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Bees, just like any other animal, require a safe environment to rear their young and reside. To this end, most species will build nests but the problem occurs when they decide to do this in, on, and around your property.
For the most part, bees are harmless and will leave you and your family alone, even when they’re nesting in your yard. But of course, most homeowners don’t want to share their property with bees, especially as some can damage timber and cause a nuisance. So the question of how to get rid of a bee’s nest is something we hear a lot.
There are several ways to get rid of a bee’s nest including various natural and chemical methods. If the problem is very severe then you may need to call in a professional pest controller who will be able to handle the situation safely.
It’s also worth noting that there are some bee species whose nests shouldn’t be moved. For example, I recently published this article on how to get rid of a bumble bee nest and the truth is that you really shouldn’t unless the circumstances are extreme.
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While bees can be a pest, they’re so important to the ecosystem that you have to ask yourself whether you need to get rid of the nest at all. If the nest is not posing a threat of structural damage to your home or is on the perimeter of your property, it may be worth considering just leaving it alone.
Of course, if you find a bee’s nest that’s in a high-traffic area, then you’re naturally going to want to get rid of it and who could blame you?
The good news is that there are things you can do to humanely remove the nest without upsetting the colony. This will take a little more time than other methods but if you’re concerned about the welfare of the bees, this is the route you’ll want to take.
When it comes to removing a bee’s nest, you want to make sure that you aren’t going to be confronted by lots of angry bees. After all, you’d react badly if someone was trying to evict you from the home you have made.
Fortunately, bees are only active during the daytime so you’ve got the cover of darkness to set your traps and remove that nest. I’d always advise waiting until the sun has gone down and making sure that, after sunrise, you don’t attempt anything as the bees will be out and about.
If you’ve ever seen beekeepers working on their hives, you’ll notice that they often use smoke as a way of controlling the bees. This works because it stops the bees from being able to smell pheromones released by other members of the colony which they use for communication. As a result, the smoke has a calming effect on the bees.
However, you can also use smoke to get bees out of their nest as there’s research to show that they associate the smell of smoke with danger. When you smoke the nest, there’s a good chance that the bees will flee in search of safety and the risk of them coming back isn’t as high as you’d think.
It’s worth starting a fire close to the nest using deadwood. However, monitor the fire from a distance as there’s a good chance that the bees will get worked up and become aggressive. Once you are confident that all of the bees have left, you can then remove the nest.
Bees do not like the smell of cinnamon and when it’s placed around their nest, it’s often enough to make them pack up and leave.
The best way to use this sweet spice is to sprinkle it around the entrance points of the nest. However, do keep in mind that it can take a few days for the smell to really penetrate the nest and cause the bees to leave so you’ll need a little patience.
I’d also recommend that you wear protective gear and only do this after sunset to avoid contact with angry bees who won’t be happy that you’re stinking out their home!
Just like cinnamon, garlic has an odor that easily repels bees and it can be very effective in getting rid of a nest in your backyard. Most people have a stock of garlic and all you need to make it as potent as possible is some boiled water.
Pop two crushed bulbs of garlic into the boiled water and allow it to steep overnight. The next morning, simply add the liquid to a spray bottle and go to town on the bee’s nest with it. You can also spray the liquid onto any flowers in your garden as this will prevent the bees from being able to take nectar from them. If there’s no food source, they’re going to move on.
Again, I’d advise doing this when the bees are not active but it’s still a good idea to wear protective clothing in case there is a rogue bee staying up a little later than usual.
Vinegar is one of the most successful ways of naturally getting rid of bees but what’s interesting is that scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is.
As well as being effective, vinegar is really easy to use and something that pretty much everyone has in their home already.
I also like the use of vinegar spray because it’s eco-friendly. Unlike some of the bee-killer products out there, there’s no risk to your children or pets when using vinegar so you and your family can continue using the garden as usual.
You’ll need to combine equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle which you can then use directly on the nest. As with all of the other methods I have discussed, it’s important to act carefully and protect yourself.
In some situations, simply encouraging the bees to move on isn’t going to be enough and you may find it very difficult to get rid of them. In these cases, it may be necessary to poison the hive, killing all of the bees within it.
Again, I have to reiterate that this should only be done where the bees pose a threat to humans or where there is absolutely no other choice. While they may be a pest, bees are responsible for pollinating a staggering number of human crops; up to 80%, in fact. Without bees, we would notice a drastic dip in our food sources so where possible, we should always remove them humanely.
While it is possible to use vinegar to get rid of bees without harming them, there is a method that will finish them off for good. This involves using cups of vinegar to lure and drown the bees.
You’ll need to take several containers of water and put some drops of vinegar into each of them. Then simply pop the containers around the nest and leave them for a few hours. You’ll want to check back regularly to see how many, if any, bees have fallen into the containers but of course, it can take some time for the whole colony to succumb to this method.
There are lots of bee sprays available that are designed to attack the nervous system of the bees, eventually killing them. Before this happens, the bees will be paralysed so it’s quite a traumatic death. Again, I’d urge you to consider natural methods where possible. However, if you must use a bee spray, follow these steps for the greatest effectiveness.
- Start by figuring out which species of bee is nesting in your property as there are different types of sprays for each and you’ll want to get the corresponding one.
- Gear up with protective clothing as there’s a very strong chance that the bees will attack during the application of the spray.
- Use the bee spray once the bees have stopped being active for the day. Always use the spray in a well-ventilated area or use respiratory protection as these sprays can also be harmful to humans.
- After application, make sure that you regularly check the nest to ensure that there aren’t any more bees left over.
If you don’t want to use a spray but are keen to go down the chemical route then a bee powder is the next best thing. In fact, a lot of people prefer this method as powders are usually easier to use and are incredibly effective.
They work in very much the same way as a spray, targeting the bees’ nervous system and killing them.
Once again, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the right type of powder in accordance with the species of bees you’re looking to kill. As before, you’ll need protective gear and will need to make sure that you make your attack at night when the bees are not active.
The head of the bottle should be inserted into the entrance of the nest and all you have to do is squeeze it to release the powder. You can also apply the product around the outside of the entrance as well as to areas that you want to prevent bees such as cracks in the home, windowsill, and doorways.
With all the will in the world, some bees are just incredibly stubborn. While you could keep trying various methods, you’ll likely end up irritating the bees and winding up with a few nasty stings. Not only is this painful and uncomfortable but some people are allergic to bee stings and the results can be fatal. It’s simply not worth it.
But there are tons of pest control companies out there that offer safe and effective removal of bee’s nests and this should be your go-to option where everything else has failed.
Once you have gotten rid of that pesky bee’s nest, you’re going to want to avoid any more problems in the future. This means putting preventative measures in place to make your property as undesirable to bees as possible.
A lot of bee species are super attracted to holes as this gives them a clear entry point to make a nest. So, it goes without saying that, if there are any holes or cracks on your property, you’ll want to seal these up. Make checking for damage like this part of your home maintenance and fill them in as soon as you can.
If you’re having problems with ground bees then keep an eye out for old rodent holes as these are super attractive to bees. As soon as you notice any, get them filled in right away.
Bees like places that they can hide out so having a messy yard is like an open invitation not only for bees but for other insects as well.
Some people will have an area at the bottom of their garden that they use as a bee habitat and this might include areas of overgrown grass, a log pile, stones, and other debris. But if you’re trying to keep bees away then you’ll want to avoid features like this and keep your yard as well-maintained as possible.
I’m a sucker for an al fresco dinner but this is a surefire way to attract the attention of bees. No, you’re probably not going to attract an entire colony by having one BBQ but it’s what’s left over that’ll draw them in.
When we have food outside, there’s a tendency to drop pieces and spill drinks and these are so attractive to bees and wasps. Where a few crumbs might seem insignificant, it’s so important to clean them up if you want to avoid any stinging visitors.
On top of that, if you have feeders for hummingbirds that contain sugar water then these are going to attract bees just as easily. While you might like seeing those sweet little birds in your yard, you have to weigh up whether it’s worth it.
Mothballs are naturally repellent to bees so you can use them around your garden to make it smell bad enough to keep them away. I’d suggest hanging them around the outside of your property, especially in areas that you really want to keep bee free such as a patio, deck, or pool area.
There are some plants that are very attractive to bees and you’ll want to avoid having these in your garden. A lot of flowering plants will draw bees in by the hundreds but there are also some plants that will keep them at bay.
Things like mint, citronella, cloves, neem, and eucalyptus will all repel bees. If you want to create a bee-friendly garden but want them to stay away from the main house then you could put bee-friendly plants around the edge of the property and some of these repellent species closer to the home.
Bees are a really important part of the ecosystem so we don’t want to have to kill them unless we really have no other choice. But not many people want to spend their lives living alongside flying, stinging insects so it’s worth learning how to get rid of a bee’s nest.
The best way to get the job done is to use natural methods that won’t harm the bees. These solutions will send the bees packing so they’ll find somewhere else to nest. However, in extreme circumstances, you may need to use a chemical solution or call for professional help.