Although I'm sure they prove to be helpful to society in some way (yes, the obvious is honey), I have been looking for a way to repel bees & wasps when I want to enjoy the outdoors with my family. I have never been stung and neither have my children, so whether we are allergic to their stings remains to be seen. I do have several friends that have told me they are allergic to bee stings and the results are horrible, so I thought it would be helpful to see what natural items there are that I can keep on my children and I when we are outdoors to help keep them away and here are a few things I have found suggested online. I have also found that the more appropriate insect to address in this post in regards to protecting yourself from being stung are wasps, hornets and yellowjackets, not bees.
-Mix orange oil and water at a ratio of 2 to 1 and brush it onto the exterior walls of your home as a repellent;
-Keep the area outside your home clear of any unused wood, broken car parts, etc as these attract bees when they have been sitting for a long time;
-Do not wear: scented perfumes, lotions or bright colored clothing, as these attract bees;
-Wear oil based insect repellents;
-Remove nests on or near your home. If you have not had experience doing this yourself, it's best to get a pest removal company to do so. This cuts down the number of bees that will come around when you are out in the yard;
-When spending a long time outdoors, have a fire burning nearby to create smoke which should keep them away;
-Place fabric softener sheets on picnic tables or clothing;
-Keep any sweet smelling food, drink or items covered. Bees love sweet smelling scents and will be attracted to them. Soda cans especially need to be watched carefully as bees might enter them prior to someone taking a sip;
-Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to a cup of water and apply it to your skin;
-Use baby oil on your skin prior to going outdoors;
-Put baby powder in your hair and on your skin;
-Set out some sweet smelling fruit or drinks in an area away from you that will attract them instead;
-Avoid killing them, as that will emit a warning odor to other bees / wasps in the area that will put them on alert to attack.
If you have other ideas that might prove helpful, please let me know in the comments.