10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer

By Charles •  Updated: 03/07/23 •  8 min read

Sweat bees are pests that may be hard to get rid of, especially when you’re trying to enjoy your outdoor activities ranging from gardening to BBQs and simply lounging. If you’ve been trying to find out how to keep sweat bees away, then this article is for you! Here, you’ll find all sorts of helpful tips, ranging from using various plants to repelling sweat bees with essential oils.

Keep reading to learn how to keep sweat bees away and how to make your outdoor activities sweat-bee-free!

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Are you afraid of being outside due to the presence of sweat bees this summer? Don’t give into that fear! This article will discuss 10 easy tips to keep sweat bees away from you, so you can enjoy the summer sun! From wearing light colored clothes to planting bee-repelling plants, learn how to keep those pests away without breaking a sweat. With a few simple tips, you can make sure these sweat-seeking bees stay far away from you!

Table of Contents

Identify Sweat Bees

Sweat Bees, also known as Halictidae, are a type of small bee that are attracted to the salt found in human sweat. These bees have been known to engage in persistent behavior around humans, and appear to particularly enjoy the taste of salt.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Despite the aggressive nature of their attraction to humans, Sweat Bees are mostly harmless, and rarely sting. As their name implies, these bees can be identified by their penchant for human sweat, but also by their small size (most are about half-an-inch long), golden-green and brown color, and the presence of tiny hairs that cover the entire body.

Sweat Bees are important pollinators in the wild, so if you come across them, consider yourself lucky!

Avoid Sweet Scents

If you’re looking for a natural way to avoid pests, avoid sweet scents! Sweet scents, such as perfumes, colognes, and heavily scented body care products, are actually known to attract pests like mosquitoes, flies, and even moths. Not to mention, heavily scented items can be overwhelming and irritate your eyes, throat, and nose.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Instead, opt for scents that are woodsy, citrusy, or clean and fresh, as these scents tend to be less appealing to pests. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy them more too!

Wear Light-Colored Clothing

Wear light-colored clothing to stay cooler in hot weather. Light colors reflect heat, while dark colors absorb it.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Clothes made of lightweight, breathable fabrics are also more likely to keep you comfortable, while clothing made of synthetic materials can often trap heat. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat will offer protection against the sun’s rays and decrease the amount of heat absorbed by your head.

On sunny days, cover up exposed skin with lightweight clothing and bring an umbrella or parasol for extra protection.

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water left outdoors can pose a serious health hazard because it provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes which can spread disease. Eliminating all standing water should be a top priority, especially during the hot summer months.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Check frequently for sources of standing water, including clogged gutters, buckets, pet dishes, old tires, and anything else that can hold water – no matter how small. Stagnant water should be emptied or removed regularly to break the life cycle of mosquitoes.

If you can’t eliminate standing water, such as ornamental ponds, stock them with fish that eat mosquito larvae or consider treating the water with a larvicide.

Keep Food Away from Sweat Bees

It is important to keep food away from sweat bees, as they are attracted to the odors and sweat emitted by humans. Sweat bees will crawl on people and hover around uncovered food, sometimes even landing on food to feed.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

To prevent these small, often colorful, bees from getting to one’s food, experts recommend being aware and proactive. Keep food indoors and covered whenever possible.

If dining outdoors, use a netted canopy to protect from flying sweat bees, and also check periodically to make sure that any food remains covered. Additionally, avoid wearing perfumes and fragrances that could attract sweat bees.

To keep these pesky insects away, it is important to pay attention to the environment and take appropriate measures.

Use Insect Repellant

Insect repellants can be an effective solution for deterring a wide range of pests, from ants and mosquitoes to spiders and ticks. All insect repellents work by masking the scents that the insects rely on to detect a food source.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Repellents come in a variety of forms, including sprays, creams, coils, and wipes. It is important to use an insect repellent that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency; this will ensure that it is safe to use and won’t harm the environment.

When using insect repellent, make sure to apply liberally and evenly, covering exposed skin and clothing. Reapplication may be needed, especially after swimming or sweating.

Additionally, consider using repellent products that contain both a pesticide and a sunscreen, as this can further help protect the skin while outdoors.

Vacuum or Sweep Areas Where Sweat Bees Congregate

Sweat bees have a tendency to congregate in areas where there is sweat and moisture, so it’s important to regularly vacuum or sweep these areas. Vacuuming or sweeping any outdoor or indoor areas such as picnic tables, patios, decks, pool loungers, etc.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

will help reduce the number of sweat bees present. Furthermore, it is also beneficial to regularly clean any outdoor furniture with a damp cloth to remove any moisture that might attract sweat bees.

Additionally, to reduce the risk of getting stung, it is important to regularly check for any honeydew or pollen that sweat bees are attracted to and vacuuming or sweeping these areas when necessary. Taking these preventive measures will help keep the population of sweat bees under control and reduce the potential of experiencing a sting.

Store Garbage Away from Areas With Sweat Bees

Sweat bees are small, metallic-looking insects that are attracted to the sweat on human skin, resulting in an annoying and sometimes painful sting. These bees are commonly found in areas with stored garbage, so it is important to store garbage in a way that prevents these pollinators from attacking unsuspecting individuals.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

To do this, garbage should be stored away from areas where sweat bees have been spotted and kept in fully sealed containers. Additionally, regularly cleaning up any spills or food leftovers can discourage them from coming around.

Sweat bees are an important part of the ecosystem, but they can be a problem if they interact with humans, so it is important to keep areas with stored garbage clean and sealed to help discourage them from coming around.

Plant Natural Insect Deterrents

When planting plants to create natural insect deterrents, complexity is key. Incorporating a variety of plants that attract beneficial biodiversity in and around your garden is one of the best ways to keep pests away.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

Herbs, such as basil and oregano, can provide a natural barrier to keep pests out of flower beds and vegetable plots. Every gardener can also benefit from strategically planting sturdy marigolds, which contain thiopene, an organic compound that deters crop-damaging insects.

Additionally, planting spring onions, chives, garlic and other onion family plants (alliums) near brassicas, such as cabbage and kale, will create a stronger, more effective defense against pests. Finally, planting nectar plants like clover and dill will attract beneficial insects and birds that will keep the pests from invading the garden.

Monitor Your Yard for Nesting Sweat Bees

Monitoring your yard for nesting sweat bees is an important step in managing their population. Sweat bees are small, solitary bees that thrive in warmer climates.

10 Easy Tips to Keep Sweat Bees Away From You this Summer - Beekeeping 101

They can be identified by their metallic-looking bodies, ranging in color from golden green to blue. Typically present in the late spring and early summer months, they are attracted to areas where there is a high concentration of sweat and salt.

Monitoring for nesting activity can be done by regularly inspecting your yard, looking for small holes in the ground and areas of freshly overturned soil. Sweat bees are beneficial pollinators and should be encouraged to coexist with humans; however, due to their affinity for sweat, people should take necessary precautions and wear proper protective clothing in areas with observed sweat bee nesting activity.


In conclusion, sweat bees can be annoying and pose a potential health risk to humans. Keeping sweat bees away is possible with certain techniques.

One can use deterrent scents and plants, block bees out of their property, or apply soaps and oils to their skin. With the right strategy and knowledge, the dread of sweat bees can be dealt with more easily.

And remember, be patient and proactive to ensure the best outcome and least amount of sweat bees!