Bees Love Barbecues Too!!!

Bees Love Barbecues Too!!!

Now that summer is officially here and Independence Day is right around the corner, it’s time to break out the grill, stock up on BBQ sauce, and refill the propane tank (or load up on charcoal).

As much as you love the sound of the sizzle and smell of the sweet meat cooking, you’re not alone. One of our favorite insects likes the smell of the barbecue too, although they can get a wee bit– or should I say a BEE bit – annoying when you’re trying to cook.

We Love Bees

Of all the insects in the world, none are quite as beneficial as bees. As the primary pollinators, their main job gives us both honey and maintains our food supply. Of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of food around the globe, 71 are pollinated by bees. Some experts have even predicted that if all the bees disappeared, the human population would survive for about four years.

Unfortunately, bees have steadily been declining in population, sending entomologists and robotics researchers scrambling to see if there is a digital alternative.

Bees don’t just care for our agricultural crops, fruits and vegetables. They also pollinate the plants that create about half of the world's fibers, oils, and raw materials, and many of the plants that help prevent soil erosion and bring forests back after fires.

Recently, doctors and scientists are diving even deeper into how bees and their trappings can be used to serve humanity. Beeswax, for instance, is naturally antibacterial and already used during surgery to prevent bone bleeding.

Propolis, or ‘bee glue,’ works well for antimicrobial sanitizing – a complicated way of saying it cleans well. But it also has elements that have been used by doctors going all the way back to ancient Egypt and it’s currently being tested as a partial treatment for HIV and AIDS.

But They Can Also Be Annoying

Even if you’re not allergic to bee stings, sometimes having bees around can be a real nuisance. Anytime you have sweet or savory stuff out it’s going to attract bees as well as wasps and some other insects. As much as we love them, no one wants to be sipping their Coke or beer and have a bee coming out of the can or bottle opening.

The colors also attract bees who are used to hanging around bright colored flowers. So, brightly colored fruit, pretty picnic trappings like tablecloths and napkins, and vibrant summer outfits can also get their attention.

However it happens, you’re trying to enjoy a summer picnic and barbecue but there are all these flying and crawling bees looking for their own treats.

Obviously, we don’t want to kill off already endangered bees, so how do you deal with them?

Not Bee-ing There

For starters, it helps to keep things close to your….Tupperware. Cover your food. Seal the food. Keep everything in containers as long as possible, even passing plates around, so once everyone gets their food, you can burp that top back on.

Don’t swat at the bees – or especially the wasps! Wasps are just dangerous, period. But bees only sting when they feel threatened or think they need to defend themselves. So don’t give them a reason to think they’re being attacked by waving at them or batting them away.

You could hire an apiary to come in and professionally remove the bees – but let’s be honest, you probably aren’t dealing with a whole hive. Instead – distract the bees.

Grab a used 2-liter bottle or half gallon milk jug. Combine a cup of sugar with a cup of vinegar and mix well. Then take a banana peel and cut it into thin strips. Drop the strips into the bottle or jug and pour in the mixture. Tie a string to the neck (or handle) and hang from a nearby tree or porch – close enough to catch the bees’ attention and keep them occupied while you’re enjoying your picnic.

Mothballs, marigolds, cloves and mint tend to make bees steer clear. Another option – slip a dryer sheet into your shirt pocket – or in your beach bag. For whatever reason, bees will not approach, leaving you free to grill or sunbathe or enjoy food around the table, bee free.

We hope these tips help you enjoy a better summer – filled with picnics and barbeques and family get-togethers, without the distractions of confused pollinators. Good News Pest Solutions also has a great option for those other annoying pollinators – our Mosquito Protection Program. For info on that revolutionary answer to mosquitoes, please give us a call!

Oh, and Happy Fourth of July!


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