egg laid upon it, and the cell sealed off, so the larva is given all of its food at one time,

Sweat bees were plentiful at the old Lakeside Amusement Park and would be swarming around the trash cans which were often overflowing. If you see sweat bees gathering when you have a cookout, barbecue, or picnic please make sure to keep trash cans covered with lids and tie up your trash bags and this should solve the problem. Removing rotting wood from your property, filling in any holes in the ground, and wearing insect repellent are also recommended for keeping these insects at bay along with not getting too sweaty.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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