From the sweet smell of freshly cut grass in a summer garden to the light aroma of a fragrant flower, the world is full of wonderful scents. However, not all smells are pleasant; some can be downright stinky. If you’re looking for ways to keep bees away and have been searching for stinky scents that bees don’t like, then this article is for you. Read on to discover the odiferous scents bees avoid and how you can keep them away from you and your garden.
1. What are the Stinky Scents that Put Bees Off?
When it comes to keeping bees away from your garden, scents are key. Many pungent and unpleasant odors can be off putting to our buzzing friends. Here are some of the most common stinky scents that can deter bees:
- Mint: The sharp menthol aroma of mint is off putting to bees. Hang bunches of dried mint around your flower beds to keep them away.
- Citrus Peels: Citrus fruits are naturally acidic and have a strong smell that will repel bees. Squeeze the juice from citrus peels and throw them into your compost bin.
- Garlic and Onion: The smell of garlic and onion are too strong for many insects, including bees, and will keep them away. Slice up garlic and onion and scatter the pieces around your garden.
Essential oils also work to attract away bees. Scatter oils like lavender, rosemary, thyme and citrus in your garden to keep bees at bay. If you’re a gardener, you don’t want to do harm to our buzzing friends, however, sometimes pesky bees can munch away at prized flower and Vegetable Gardens. These smelly scents should help to keep them away.
Keep in mind that these odors have range limitations, so you’ll need to reapply them regularly, or choose an even stronger scent, like wine, to defend your gardens.
2. Factors that Deter Bees from Sweet Smelling Scents
When it comes to pollination, bees are some of nature’s best helpers. But even they may be deterred from sweet scents, despite their seemingly instinctive like of them. Below are a few reasons why.
It is not just the scent that attracts bees, but also the source of it. If the source appears to be too far away, even if the scent is sweet, a bee may be deterred from making the long journey to get to it. This is why, when planning to attract the buzzing pals, it is suggested you place the source close to them.
Another factor that may dissuade a bee from approaching a sweet scent is if there are impurities around it. This can be anything from too many competing scents in the same vicinity, to dirt and garbage that may be detracting from the scent. Be sure to provide a clean environment with only your sweet smelling source when trying to attract the bees.
Finally, one more factor that plays a role in deterring bees from certain scents is temperature. When the temperature is too low, they may be less likely to be interested in the scent due to not having enough energy. Make sure that any fragrance-emitting source is in an environment that is warm enough for bees.
In conclusion, whether you are out in nature or setting up a pollination station in your backyard, these factors should be taken into account in order to make sure the bees don’t stay away.
3. Are Certain Human Scented Scents Unfavorable to Bees?
Yes! Some human scents are unfavorable to bees and can cause them to avoid or flee in discomfort.
Certain fragrances can disturb a bee’s ability to forage efficiently, making it difficult for them to go about their daily life. The most bothersome smell would be from synthetic chemicals like those used to make perfumes and lotions. These smells can interfere with the bee’s sense of smell and pollen collection. Furthermore, bees can experience a decrease in foraging activity when exposed to certain scents including:
- All forms of citric fruits
- Fragranced cleaning products
- Scented candles
- Chemicals with strong odors
On the other hand, bees are attracted to pleasant fragrances, such as those found in plants. They are wonderfully adapted to the floral odors and can detect even the slightest hint, as it guides them to a nutritious nectar source. So, if you aim to be kind to your fuzzy bumblebee friends, you should better keep away from using any strong scents near their hives.
4. Investigating the Science Behind Bees Rejecting Certain Smells
It’s common knowledge that bees have a heightened sense of smell and precision when it comes to locating flowers and pollen. Less known is the unique capacity of bees to reject certain smells. Seeing as odor plays a significant role in this rejection behavior that bees possess, it’s essential to understand the scientific explanation behind it.
For starters, bees that reject smells are believed to turn off their olfactory receptors. This phenomena is called neuromodulation in which odor receptor activity may be suppressed by negative feedback. The activity of odor receptor neurons is regulated by the neurotransmitter dopamine, which inhibits olfactory discrimination in honeybees. Without this feedback mechanism, bees won’t be able to recognize certain odors, or at least be less sensitive to them.
Second, the inhibitory neurotransmitter octopamine plays a role in the feeding response of honeybees. Studies have found that octopamine played a critical role in regulating active neural filters that operate during the neuronal encoding of food odor signals. In other words, octopamine helps the bee to filter out irrelevant odors that could potentially be distracting or lead to a false positive.
- The neurotransmitter dopamine modulates the neuronal activity in the olfactory receptors of honeybees.
- Octopamine plays a critical role in actively filtering out irrelevant odors.
5. Gardening Pollinator Friendly: Understanding What Bees Like and Dislike in Scents
Bees are drawn to a certain type of scent that can be found in gardens and landscaping projects. But what do bees like and dislike in terms of scent? To create a pollinator friendly garden, it’s important to understand the type of smells that bees will find attractive and which ones to avoid. Here are some tips for picking the right scents for your garden:
What Bees Like:
- Plants with strongly aromatic foliage such as lavender, marjoram, oregano and rosemary
- Fragrant flowers such as bee balm, cosmos, foxglove, sunflowers, sweet alyssum and zinnias
- Herbs like dill, fennel and thyme
- Foliage that is filled with sweet nectar such as beebrush, fuchsia and raspberries
When choosing flowering plants for your garden, look for single flower varieties as they hold more nectars and pollen than double flower kinds – ensuring a plentiful supply for the bees. Additionally, choosing a variety of different shades of plants ensures that the sweet nectar and pollen are more attractive to a variety of bee species.
What Bees Dislike:
- Plants with little to no scent
- Fragrant plants that contain pungent notes such as garlic, onions, chives and bergamot
- Plants that emit strong odours such as nicotiana, petunias and heliotrope
Aim to create a diverse range of flowers and plants that have different colours and scents, as this helps to atrtract more pollinators to your garden. It’s also a good idea to avoid chemical pesticides, which have the potential to be harmful to bees. By understanding what scents bees like and dislike, you can create a pollinator friendly garden that will help sustain and protect our bee population.
6. Meet the Scented Enemies of Bees: Common Insect-Repelling Products
Commercial Insect Repellants
Insect repellents are essential for protecting yourself and your home from pesky intruders. Common products to repel bees tend to come in the form of sprays, granules, fibers and even candles. To keep bees away, choose a product with strong aromas like mint, camphor, wood smoke, and eucalyptus.
DIY Insect Repellants
For those on a budget, make your own insect repellent using ingredients you can find around the house. Mixing five parts dish soap with one part sugar and one part water, boil into a syrup-like consistency and disperse around your garden or wherever bees erect their nests. Alternatively, mix essential oils – especially citrus-based oils – with a small amount of water in a spray bottle and disperse to protect your outdoor spaces.
If you don’t fancy using any kind of product, simply coat your fence with a generous layer of garlic powder or chili powder. Bees hate the odor of both these spices and will immediately turn away from your home. Plant mint plants around the house as the aroma of this herb has been proven to be especially effective in repelling bees. You can even combine various forms of natural bee repellents, such as spreading a layer of ground cinnamon on a freshly made clove- infused oil.
7. Aromatherapy and its Positive Impact on the Bee Population
Aromatherapy has long been studied for its potential to improve human health and wellbeing. Recently, however, it has gained attention for the positive effects it has on other living creatures like the bee population. Studies have found that the compounds in essential oils, when carefully extracted and applied to bees, can help regulate neurotransmitter levels and help bees remain healthy and productive.
Certain essential oils can provide bees with the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to survive. In particular, Lemongrass, Clove, and Thyme are known to have calming and restorative effects on the bee population, and are thus often used in aromatherapy applications for their brightening benefits.
It has been observed that bees take in the nutrients and compounds from essential oils in several ways. Heat exposure is an effective way to absorb certain molecules and compounds from essential oils. This presents an additional benefit for bees, because it stimulates increased productivity and activity levels by triggering chemical reactions in bees’ bodies.
Additionally, the scent of certain essential oils acts as an attractant to bees, beckoning them back from their foraging travels and encouraging them to remain in their habitats for longer. Therefore, by adding certain essential oils to their environment, beekeepers can increase the honey yield and honey quality, while also keeping their colonies healthy and happy.
8. Making your Garden the Most Attractive Place for Bees: The Good, the Bad, and the Smelly!
It’s no secret that a garden full of sweet blooms can attract bees to a yard. But turning your garden into a haven for bees also means understanding the good, the bad, and the smelly of attracting these friendly pollinators.
The good things about inviting bees to visit your garden include the obvious–hotter and more valuable fruits, vegetables, and flowers, help in pollinating other plants in your yard and its area, and a wealth of rewards as they thrive.
- Bees help in increasing the yield of your crops
- The presence of bees boosts the biodiversity of your local ecosystem, as other animals and insects also benefit from their presence
- If you provide bees a safe and attractive place to live, they may become a permanent fixture in your garden—pollinating year after year!
But as with most things in life, there are also some bad things that can come with inviting bees to your yard. Bees can be attracted to the wrong things, such as chemical air fresheners or artificial bees nests, and this can cause problems with creating the safe and healthy environment bees need. Furthermore, certain kinds of bees can be pests, such as carpenter bees that bore into wood, or even wasps and other stinging insects that can be a danger and a nuisance.
But the least pleasant aspects of bees can be found in their smelly habits. Sure, bees are incredibly important to our environment, but they can also create a mess within your garden. Honeybees often produce wax comb inside their hive, causing it to become sticky and attract other bees, ants and other insects. Additionally, a healthy hive can produce hundreds of pounds of honey – a lot of which can leak outside of the hive, leaving sticky patches and attracting more pests and dirt.
Ah, the power of smell! Who knew that something as simple as a stinky scent could have so much of an effect on bees? While this may seem like an odd thing to learn, it’s important to keep in mind the fact that bees and other pollinators are a vital component of a healthy environment and food production. Knowing which smells are attractive and which are not can help us all do our part to ensure that our buzzing friends stay safe and productive. Sweet scents to you!