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I love bees. I think they’re some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. However, while I am a nature enthusiast, I don’t want to have to live with it in my pocket. Watching bees in their natural habitat is hugely rewarding but when they start to invade your garden and home, it’s time for action.
Most people are aware of the importance of these special creatures so are keen to learn how to get rid of bees without killing them.
There are several natural methods you can use to get rid of bees and keep them away from your home. This includes things like essential oils, strong-smelling ingredients like garlic or cinnamon, and creating a habitat that isn’t friendly to bees.
If you are having a problem with bees then the ideas in this guide should be enough to send them away. I would suggest using a combination of methods for the most effectiveness.
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If your home or garden is being taken over by pesky bees then naturally, you’ll want them gone as soon as possible. There are lots of products on the market designed to eradicate bees quickly and easily. Yes, these chemical pesticides will get the job done but it’s not always the best course of action.
You see, bees are incredibly important to our ecosystem and are among the most important pollinators in the world. They pollinate up to 80% of human crops and ensure the survival of thousands of types of wildflowers.
We might not want to share our personal space with bees but we have to respect the fact that harming them does more than just eradicate them from our garden. Where possible, I would urge you to choose natural methods over killing bees. Of course, I understand that there may be instances where the infestation is so severe that pesticides are the only viable answer. Just make sure they’re a last resort.
There are more than 20,000 species of bees and as many as 3600 of these can be found in North America. But not all of them need to be gotten rid of as their stay on your property will likely be very short.
For example, most ground-nesting bees will only be present for a few weeks while they reproduce. Once this is done, they’ll be out of your hair. While it might be a minor nuisance to have the bees in your garden for this time, they won’t do you any harm. It’s really important to keep in mind that most bee species are not aggressive and they aren’t going to cause you any bother. The only time there is a risk of being stung is if the bees feel threatened.
However, there are some species of bees that may build a nest in your home or on another structure in your yard. One of the most common in the USA is the carpenter bee which bores holes into wood and can be notoriously difficult to get rid of. In this case, there’s a risk of structural damage to your home and the number of bees can become so great that it’s impossible to ignore.
In cases like these, it is recommended that you try to get rid of the bees but let’s remember to be as humane as possible. If you are unsuccessful in getting rid of them, you may need to enlist the help of a pest control company.
It may come as a surprise to learn that getting rid of bees using natural methods is actually very easy. What’s great is that most of the methods I’m going to talk about involve using things that you already have at home. There’s no need to invest in additional equipment.
Have you ever seen a beekeeper smoking their bees? It’s something that’s been used for centuries and is a way of calming bees so that they don’t sting. However, smoke can also be used to make bees go away as they associate it with danger.
If you have a nest in your garden then all you need to do is light a smoky fire beneath the nest and let it work its magic.
I should warn you that, while this will likely send the bees packing, they won’t be happy about it. It’s best to light the fire and then stand well back because the bees will be worked up and likely to sting.
This is an incredibly effective method but perhaps not something that should be attempted by anyone without the right level of experience. This is a method that many professional pest controllers use and it’s all about relocating the queen.
If you can remove the queen then the rest of the colony will follow as they’ll only ever go where she is. It can take a little time once you have moved the queen to get the other bees to follow but usually within a few days, they will all have moved on.
Just like you and I, bees are averse to certain smells and they won’t want to live in an area where these smells surround them all day. There are many things you can use but the following have been shown to be the most effective:
- Citronella: you can either use citronella plants or citronella candles. If there is a bee’s nest inside a shed or your home then burning these candles can be enough to make the bees up and leave. Of course, this should be done carefully and you will need to use the candles for a couple of days for the smell to become potent enough.
- Garlic: bees detest the smell of garlic and by boiling it in water and then spraying the mixture around the affected area, you’ll have a very good chance of getting rid of the bees for good. Adding cloves to the mix can make it even more effective.
- Peppermint: this is something else that bees can’t stand the smell of and I find that having a few peppermint plants placed strategically around problem areas is enough to keep bees away. What’s more, you’ve got an edible plant that you can use for cooking; it’s a win-win!
You can purchase bee traps from DIY stores or it is possible to make your own. Just be sure that, if you’re buying traps, they’re ones that allow you to relocate the bees rather than traps that will cause them any harm.
Poke some holes into the box so that the bees can get inside; they’ll have a hard time getting back out so don’t worry about that. Inside the box, sprinkle some pollen or add some flowers. You can even use sugar syrup as this will attract bees.
It’s then a matter of placing the trap near the nest and waiting for the bees to explore it. Once the trap is full, you can contact a beekeeper who will be happy to come and remove it and relocate the bees somewhere safe. It may be possible for you to relocate the bees yourself but do keep in mind that they will be quite aggressive at this point so the chances of getting stung are much higher.
One of the most natural ways to deter bees from your garden is to make it unattractive to them. Even if you already have an established nest, making the nearby area inhospitable for bees could be enough for them to rethink their location. Although it will be much more difficult when tackling a nest, it’s worth a shot.
This method is, however, best used as a deterrent and involves planting things that bees don’t like. Any of the strong-smelling plants I talked about earlier such as peppermint, citronella, or cloves will work well. What’s more, you’ll want to make sure that there are no bee-friendly plants in your garden like geraniums, foxgloves, lavender, and basil.
If you’re keen to deter the bees but still want them to have a natural habitat locally then you might consider making a bee area at the far end of your yard. If there’s a disused corner then you could use this. Allow the grass to grow longer and plant flowers for the bees. Create a log pile or rockery for the bees to use for shelter and you’ll find that they largely stay in this specified area of the yard, leaving you to enjoy the rest of it.
I cannot stress enough the importance of humanely getting rid of bees. Yes, they can be a pest at times but they’re really important creatures that need to be saved. If you have buzzing visitors in your garden and want to know how to get rid of bees without killing them then the tips in this post are some of the best natural ways to deter bees.