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I love bees. But I prefer to see them in their natural habitat. For starters, it’s better for them and secondly, it saves me the hassle of being amongst a lot of flying pests. But in the summer, many people find their backyards are buzzing with bees and this can be disconcerting.
So you’re probably wondering how to keep bees away from your backyard.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to keep those bees at bay. Even better, many of them are harmless to the bees so there’s no worry about upsetting the ecosystem.
In this guide, I’ll be discussing some of the most effective ways to ensure you don’t have bee visitors to your yard this summer.
Table of Contents
We all know that bees are attracted to flowering plants as this is where they collect their food. However, they’re pretty fussy and there are certain fragrant plants that you can keep in your garden to ensure bees stay away.
Things like basil, peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and citronella all work well. I’d recommend placing these plants in pots around seating areas, decks, and other places where you want to deter bees.
As I’ve mentioned, bees love flowering plants so if you want to keep them away then one of the best things you can do is to avoid planting things that they are attracted to. This can be difficult as bees will feed on a huge variety of plants but some of those that you should really avoid are as follows:
- Black-eyed susan
- California poppy
- Anise hyssop
If bees are a real problem in your backyard then you can use scent to deter them. There are many scents that bees do not like but cinnamon is known to be one of the very best. You don’t need to use fresh cinnamon bark; the cinnamon powder you use for baking is more than enough and you can sprinkle this around the problem area.
Garlic is another great scent to keep bees away and the great thing about this is it will also repel a whole host of other insects. The best way to apply garlic is to make a cocktail using crushed garlic and water which you’ll spray around any areas you wish to treat. Some people also add vinegar into the mix by soaking the garlic in this liquid before adding water and spraying it. If you have a bee nest then this is a natural solution you can use to empty it.
Certain essential oils can be used to get rid of bees but you need to choose wisely. Clove oil, cedarwood, citronella, and eucalyptus are all very effective and again you can mix your chosen oil with water and spray it around the area. Alternatively, you might apply oil directly to items within the area.
Let me stress that wearing colorful clothing isn’t going to increase your chances of being stung. Most bee species will only sting when they feel threatened. However, bright colors can confuse bees since the flowers they feed from are bright and it can sometimes be difficult for them to differentiate between these and your brightly colored shirt.
If you adorn yourself in bright colors, there’s a good chance that bees will come and investigate because they think you’re a food source. So it’s simple; don’t wear bright colors and you’ll become less attractive to bees. Moreover, it can help to avoid brightly colored items in the garden such as furniture cushions, towels and even bright tableware.
Bees will always be attracted to anything sweet so eating outside will increase the chances of having winged visitors buzzing around. It’s probably the last thing you want to hear on a sunny day but if you can avoid eating outdoors, then do.
By serving your food indoors, you’ll completely eliminate any interest from hungry bees. Moreover, there’s no risk of food or drinks being spilled on the floor outside which could attract bees long after the meal is over.
If you absolutely must eat outside then I’d recommend using cups with sealable lids and make sure that you get rid of any leftovers or clean up spills straight away. While you can use aluminum foil or plastic wrap to cover food, they’re often not enough to keep the bees away as they’ll still catch the scent through the wrapping.
I’ve heard horror stories of people finding established bee’s nests on their property and these can be so difficult to get rid of. So, it pays to regularly check your home for signs of an infestation and handle things as soon as you notice them.
Under your deck or porch and along wooden fences are very common areas for bees to start a nest. Even if you just notice two or three bees buzzing around, it’s worth taking a closer look.
If you do notice anything, there are lots of methods you can use to deal with the nest but it’s usually best to call in the pros who will be able to remove the problem safely.
It’s also worth mentioning that, if you have problems with bees in the yard, you’ll want to do everything in your power to stop them from getting into the house. One of the simplest things you can do is to ensure that doors and windows are always kept closed. This isn’t ideal when you want good airflow through the house in summer but it’s preferable to having bees buzzing around while you’re trying to relax at home.
If there are any holes or cracks within the walls or structure of the house, these should be immediately sealed with caulk. Cavities like these are super attractive to bees looking to nest and once they get in, they’re a nightmare to get out. Regularly inspect your home and make repairs as necessary.
If you’re looking to direct bees’ attention away from your summer BBQ or your tanning spot at the side of the pool then sometimes the best thing to do is to create a bait to lure them away.
Bees love anything sweet so by making sugar syrup or anything else tempting, you can divert their attention at the same time as giving them a little treat. It’s a win-win for everyone!
If you have a pool in your backyard then this can serve as a very attractive pitstop for bees. Just like us, they will enjoy a quick dip in the water, especially to cool off when it’s hot. So, it’s not uncommon for pool owners to experience more problems with bees.
What may come as even more of a surprise is the chemicals in your pool also serve as an attractant for bees but you can’t exactly stop using them. That said, there are some things you can do to make sure that bees aren’t as interested in your garden oasis.
While bees will enter a body of water, they’re not the best swimmers in the world. They will avoid choppy water so by installing or switching on your pool jets, there’s less chance of bees showing any interest.
Mothballs have an odor that will deter bees and other insects and are ideal for hanging around a pool area. That said, they’ll work well in other areas of the garden but the scent might be a little too much in something like a patio dining area. When you suspend them around the pool, the scent of the chemicals will likely mask that of the mothballs.
It’s easy to attempt to keep the bees away from your swimming pool but one of the best things you can do is actually give them their very own pool of water. You might try installing a fountain, birdbath, or even just a bowl of water with a little bleach in another part of the garden. This could be enough to distract the bees and allow you to enjoy a dip without being disturbed.
Bees can be a real pest in the backyard. They’ll buzz around your food and having them flying around your face can be really annoying. Not to mention that some people are frightened of bees although it’s worth noting that they’ll rarely sting unless they feel threatened.
However, if you’re looking for ways on how to keep bees away from the backyard then the tips in this guide will help. You can use scents and plants to keep bees at bay and make sure that there’s nothing to attract them such as uncovered sweet drinks, bright colors, and certain types of flowers.