Essential Oils to Avoid if You’re Sensitive to Bee Stings

Bee careful with your oils

We often use essential oils to attract things in life: health, emotional wellness and positive energy. We also often use essential oils to ward off environmental offenders like mosquitos, ants and flys, but the same oils that can create a barrier can also attract certain insects, more importantly dangerous ones, specifically bees.  

Three of the most commonly encountered bees by outdoor enthusiasts are honey bees, carpenter bees and bumble bees. These bees usually become active in the spring with the warm weather and flowering of plants. They remain active throughout the summer and into the fall. Cooling temperatures in the fall prompt them to prepare to ovewinter. During the winter months their activity decreases to the point where they are not seen unless on a warm winter day. 

I am fortunate that I do not have serious and potentially life threatening adverse reactions to bee stings but I know people that are and some of those people use essential oils.  

I recently came across an article in my local homesteading group which spoke on attracting bees to your garden. They were suggesting which chemical constituents to use. This was great information as we are teaching our children about the benefits of working hard in a garden and we need bees to pollenate our flowers but my mind immediately jumped to “what essential oils are these so I can share with my friends what oils not to use or to use with caution!” These are oils where I now take bees into consideration when my children are outside at play and there’s a higher population of bees around or I’ve noticed a hive. 

She got quite the green thumb
Sophia hard at play growing “salad” (as she calls it)

Welp, I found out what they are so I’m sharing the information with you. The reason yo want to “avoid” these oils is that the most prominent of the chemical constituencies mimics the pheromones of the queen. If you smell like another queen, they will either want to “take care of you” or protect their mamma. The following represents the chemical constituency, the essential oil (the percentage of the essential oil, the constituency is). [e.g. The essential oil of Lemongrass is 65 – 85% citral in its chemical constituency]


  • Lemongrass (65 – 85%)
  • Petitgrain (36%)
  • Melissa (11%)
  • Lime (6 – 9%)
  • Lemon (2 – 5%)
  • Orange (negligible) 


    • Rose (31.05%)
    • Geranium (13.4%)

    If bee stings are a concern to you or someone in your family, I would reccomend wearing these specific oils topically on the bottoms of your feet for therapeutic benefits and choose other (not so welcoming to bees) oils topically for aromatic benefit during bee season. 

    For more information on these oils or how to incorporate natural solutions into your home, reach out to me at

    Author: doYOUmamma

    I'm a lady, daughter, sister, wife and mother. I share always and in all ways.

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