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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,889

    bees and camping

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    Loving my camping trip even though my bent boob has so far prevented my riding. That just provides.me the chance to hike the mtb trails with a set of hand pruners We have.this viney sticker things that like to protrude over the trail and draw blood.

    For you more advanced campers, what can I do about bees at the campsite? Lots of bees. Yellow small bees. Lots of them, and they make mealtime painful. I had to eat in my car last night They divebomb my food and I've never seen them here like that.

    I've a large Citronella candle, that now has several little bees in it. Smoke from the fire didn't help. What else.can I do? Couldn't.find anything on Google and I figured someone here would have a better idea. At lunch yesterday I set out a little bowl of water and that helped. It is very, very dry here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Big City
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    434
    Do you have any Mountain Dew on hand? When we used to camp when I was little, we'd leave open cans of that around the perimeter of the camp site. Draws those things in like crazy (usually).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
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    2,543
    We had tons of bees on our site too. They are drawn to water. We left a bucket on the far side of our campsite and they all swarmed over there. Hope that helps!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
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    4,364

    are they really bees?

    You said small - if they are smaller than bees and fly in squares..... they might not be bees, but rather hover flies, which are annoying but don't sting. They do look a lot like bees - but they fly really differently. (edit - I've just read they can be the same size as bees... depends on the species - I guess ours out here are smaller than bees)

    Last edited by Eden; 07-11-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
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    5,023
    Or, yellow jackets? Those things look like bees, sting worse than bees and are very, very drawn to food and sugar.

    I like the idea of mountain dew to draw them away from you. Anything full of sugar and somewhat wet/liquidy, should work. We have traps around our property that keep them somewhat under control and the inserts are like these wet things that have a fairly strong sweet odor.

    Last edited by GLC1968; 07-11-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,372
    I was going to ask if they were bees or something else, too.
    Bees are amazing little creatures, they "smell" fear - that's not just an old wives tale. So, if you are calm and ignore them, they ignore you... I am never bothered by bees while people around me are.
    Wasps, on the other hand... they actually can also be "controlled" just by not caring about them, but not as successfully (for me) and when they sting it really hurts.
    When I camp, I figure I am the interloper and whatever is bothering me has a right to be there and I leave it/them alone whenever possible. Of course some things have been attracted by humans and their garbage...
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
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    I was there last week and there were tons and tons of these flying creatures (be a bee or fly . . . I don't know). But they were just swarming like mad around water sources. We had a little puddle that they were very attracted to. I tried filling water balloons for the kids to play with and dozens of them would swarm the water spout. Whatever they are, they are strongly attracted to water. No one in our camp was stung, but we made sure to keep a water source at the far side of our camp and that successfully kept them away from us. They did not seem aggressive in any way, just wanted to be by the water.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
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    4,367
    Yellow bees ( aka some sort of wasp)
    Ditto on the Mountain Dew. They are also attracted to fat, meat. I've seen homemade traps made of bacon grease and pop (ew)
    -Keep a CLEAN camp. they like food.
    -Do not leave open drinks laying around. They like to crawl inside.
    -You can buy traps at any hardware store.

    Keep benadryl in your first aid kit.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    6,043
    Bees need water to cool their hives. In the kind of weather we've been having in the Midwest, it's no surprise that they're especially obnoxious. For that reason, I agree that putting some source of water out for them at the edge of your campsite is probably your best solution.

    I hope you're having fun, Catrin. Sorry to hear that you still can't ride. Perhaps if you're still sore by the time you return from your trip, a visit to yoru doc is in order. Although if you do have a cracked rib, the doc might suggest nothing other than an OTC pain reliever.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Thanks for the tips, they don't seem aggressive at all, just very interested in food and water. I've started to have fun watching them. They seem to know when I have food out and, interestingly enough, are not interested in beer. I need to go out later for batteries and will get a can or two of Mt Dew as suggested.

    Am 2.5 hours into a mtb trail hike, was pruning sticker vines along the way which slowed me down. I've a couple more hours to go then will test my mtb bike again after fueling my body. I AM feeling better each day, but no mountain biking until I can be in that position without pain. I figure that physical discomfort, even if just bruised muscles, can contribute.to a fall.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    They dont seem to have the shape of a wasp, I don't think they are yellow jackets but I could be wrong. They seem to spend a lot of time at ground level, and really seem to like the sugar water I put out for them There are a lot of racoons here who are hip to coolers and trash, I keep a very clean campsite. All edibles stay in my car as the park staff recommends and I just make certain my car is in the shade.

    After a 4 mile mtb trail hike today, I took a chance and tried a small ride on the easiest trail. When my muscles are warm there is little pain and this time I was able to mtb almost 2 miles before my bent boob started complaining, yesterday I couldn't even ride on the campground road! Progress

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    564
    I can attest to the bees smelling fear. I recently got a honey hive in my back yard, and the first time I went in, it was a disaster: I was panicking, and they kept buzzing me, landing on my face mask and crawling all over my hands.

    Now that I'm more confident and deliberate, I can do my thing and, call me crazy, but it sounds more like they're purring. They leave me alone when I'm in the hive and calm down much quicker.

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