Sweat bees are perhaps the most misunderstood bees. This is because the majority of people do not know that sweat bees are totally different from honey bees and bumble bee species, which have been introduced to North America. Sweat bees belong to a group known as ‘Halictidae’, this particular family has many interesting characteristics, such as being able to jump (which you will read more later).
Sweat bees are a type of bee that belong to the Halictidae family. Unlike honey bees, they are solitary and do not live in hives. These bees are called sweat bees because they are attracted to the salt in human sweat, which they use as a source of nutrients. Sweat bees are found worldwide and are most commonly seen in the spring and summer months.
They are generally small, measuring between 0.125 to 0.5 inches in length, and come in various colors, including metallic green, blue, and black. Sweat bees are important pollinators and play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. Although their sting is not very painful, they can become aggressive if their nests are disturbed, so it is important to exercise caution around them. Sweat bees are fascinating creatures with an important role in the natural world.
How to get rid of sweat bees?
It’s a problem that many gardeners face during the late summer and early fall. Here are 5 easy steps to get rid of them:
- Get out your broom, dustpan or metal jar lid from under the sink.
- Stand with your back to the sun so it’s at your back and shine directly into their eyes.
- They’ll be blinded by the glare and won’t know which way to fly. Jump into the air and flick them off with your leafy tail. Be sure never to use force! This is usually enough stress on them that they will leave the area.
- If they don’t leave, you can try and drown them: Leave small containers that are half-filled with water around the area and the bees will fly into them and drown themselves. You can also use jars filled with sugary water (just dissolve sugar in their). This is not as effective as getting them to jump into the water as you will probably end up dead or hurt if they decide to sting instead of taking a drink.
- If all else fails, call your local bee exterminator who usually has better equipment for making those buggers go away! Now, with the information you’ve gained from this article, go out and make those bees wish they’d never come near your precious garden.
Do sweat bees sting?
The first thing you need to know about sweat bees is that they can sting, however unlike their larger relatives (honey bees and yellow jackets) they only use their stingers for self defense or feeding on animal products; sweat bees cannot sting humans or pets directly (they usually die after stinging if it’s on human skin, but this isn’t always the case). Sweat bees like to nest in dark and moist areas such as: under logs, stones and leaf litter, hollow stems (such as bamboo), and sometime human structures; they also can be found nesting in dead or dry plant material.
The females typically find a protected spot to begin their nest before looking for food (the males do not help at all with raising offspring). Female sweat bees will take nectar from flowers using their long tongue but only drink water by licking dew drops or moist surfaces; this is why you will see them crawling on plants early in the mornings.
It might be your first instinct to kill them
Your first instinct might be to kill them, but sweat bees are crucial to the well-being of the environment; they pollinate plants and flowers. Sweat bees will bite or sting you if disturbed (for example when removing an old log that they have set up their home in).
Sweat bees like to nest in dark cracks and crevices, so if you see one crawling around on your windows trying to get into your house, leave them alone; it’s probably looking for somewhere dry for its new nest (sweat bee nests can be found inside walls of houses). If there is a nest of sweat bees in your wall or attic, try placing some light colored towels near the spot which will attract them away from where you do not want them.
They will fly at temperatures above 60 degrees
Sweat bees do not like the cold and will only fly in temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can minimize your chances of being stung by sweat bees if you wear light colored clothes, stay calm and slowly move away from them; they will generally avoid moving towards people, this is why it’s important to know that they do not sting humans directly.
Sweat bee nests are located inside walls of houses where the temperatures remain high throughout winter (avoiding frost), so even though there may be many active sweat bees flying around outside in the fall, their numbers will quickly decline by February when the cold weather hits and their food supply (nectar) disappears. If you decide to remove a sweat bee nest yourself make sure all windows and doors in the area are closed; this will prevent them from flying towards you when disturbed.
You can remove their nests by placing a vacuum cleaner nearby or catching them in jars; make sure to not leave the open lids for too long; because they will fly away (they are good at remembering where their nests are).
If nectar is not available, you may be wondering what bees eat
Sweat bee females drink liquids which they secrete through special glands on the inside of their abdomen, but nectar is still used during times of drought. When thinking about what to do with your bee infest house think about this: If you decide to kill them, it can take one month for all active adults in a nest to die off (means that even if someone comes in and sprays the nest it will likely not be effective). If you are, however, willing to tolerate a few bees around your home or garden then leave them alone; they pollinate flowers and help the environment.
You can’t actually get rid of all sweat bees
It’s important to note that you can’t actually get rid of all sweat bees because there are too many other places in nature where they can set up their nests (they would survive somewhere else), so keep this in mind when deciding what to do. If you have decided to remove them yourself follow these steps:
- Place light colored towels near the spot which will attract them away from where you do not want them.
- Close windows/doors nearby so bees don’t fly towards people when disturbed.
- If you use a vacuum cleaner to remove them make sure all windows and doors in the area are closed.
- Leave them alone if you can tolerate a few bees around your home or garden, they pollinate flowers and help the environment.
Use pesticides containing prallethrin to eliminate sweat bees. Scientists have established that this active component, a member of the pesticides family, is highly efficient against sweat bees. Choose traps made for common bees or wasps rather than carpenter’s bees.