The last few weeks of summer and the first few weeks of fall are always a great time of the year to enjoy your own patio or deck, or maybe one of the many restaurant and bar patios the Sioux Empire has to offer throughout the city.

It's typically not as hot, and the humidity levels during this time of the year are not as obnoxious, so you don't have to worry about making your own gravy if you're outside for an extended period of time.

There's just one problem, with this time of the year, bees, and lots of them!

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A couple of co-workers and I went to lunch at a local Sioux Falls restaurant on Louise Avenue last week that is known for having one of the better outdoor patios in Sioux Falls. It was a beautiful afternoon, so we decided to sit outside. Everything was going great until I ordered a strawberry lemonade. That's when the bees moved in and got the party started. About four of those little bastards staked claim to that thing faster than Columbus claimed America.

They were on us like stink on a monkey. I'm sure anyone watching got a good laugh or two at our expense. I am surprised our server didn't ask us if we wanted an EpiPen for desert.

Bees can be a literal pain in the ass if you're not careful this time of the year. Generally, bees are the most aggressive during the late summer and early fall when they face a threat and are attempting to defend their colony.

When will bees "be gone" for the year?

According to the folks at Orkin, honey bees, carpenter bees, and bumble bees remain active throughout the summer and into the fall. Cooling temperatures in the fall prompt them to prepare to overwinter. During the winter months, they will go into a hibernation stage and are rarely seen unless on a warm winter day. Which usually means here in South Dakota, we get our first look at stinging insects each year in the spring.

What time of day is the best time to avoid bees?

Let's face it, none of us want to get stung. If you're allergic to bees or are just deathly afraid of stinging insects, you probably don't want to spend a whole lot of time outdoors in the late morning and early afternoon hours. That is when bees and wasps tend to be the most active.

If you have a task like mowing the yard or doing some other outdoor activities, experts say the best time to do those is before 9 AM or after 5 PM if you want to avoid getting stung by a bee or wasp. Although, mowing the yard before 9 AM has the potential to piss off your angry neighbor Earl. You need to determine who's more threatening Earl, or Buzz, the murder-hornet in your yard.

You should know that...

Bees are most attracted to blue, purple, and yellow flowers. They are also attracted to sugars and liquid sweets. That's why they love to be an uninvited guest at your picnic.

Bottom line...

Bees are pollinators. We all realize how vital they are to the ecosystem. We need bees. The secret is finding a way to let them do their thing while we do ours.

They can start by staying away from my strawberry lemonade. Have you seen what one of those damn things cost these days?

Source: Orkin

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