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5 Ways to Keep Bees Away from Your Patio Picnic - Patio Perfection

5 Ways to Keep Bees Away from Your Patio Picnic - Patio Perfection
From The Kitchn - June 28, 2017

Summer is the best time to eat on your patioit's also peak season for bees. "Late summer and early fall is when stinging insect colonies reach their peak population levels," says Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entymologist for the National Pest Management Association. Across the United States, we get many different species of bees, including carpenter bees, bumble bees, and honey bees, and we tend to think of yellow jackets as bees, even though they are actually wasps. (So many bees!)

While most bees can and will sting humans, their level of aggression can vary, which can make them an unpredictable (and possibly painful) nuisanceor a real health issue. "People with known allergies to insect stings or asthma should be particularly careful, since the stings could trigger a potentially life-threatening reaction," says Dr. Fredericks. (I know this to be true because I am still recovering from Macauley Caulkin's untimely death in My Girl, circa 1991.)

So we do not want bees, but they are around. Luckily, there are a few solid things you can do to keep them away from your cookout.

1. Watch out for nests.

"Many bees that sting are triggered because they feel they and their nests are being threatened. If you are not near a nest, it's unlikely that you will be stung unless the bee feels like it needs to defend itself," says Fredericks. If you see a lot of bees in the area, it may mean that there's a nest nearby (dark cavities like underneath a deck and old bird houses can be tempting homes for bumble bees; female carpenter bees bore holes in bare wood like unpainted decks and furniture). In that case, call a local pest control professional to address the issue before it becomes a bigger problem.

2. Rethink the flowers near your patio.

3. Do not wear bee attractors.

4. Keep the food inside.

5. Do not swing at a bee that's flying by!

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