I used to use one of the Banana Boat (IIRC) sunblocks when I went camping and backpacking. I thought I noticed an inordinate number of biting flies attracted to me, and worse yet, lots of bees buzzing around. I recall one trip in particular, in the Trinity Alps in CA, where I felt like I must be in the bee capital of the world, judging by the number of bees buzzing around me. On another, in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, I experienced some of then worst biting flies of my life (except for the greenheads on Plum Island in MA). For whatever reason I didn't correlate the attraction to the sunblock at the time.
Then I switched to a different sunblock because I wanted on that was "fragrance free" for backpacking. Unfortunately I don't remember what brand that was, but after a while I noticed that the bees weren't buzzing around me anymore. So I think there was a correlation.
On a trip this past weekend I used a sunblock I hadn't used before ("Dermatone Z-cote"), SPF 36, from REI. Once again I chose this one because it's "fragrance free". On this trip I noticed several times there were bees buzzing around me. One even landed on me! That might not seem like a big deal to an ordinary person (lol) but it is to me...
So that sunblock is going into the hazmat bin and I'm looking for a replacement to try again. I have really bad (horrific) memories of experiences with bees (wasps actually) as a kid and prefer to avoid them now.
Have any of you run into this?