How To Get Rid Of Sweat Bees

How To Get Rid Of Sweat Bees

Sweat bees are the second largest family of Apoidea bees and live worldwide. They are often dark and metallic; however, some are green, and a few are red. No matter the colour, if you encounter them regularly, you probably want to know how to get rid of sweat bees.

Sweat bees get their names because they have a prominent liking for human sweat because of the salt contained within it. Therefore, if you have an active outdoor job, you have likely been annoyed by them many times.

Construction workers and outdoor athletes are the most common groups who have issues with sweat bees and want to get rid of them. However, there are many more people in the world with dislike them.

Sweat Bees Reputation

Although sweat bees have a pretty bad reputation, they seldom pose a threat to humans. The only time they can become a nuisance is in the summer when people are sweating and outdoors. However, many more people dislike them. s. Here are a couple of facts that may help ease your worry about them:

  • They are not usually aggressive.
  • A sting will only occur if you press the bee against the skin.
  • Whois, the least painful of all stinging insects. According to the Schmidt pain index. Classified r on your arm.”
  • The only thing that they want is your sweat.

I know you probably still think; I don’t like them. However, as you can see, they are virtually harmless compared to more aggressive insects worldwide.

Where Do Sweat Bees Get Their Name?

Sweat bees get their name from their constant longing for human sweat. However, they want the contents of the sweat, water and salt. If more accessible and readily available sources of those two elements were nearby, they probably wouldn’t bother humans.

As humans need high protein levels for extreme activity, sweat bees require salt. Humans sweat both of their nutritional requirements out, giving them the name.

What Do Their Bees Look Like?

Sweat bees are small in size, ranging from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 of an inch. The males are only usually distinguishable from the females by being slightly slimmer than the females.

Their metallic colouring gives the species an unmissable appearance and can range in shades of blue, green, bronze, and black.

What Is Their Habitat?

You will find sweat bees worldwide, with over a thousand species. Most of those species are in the United States, with 44 in Florida alone. Depending on the bee, they can be solitary insects or live in thousands of colonies.

Both types of bees live on the ground in networks of burrows made by the queen bee. However, solitary bees will live in sections of the den isolated and away from the rest of the colony.

Sweat Bees Activity Peaks

The sweat bees’ activity will peak in the summer months – whichever they are in your country. However, in the United States, the beginning of a new year for a colony of bees is often between September to December.

The state of the colony at this time will be a great indicator of the success of the following year. That is the most common time you want to know how to get rid of sweat bees.

Do Sweat Bees Sting?

Although sweat bees are not aggressive insects, the females sting. However, unlike some species of flying, stinging insects do not attack humans to sting. You may only find a sweat bee on you to collect your sweat for nutrition.

Although, if you attack them, try to catch them in your hand or attack their nest; they will sting you. If you leave them to do their job, they are no threat to humans.

Are Their Stings Dangerous?

Anaphylactic reactions to the sweat bee are infrequent, but there have been reports. So, if you are prone to anaphylactic reactions, they can be dangerous. However, they can hurt to a slight extent. Slight is the operative word. It is the lowest sting pain rating on the Schmidt pain index, with a rating of 1.0.

Are Sweat Bees Beneficial?

Yes, in the same way, all bees are beneficial to nature. All bees, sweat bees included, are responsible for many wildflowers and crops worldwide. The quality of foods, including various meat products, depends on the pollination of bees in general. Therefore, in a word, yes, sweat bees are beneficial.

How To Get Rid Of Sweat Bees

Before we get into how to remove sweat bees, we need to understand your options. Depending on the severity of the problem they are causing, you have three options:

  • Kill them
  • Catch them
  • Repel Them

Let’s now look at the three ways of getting rid of sweat bees in a little more detail:

Killing Them

Killing sweat bees comes in two forms.

  • The mass killing of a colony
  • Killing a single bee

Killing a colony

Now I hope that, during the rest of this article, you realize that the mass killing of any bee is terrible news for the whole world.

Therefore, you should only use this method in extreme and dire states. If you feel like you have an issue that is big enough to warrant such an action, please seek professional guidance and help.

Killing a single bee

Pests are pests. However, when it comes to bees, I am still very wary of the ecological impact that is killing a bee a day could create. In my opinion, I see it like this:

One thousand people kill one sweat bee a day for a year; 365,000 bees are killed in one year. I bet many more people kill many more per day. However, I do know that there are times when you may need to get rid of one or two. For example, you will not take any risks if you are allergic. Now, with that said, I would like to move on to the following two options.

Catching Sweat Bees

Many bee and wasp traps are on the market, all with a single goal – to kill. Catching sweat bees is a more difficult task than killing them. However, trying to catch them to relocate them is much better than catching them to kill.

You do that by providing enough bait in them so that the bees drown. However, if you have frequent visitors to your home and intolerance to them but no intention to harm the population, you can use the same traps but with less bait.

Using only a small amount of sugary liquid will attract the bees to the trap instead of you. After you have caught a few or finished outside, you can release them back into the wild to continue.

Alternatively, if you are un/lucky enough to see a swarm of the sweat bees, you can attempt to catch them all to relocate.

Catching A Swarm

It is tough to get rid of sweat bees by catching them in a swarm. However, it is possible if you get the timing right.

Bees will often swarm for only an hour or two at the most. Fight off the urge to frighten them away, and quickly cover yourself up as much as possible. While sweat bees pose no threat to humans, they will sting if they feel threatened. However, one good point about a swarm of bees is that they have no home yet, which means they will not be protecting anything.

  • Use a container large enough to contain the whole swarm. Swarms can be anything from the size of a baseball to the size of a basketball or more.
  • You can cut the branch and lower it into the box if the swarm is on a branch.
  • Cover the box. Providing you have most of the bees inside the box, you likely have the queen, too. That is because the queen is usually in the centre of the swim. Most bees will follow the queen, so if you have the queen in the box, the others should follow.
  • Leave the box for a little while to allow the other bees to follow the queen into the box. If they are fanning the opening to the box, you have caught the queen too.
  • You can now try to move them carefully away from your home. To do this, you must be relatively quick while trying not to disturb them too much. That is more difficult than it seems.

If you have any concerns, you should call for professional assistance.


Repelling sweat bees is, by far, the most humane and recommended way to reduce the problem that they cause you. The issue is that it is challenging to repel them. Due to their nature and love of sweat, the best preventative method is to shower often. However, here are a few other options for you to try:

  • Rub your exposed skin with peppermint oil. Make sure you use it in carrier oil so it does not burn your skin. Sweat bees do not like the smell of peppermint. 
  • Keep your yard maintained well enough not to have exposed soil for them to create their nests:
    • Higher lawn cuts
    • Flower beds surrounded with mulch instead of uncovered soil
    • Grow mint plants.
  • Use fans to circulate the air. Either indoors or outdoors, bees prefer hot, humid, and moist environments. If you keep these to a minimum by circulating air, you will likely see less.


Sweat bees may be a nuisance, but fleas are precious to the whole world. Killing them should only be a very last resort. Please try to use the repelling methods before doing anything else. If you have any doubts about what you should do with bees, you are much better to call professionals.

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