We’re here to help! Wild Yards is a completely free website that is 100% dedicated to helping you create a wildlife-friendly, sustainable yard. Read more
Bees are wonderful creatures. Not only are they essential for life on Earth, but they are also wonderful to watch buzzing around the garden. Many of us like to admire them from afar – but for some of us, it can be quite difficult to get bees to leave us alone, as they appear to prefer getting up close and personal. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering – why are bees attracted to me?
There are multiple factors that dictate why bees may be attracted to you, including your scent, clothes, and even the way you act.
Your scent may be attracting them
Bees adore sweet tastes and scents. They thrive on the nectar from flowers, and sweet smells that mimic fragrant blooms may take them off course.
If you’re attracting bees, a sweet smell could be coming from your perfume, your deodorant, even hair products or creams. The sweeter the odor, and the more flowery the scent, the more bees will follow you.
So, if you happen to be allergic to bees or are simply not keen on them following you around, you may have to rethink your beauty regime – or, at least change your fragrance or cologne.
There are some smells that bees hate, of course, so if you’d rather not change your signature scent, it may be worth balancing it out at the least.
You’re wearing the right colors
As is the case with smells, bees are also attracted to bright colors. They can even be attracted to patterns that resemble flowers. Yellows, purples, bright blues – you may find that a bee or two appreciates your fashion choices.
To avoid them, however, you will not have to change your style of clothes. More often than not, once bees realize that clothing items do not smell like flowers and lack a certain taste, they drop pursuit and will soon look elsewhere.
If you really want to avoid bee interest based on color alone, wear red. Bees are color-blind to red flowers – and the same can apply to clothing.
You might be sweating a lot
Certain bees are indeed attracted to sweat. These bees are known as halictids, or sweat bees. You can recognize them by their darker colors, with even green or red hues.
Therefore, the best way to manage these bees following you around is by wearing sweat-resistant clothing when you work out or go out on hot days, wearing skin-safe insect repellent (that’s kind to bees), or simply wearing antiperspirant as an extra measure.
This is not a common attractant for honeybees, mason bees, or bumblebees, however – so don’t worry too much about perspiration in the garden.
You may have accidentally upset a bee
Bees are mostly very docile creatures. However, when they are ticked off, they do attack! This is usually the case when they are trying to protect their hive, or indeed their queen. If you happen to have disturbed the hive, then the chances are that yes, the bees will attack you. In fact, even getting in a singular bee’s way can upset it enough to fight back. That could be spraying it, touching it, or wafting it away. You may even have upset a bee completely by accident.
Therefore, it pays to carefully and delicately move around bees if you have to. Bees are very orderly and fastidious, and when threatened, will risk their lives to fight back. Leave them alone, however, and they normally won’t bother you. Watch where you tread, where you waft, and how you garden.
Remember, even if you don’t mean to upset a bee, their stings can get through clothing – and yes, they can hurt!
How do I stop bees from following me?
The best way to avoid bees following you is by adjusting your smell, especially during the warmer weather. Avoid using any repellent that may be harmful to bees – always check the labels of any lotions or sprays you are considering using. For example, a type of spray that can deter or even harm mosquitoes may do the same to bees. Confused bees are unhappy bees – and they can react badly.
For the most part, bees’ reasons for following you are very docile, and they mean you no harm. In fact, even when they do attack, remember that it is not because they are violent animals. They are not even too territorial – they simply want to protect their queens, and to get on with their work.
Attracting bees to your yard is a wonderful gesture, and you’re doing your bit for the environment. However, it’s understandable that you might not want to be followed. Be sure to use the above, humane advice to keep these curious critters from making a literal beeline for you.