How To Stop Meat Bees From Ruining Your BBQ Cookout

Grilling without meat bees/yellow jackets

It’s summertime. You are grilling an amazing dinner of burgers, sausages, fish and kabobs on your patio grill. Then the yellow and black bees start circling around, sniffing and jumping on your food. You try to swat them away but they are relentless. And you don’t want to kill them because - well, they are bees, and bees are supposed to be beneficial, right?

Well -Those bees you have at your table are not bees. They are yellow jacket wasps. And here’s some ways to get rid of them before they destroy your big summer party.

Before the Party

A week before the party starts, look into setting up a bait stations or traps to try to get rid or reduce the number of nearby nests.

Then a few hours before the party set up decoy food by opening canned tuna fish at least 25 feet away from your party on the border of your property near where the yellow jackets reside.


The decoy will attract the bulk of the yellow jacket’s attention leaving most away from your party. Note: the decoy will not kill the meat bees but it will keep the wasps away from you. You can also hang up traps at least 50 feet away. They can work well when combined with the decoy food stations.

During the party

Keep your hot serving platters covered with outdoor food tents. You can get a set of 6 outdoor food tents fairly inexpensively at Amazon.


Meat bees are (fairly obviously) attracted to meat so ideally cook with less meat and more vegetables. Have people spread out into different areas away from potential nests. And don’t panic if you see an occasional wasp.

If yellow jackets come across your food, do not swat them as that will provoke them. And do not squish them either (squishing releases a pheromone that tells the nest to attack). Instead slowly move away and slowly move your food away.

After the party

Throw away all trays and plates with meat. Place all leftover meat into a plastic bag before putting it into any outdoor trash can. Take down all traps and decoy meat.

Now relax. Everyone will be buzzing about your party for a long time.

Email me when there are better ways to defeat yellowjackets.