Do High-Visibility Garments Attract Bees?

After months of cold weather, we’re turning a corner. The warmer weather brings sun and fun, but also insects, specifically bees. Today, let’s join Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, Scott Margolin as he answers the important question: do high-visibility garments attract bees?

First, let’s dive into how bees operate. While humans see light in wavelengths from 390 to 750 nanometers (nm), bees, like many insects, can see from approximately 300 to 650 nm. This means that although they can see and be drawn to typical “hi-vis colors,” they rely on the ultraviolet spectrum and typically are attracted to ultraviolet prominent objects like flowers.

Although there is no scientific evidence that bees are drawn to hi-vis fabrics, there is anecdotal evidence that someone working in the field had a swarm of bees around them while wearing hi-vis. This could be due to many factors, but again, there is no scientific evidence that bees are drawn to hi-vis garments.

Five to 10 years ago there was a specific hi-vis garment that had a scent associated with it when it was new. That scent may have been responsible for attracting bees similar to how sweet-smelling perfumes or hair products can attract bees due to their fragrance.

We hope this post allows you rest easy knowing that even when wearing hi-vis you are just as safe around bees as you are wearing any color.

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