It probably comes as no surprise, but there is an obvious reason why sweat bees have the name that they do.
While there are over 500 species of this particular bee within the U.S. alone, they all have one thing in common: they like to consume human sweat.
Yes, you heard that right. A sweat bee needs to supplement its diet with sodium. While the sweat bee enjoys every flower – it has no preferences unlike some other bees – it also likes to feed off human sweat.
For this reason, you might be wondering how you can get rid of sweat bees(see also: How To Get Rid Of Bees). Not only can they be intimidating once the summer BBQs kick into gear, but you might generally just be scared of a bee’s sting.
In this article we shall take a look at how you can get rid of sweat bees. Plus, we will tell you more about these fascinating creatures.
What Actually Is A Sweat Bee?
Sweat bees are a member of the halictid group of bees, and there are around 500 of them in the U.S. alone. They are pollinators which means they are seen as important to keeping the ecosystem healthy.
The sweat bee is inclusive when it comes to the type of flower it pollinates too. This is because the sweat bee has no preferences, and enjoys going from flower to flower, no matter what it is.
They are quite small too, measuring up to half an inch at their very biggest. You may also see a sweat bee that is bronze, or even green. They have many colors depending on their type.
Does A Sweat Bee Eat Human Sweat?
Yes, a sweat bee is attracted to a human’s sweat. This is because they tend to consume mainly nectar and pollen, but also supplement this regular bee diet with sodium.
While you can just pick up some salty chips, a sweat bee has to get their salt fix off a human’s skin. Unsurprisingly, this is plentiful within the warmer seasons. They also like the moistness of it too.
Where Can You Find Sweat Bees?
In North America sweat bees can often be found within any of the 50 States. Even so, they are plentiful within the eastern areas of the United States.
Depending which species of the sweat bee it is, they either like to live solitary or within a colony. They spend their time living underground or within rotten wood which they can easily burrow a nest into.
How To Get Rid Of A Sweat Bee?
If you are looking for a natural way to get rid of sweat bees, then you will find these methods very useful. There are plenty of things to try, so let’s take a look at them:
Limit Skin Exposure
As you already know by now, a sweat bee loves to find sweaty skin to feed on.
While it may be difficult on a hot day to limit the amount of skin you expose, if you live in an area where there are lots of sweat bees, you will want to cover up as much as possible.
Wearing light colored and airy clothes is a great way to protect yourself from sweat bees and the sun.
Wear Bug Repellent
If you can’t stand the thought of covering up while the weather is hot and sticky, then you can also opt for a bug repellent. You can buy a cheap over the counter one to do the trick – just do not forget to put it on.
Remove Rotting Wood
Sweat bees love to nest in rotting wood. Removes anything that looks like a good place for a sweat bee to find a home in. This could be rotting logs outdoors, or even older branches that have been left on the floor.
A lot of bugs do not like the smell of mint. This means that mint is often used to keep something like sweat bees at bay.
The great thing about mint is that there are a number of ways to use it. If you find that sweat bees fly around your porch, then place some pots with the mint herb growing out of them.
You can also crush these mint leaves and rub them onto your skin. This way the sweat bee will naturally keep away from you. You will also smell good too!
Will A Sweat Bee Sting You?
Yes, a female sweat bee can sting you, however, just like other bees it usually happens if they feel threatened and are provoked. If you let a sweat bee land on you or fly near you, then it is highly likely that it will not sting you.
This is because this type of bee is harmless and is not considered to be an aggressive type. It will not set out to hurt you just because it can.
A sweat bee will only sting you if it feels like you are trying to hurt them.
If one does land on you, all they are trying to do is feed on your sweat. To do so they will not need to bite or sting you, so it might just be best to let it have its meal and then leave you alone. It is all about helping nature, right?
Or just gently shoo it away – though do be careful!
If you find that sweat bees are attracted to you during the warmer weather, there are things you can do to stop them from trying to make your sweat a part of their meal times.
For example, if you are very sweaty – whether that is because it is hot or you have just been to the gym – take a shower to wash it all away. You will find that the sweat bees will not be interested in you anymore.
However, if you do have a major problem with sweat bees, such as an infestation, then you will need to call in the professionals.