Home News “Sweat Bee” Insects Invade Pickaway County Summer

“Sweat Bee” Insects Invade Pickaway County Summer


PICKAWAY – Around parks, picnics, and lakes in the county, you may have these insects visit you. They may visit you at Hargus, Deer Creek, Slate Run, Ted Lewis Park, or even in your backyard.  You shoo them away and they come right back they can be pretty annoying.

Common names of the small bee-like flies include corn fly, hover fly, helicopter fly, flower fly, and sweat bee. Each name fits some aspect of the insect’s appearance, behavior, or hangout. These are not bees but flies that are extremely persistent, darting, hovering, and landing on leaves, flowers, and people. Females lay eggs on leaves infested with aphids and feed on nectar for energy. As true flies, they can neither sting nor bite. However, they look threatening and defy attempts to be shooed. Hoverflies are actually beneficial as they feed on aphids and pollinate flowers.

Hoverflies are attracted to people because of the water from sweat and the salt on your skin. Although they can be an annoyance, some gardeners like to attract them for pest control using companion plants like parsley and chamomile.

A majority of the time the “bees” stay in farmland, but during the late summer and harvest season the bees are pushed out of the field and around homes in the area, that’s when people start noticing them more.

The next time you think about shooing them away, remember, that they are only a nuisance to you, but a benefit to the environment.