Everyone has a weakness. For Superman, it’s Kryptonite. For Vampires it’s garlic. For my wife, it’s chocolate.

And for me, it’s bees.

Everyone has a weakness. For me, it`s bees.

Yes I am a grown man with a job, a family, a community that mildly respects me yet I am still afraid of bees.

And this isn’t any normal fear mind you. This isn’t like, “oh there’s a bee flying in my direction and I am feeling a little uneasy.” This is more like. “I SEE A BEE DOWN THE STREET, GET OUT OF MY WAY! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES PEOPLE! TAKE COVER! SAVE YOURSELVES!”

The source of my irrational fear dates to my childhood. I was five years old and a bee landed on my nose and my sister said, “Gideon, freeze! If you move, that bee will sting you and then you are gonna DIE.” And this bee must have thought my nose was a Lazy-Boy because it curled up, and made itself comfortable for hours. And then it invited some friends.

So as you can imagine, the High Holidays are a confusing time for me. On Rosh Hashanah we have the widespread custom of dipping the apple in the honey. I am not opposed to this custom per se, and will even dip the odd apple in the occasional jar of honey, but I can never do it at ease. I always feel like I am going to be the victim of a revenge attack by a gang of bees angry that I stole their yellowy goodness. Kind of like a bee drive by shooting.

But in general, bee-wise, Rosh Hashanah I can handle. It’s Sukkot that is the problem. We all know Sukkot as this beautiful holiday where we sit in the Sukkah that we (or our handyman) worked so hard to build. We invite friends over. We have beautiful meals together. That is, until the bees show up.

Because as it turns out, bees also love Sukkot! They love to fly around your Sukkah and eat your food and generally taunt you and ruin your holiday. Well, I for one won’t stand for it any longer! We need to take our streets back! Or sukkahs -- you know what I mean. That’s why as a public service I have culled the internet for the greatest in anti-bee weaponry and present them to you, as a pre-Sukkot gift.

Dryer Sheets

Judith Bronwyn writes on Yahoo about cruelty free ways of keeping bees away. Why someone would not want to be cruel to bees is beyond me. But Judith suggests that you “Simply fold a fresh dryer sheet and put it in the pocket of whatever clothing you are wearing… you can even rub one across your skin before going out to keep the bees away.” Yes that’s right. You can scare the bees away and smell like a towel all at the same time.

Bee Repellant

There are some general insect repellant products on the market that may work to ward off bees as well. Alternatively, Ask.com writes that you can actually make your own repellant. The recipe is as follows, “Use lemon peels or orange, mint leaves or sage leaves, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel. Make a strong tea with the peels and leaves, strain it, add alcohol and add the spray spritzer, and apply to skin. ” The good news is you have successfully repelled the bees. The bad news is, you`ve successfully repelled your family and friends as well. You can try to win them back by putting yourself into an oven for 15 minutes at 450 degrees because you are now a lemon meringue pie.

Remove Bee Attractions

Ehow.com has various recommendations that involve removing things from your property that might attract bees including flowers, trees, pollen and water. Congratulations. You no longer have bees but your property value has crashed. Oh, you also now live in the Mohave Desert.


I know there`s a difference between wasps and bees, but to me, they`re both scary, so it`s best to cover everything. There`s something called a `Waspanator` that you can hang up around your Sukkah that to a Wasp apparently looks like a nest belonging to another wasp family. This will result in the wasp thinking that this room is taken and if he knows what`s good for him, he should move on. This is kind of like what my parents did to me when I came back from college and they rented out my room and I was forced to sleep at my friend`s house for the summer.


There are commercially available traps like this one from Home Depot. Alternatively, you can also make one yourself if you are up for a DIY project. Home-Remedy.org has an interesting one:

“Take a banana peel, cut it into thin strips and then insert the strips into an empty 2 liter bottle. Combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of vinegar, stir it up, and then pour the mixture into the bottle. Now fill the bottle with water up to 2 inches below the neck. Tie a piece of string around the neck of the bottle and hang it from a nearby tree branch. What makes this one of the most effective of all home remedies to keep bees and bugs away is the fact that the bees and bugs find the contents of the bottle more attractive than anything else. They get caught in the sticky concoction when they fly into the bottle and they end up drowning. ”

Ya! I especially like that last part – they end up drowning!

OK maybe my anger is a little misplaced. After all, I`ve never even been stung before. Maybe getting stung isn`t that bad. Maybe I should just get over this childhood fear of bees.

Or better yet… let`s get out the Waspanator! Hasta la vista, bees!

Wishing you a happy and bee-free Sukkot!

If you have any bee-repelling advice of your own, by all means, please post it in the comments section below.