ALISO BEACH BEES
In anticipation of high surf from Hurricane Delores down off Cabo San Lucas, I spent a few hours watching the waves at Aliso Beach. It was a typical day there. The coastal side parking lot was full and cars lined the south bound lane of PCH on the incline headed towards Dana Point. Umbrellas added color to the beach, children frolicked in the playground, young girls in bikinis cooled off at the water’s edge, families reserved the fire pits for evening festivities and lifeguards watched the every move of beach visitors taking on the pounding shore break. The waves weren’t big today, but even a 3 footer hitting the shore at Aliso Beach is cause for alarm when it comes to lifeguards keeping everyone safe. It was business as usual.
I sat on the benches overlooking the sand and ocean and as I watched people and the waves, I became aware of the bees swarming the trash cans looking for sweet foods and drinks. Have you ever had a bee try and squeeze itself into a soda can while you were drinking it? If you are like me, you have taken a drink and had to spit out an aggressive bee that could not keep its mouth out of my sugary drink. A sting on the inside of the mouth or a swollen tongue doesn’t sound like a great day at the beach to me. While I have been disappointed by Yelp Reviews on Aliso Beach that degrade my favorite Laguna Beach due to the bee and trash can problem, I do understand that some are allergic to bee stings, no one wants to be stung by a bee while at the beach, and there is nothing good about a child or anyone getting stung at the beach whether they are allergic or not. Aliso Beach bees buzzing around the trash cans are hardly a new problem. They have always been around during the summer and on warm days.
I watched a heavy set elderly women struggling up the narrow sidewalk with her walker and a small dog passing by where I was sitting on the bench. I thought to myself, “Oh God. Don’t let her get stung”. She didn’t seem to be aware of the bees and nor did they seem to bother her much. The bees seemed to be more interested in getting at whatever goodness they were after in the receptacles as she walked past me and I would say that was a good thing. While the bees hardly noticed the lady as he lumbered by, they seemed to get in my face every so often and I wanted no part of it. I must admit though, the Aliso Beach bees situation did encourage me to leave the beach before I got more sunburned than I did. 20 minutes of one eye on the waves and the other on the bees getting after the trash can left me with a slight burn. Sunscreen my friends is never a bad thing and the less toxic kind the better, or so I am told.
Organize Chaos online has a nice piece on how to avoid bees and the problem is that the best solution would require the county to move the trash cans away from the beach. The trash cans line the sidewalk inches from the sand. On the north end of the beach especially and extending through the snack bar area, beach visitors walk right past these trash cans on the way to the sand and water. I will assume that the trash cans won’t be moved because there really isn’t any extra beach real estate to relocate them. For that reason and the attraction of the bees to the trash cans, I stand by my advice to steer clear of them and take your trash back to your cars from the beach if you feel it is unsafe to stir up the bees looking for a free meal and drink.
If I were you and visiting the beach I would do the following to avoid Aliso Beach bees:
1) I would bag up all trash from food, snacks and drinks, seal them and take them home with you.
2) Walk around the trash cans to and from the beach at a safe distance
3) Watch children closely. Their youthful exuberance and ignorance might not allow them to be aware of the bees. There is nothing good about a bee sting at Aliso Beach for a child or parents.
Aliso Beach bees aren’t trying to be a pain in the you know what, but you do have to be aware of them. As the founder of the Aliso Beach website, I hope you and family enjoy the beach this summer! Be safe!