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Eating Outside Is Awesome In Minnesota - Until the Bees Arrive

One of the best things about Minnesota Summers is that they turn into Minnesota Septembers, when the temperature moderates and we're excited to be outside, especially using restaurant sidewalk and patio seating.

But then the bees/wasps arrive. Or really, bugs of any kind.

Bees (bo1982)

Sunday morning my friends Courtney and Nathan met me for breakfast at the Canadian Honker, across from St Mary's in Rochester. The breakfast was great, the service was great, but the bees/wasps were not so great.

Wasps were flying all over our food, touching it with their filthy little fingers. Or legs. Legs? Let me look that up, hang out... (gone for a few seconds)

It is not unusual for an insect to have chemoreceptors for taste on their legs -- or other parts of their bodies. Most frequently the taste receptors are found on small hairs on the body or legs. Bees and wasps have receptors not only on their legs but on their antennae as well. From


Taste receptors in their legs? That would be wild for humans. Can you even imagine what your flip-flop tastes like? ((shudder))

(James Rabe)

Anyway, we wanted to get the wasps away from the food, so we set our jams (I think home-made, not sure) out at the edge of the table and voom!  They flew right to the jam and away from our food.

We thought, what if we move the jam even further away? Like to the tree near us?

(James Rabe)

Meh. Not as many bees as I'd hoped. I guess the sweet source needs to be larger to attract the bees from the tables.

The Eating Outside In Minnesota Life Hack

So here's the hack: If you're dining outside, and the bees/wasps or the bugs are getting to you, put a bit of something sweet at edge of the table. The bugs will congregate there.

Michelle at the Canadian Honker (James Rabe)

I was at the Honker with Nathan a few weeks ago, and there were no breakfast bugs. Also, Michelle was our server and she was excellent...everyone was. We had to wait for an outdoor table, and every time Nathan (who was near the Honker main entrance) opened the door for an employee, they gave big, hearty thank yous.

Do you have any suggestions for keeping the bugs away when you dine outside? If you're allergic to insect bites, what do you do?

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know:

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