Curious Why Bees Follow Some People? We Explain Why

Have you ever noticed bees seeming to follow you around? You go about your business, walking down the street or working in your garden, only to spot a bee that appears to be trailing in your wake. While disconcerting, this behavior is not unusual–in fact, there are a few possible reasons bees exhibit fascination with certain people.

To uncover why bees would focus attention on you, it helps to understand what attracts them in the first place. Read on for possible explanations surrounding the curious case of bees that persist in signaling you out from a crowd.

Bees Are Strongly Drawn to Specific Scents

Bees have an extremely advanced sense of smell, capable of detecting trace amounts of odor molecules that lead them to sources of food. They search keenly for sweet scents secreted from flowers and fruit, using aromatic compounds as a direct line to desired nectar and pollen.

Similarly, bees can hone in on sugar-based or flowery scents associated with certain humans. From perfume to hair products to fabric softener, personal care items often contain fragrance formulations resembling the smells of blooms and blossoms. If your cleaning or beauty regimen includes these honeybee-enticing ingredients in high enough concentrations, you may inadvertently attract an eager winged set determined to locate the source.

Cosmetics and Perfumes

Floral perfume is an obvious candidate when bees treat you as a walking field of wildflowers. However, even unscented beauty products get their share of blame for overly friendly insect attention. Beeswax remains a popular ingredient in certain lip glosses, balms, and lotions as both an emulsifier and skin conditioner. Ironically, a beauty routine leaning heavily on beeswax-based cosmetics essentially makes you a more appealing target due to smell association.

Laundry Detergents

Laundry detergents represent another category filled with sweeteners and aromatic compounds triggering bee interest. Fabric softener liquids in particular tend to contain extra fragrance for a reason–they coat your clothes (and unintentionally your skin) with a long-lasting perfumed effect. Switching to an unscented, sensitive formula may help curb unwanted bee inspections during your day.

Bees Gather Around Those Who Release Sweet Scents

Beyond synthetic scented preparations, humans can emit tempting smells organically. Bee followers appear more frequently around those who either sweat more strongly or give off distinct skin odors not found in the general population.

Medical conditions resulting in heightened perspiration or unusual body chemistry changes are often to blame for making certain individuals irresistible attraction points. Bees also swarm preferentially near pregnant women, possibly due to extra hormones and pheromones they produce while expecting.

Microbes Create Signature Scents

Bacteria living symbiotically on human skin generate many of our subtle characteristic smells. And everyone hosts a unique mix of microbes leaving distinctive aromatic markers. Bees familiarize themselves with preferred human fragrances the same as they would a beloved flower patch.

Fascinatingly, beyond just recognizing individuals by scent, honeybees can even detect age and gender without visual cues. They likely decipher chemical messages generated by skin microbes giving off complex biosignatures linked to human demographics.

Pregnancy Hormones Attract Bees

Pregnant women face above average unwanted bee attention due to hormonal changes affecting smell. High estrogen shifts skin microbe populations while enhancing sweat production. Bees hone in on resulting sweet aromas indicative of fertility.

Some evidence suggests bees also identify compounds in breast milk through receptors similar to those finding flower nectar. Whether foraging instinct, attraction to pregnant women specifically to potentially locate a new food source is unknown. But expectant mothers commonly report heightened incidents of bee interest and stings.

Consuming Certain Foods or Drinks Brings on Bees

Along with personal care items and individual body chemistry, the food and beverages you ingest contribute scent molecules bees eagerly pursue. Any fruits, nectars, syrups, or sugar-filled products generate compounds easily detected by hungry honey collectors.

Eating sweet berries, sipping a fruit smoothie, or even consuming honey itself makes you a mobile target emitting molecules resembling tasty flower blooms. Bees literally interpret your actions as helpfully labeling a feeding zone.

Fruity Drinks Become an Open Invitation

Enjoying fruity beverages practically posts an open invitation for nearby bees to investigate further and locate the tasty source. The same compounds in fresh berries or citrus get metabolized then emitted through skin. So sipping raspberry iced tea or a grapefruit spritzer ensures bees interpret you personally as a signpost for their next meal.

Sugary and Starchy Foods Attract Bees

Along with overtly sweet fruit drinks, you can inadvertently magnetize bees by consuming other high sugar or carbohydrate-rich foods. Simple table sugar, syrups, baked desserts with honey, or starchy potato and rice dishes all break down partly into tempting aromatic sugars.

Bees easily home in on any sugary signatures clinging to your skin or breath after eating. So an al fresco brunch feasting on pancakes drowning in syrup explains why you suddenly have tiny dining companions hoping to sneak a sample.

In Some Cultures, Bee Followers Symbolize Spirits of Ancestors

Looking beyond scent and food chemistry, bees trailing in your footsteps contain symbolic meaning in certain spiritual traditions. Some cultures interpret honey bee followers as manifestations of ancestor spirits keeping watch or attempting to convey messages from beyond.

In Celtic mythology, for example, bees hold ties to the soul and the Otherworld. Seeing bees frequently near you or in dreams potentially signals deceased loved ones checking in.

Hinduism Links Bees to Warding Off Evil

Bees figure prominently in Hindu teachings as well, where they represent order, industry, and immortality. Images or idols of deities are often depicted with bee guardians to thwart misfortune and repel sinful thoughts.

Hindus view bees shadowing your movements as protective forces drawn energetically to those in urgent need of cleansing negative karma or requiring an extra shield from darkness.

Bees held special influence in ancient Egyptian culture, with their hieroglyph symbolizing rulership and royalty. As honey producers, bees provided sweetness and sustenance – both tied metaphorically to attributes of good leadership.

In a spiritual sense, Egyptian priests observed “royal bees” accompanying and forming a moving halo around individuals marked for greatness or those chosen as pharaohs. Trailing bees indicated destiny awaiting someone instead of random happenstance.

In this worldview, bee followers represent guidance and guardianship by divine energies shepherding you onto the path you were created for. Bees lingering in your presence constitute a supernatural notification rather than a nuisance.