Will Bleach Kill A Beehive? What Other Methods Are There?

Will Bleach Kill A Beehive?

Affiliate Disclaimer - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
It supports the website. So, Thank you

Bleach is something that most of us keep in our homes as a cleaning product. It’s incredibly effective but it can also be very dangerous. Most of us are aware of the fact that bleach can release harmful chemicals, especially when mixed with other products. But if you’re using bleach around your bees, you may be wondering will bleach kill a beehive?

If you simply spray a bleach solution on or near bees then this won’t have much of an effect on them. However, it is possible for bees to drown in bleach if they become stuck in a puddle of it.

If a bee were to be covered in bleach, there’s still a good chance that it would survive. This is because bees are very good at cleaning themselves, so they’d simply spend time grooming to remove any traces of bleach and likely be unaffected by it.

Sometimes, people might have an issue with bees whether it’s a hive near the home that’s a pest or bees nesting where they shouldn’t. But it’s essential to remember that bees are an important part of our ecosystem, so we shouldn’t be attempting to kill them. If you are having problems with bee pests then there are more natural ways you can remove them.

Bees Will Only Be Killed By Bleach If They Drown In It
Bees Will Only Be Killed By Bleach If They Drown In It

What Is Bleach?

Regular bleach is used as a household cleaner. It’s often used in the bathroom and kitchen where there are a lot of hard surfaces. These surfaces benefit from the use of bleach since they are often exposed to high levels of bacteria which the bleach effectively kills.

You can also use bleach for removing stains on both hard and soft surfaces. For this reason, it is often used for laundry where white clothing has been stained.

Bleach contains a mixture of different chemicals however, one of the main ingredients is sodium hypochlorite, of which there may be up to 6% per bottle of liquid bleach. In addition to this, bleach is made up of things like hydrogen peroxide, calcium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide.

What Effect Does Bleach Have On Bees?

Bleach is a pesticide, not an insecticide so it won’t do much to kill bees. If you spray liquid bleach onto or near a beehive, this isn’t going to do a whole lot of damage. But if liquid bleach is poured into and around the hive, any bees that become stuck in it will likely drown. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t exclusive to bleach; bees will die if you submerge them in any liquid.

Does Bleach Attract Honey Bees?

You may have heard a rumor that bleach actually attracts honey bees and there is some truth in this. Bees need water and so beekeepers and nature lovers will often ensure that there is a viable water source in their backyard.

However, bees might not always be immediately attracted to this, especially if they have trouble locating the water source. But by adding a very small amount of chlorine bleach to the water, the bees seem to be able to find it more easily.

It may come as a surprise to learn that bees are actually more attracted to the water in things like hot tubs and pools than they are to plain water sources such as bird baths and ponds. You only need to add a few drops of chlorine bleach to the water in order to attract bees.

That said, you have to make sure that the water station is safe. Bees cannot hover above the water to make use of it; instead, they need somewhere safe and stable to stand. This means that deep containers or any source of flowing water could be dangerous for bees and should be avoided.

Using Soapy Water To Kill Bees

If you have a problem with bees then you may be looking for effective ways to get rid of them. Soap will kill bees as well as a whole host of other insects. The reason for this is that soap is a surfactant and this, as strange as it might sound, makes the water even wetter.

If you are a beekeeper, it’s best to keep soapy water well away from your bees as this will kill them. However, it’s the best method for killing pest bees that are not in a swarm. While we wouldn’t suggest killing bees since they are so good for the ecosystem, if you really have to, this is one of the safest ways to do it.

That said, if there is an established colony or you’re looking to kill a colony that’s on the comb, this isn’t going to be the best method. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Put a soapy water mixture into a handheld garden sprayer.
  • Locate the bees and use your sprayer to wet the surface that they are on. Keep going until the whole outer layer of bees is covered in the mixture.
  • As more bees arrive, continue adding more of the solution to ensure that they are all fully covered.
  • It can be useful to place a large container underneath the bees to collect them as they drop off.
  • Sometimes, the soaked bees on the outer layer may not easily fall off so you might need to give these a boost using the sprayer which will then allow you to wet the bees on the inside layer.

How To Naturally Deter Bees

As bee lovers, we wouldn’t advocate the use of the above method and it really should be reserved for emergency situations. Bees are incredibly important for our ecosystem, pollinating flowers and plants. Did you know that without bees, 66% of human-consumed crops would no longer thrive?

Where possible, we should be finding natural ways to deal with bees. The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can deter bees without having to worry about harming them. It is possible to hire a professional but these natural methods are far more preferable.

  • Peppermint works really well as bees are naturally deterred from this plant. Try planting this in areas where bees are a problem.
  • Garlic powder works to repel quite a few different insects including bees. Since bees rely largely on their sense of smell to locate sweet scents, garlic is going to deter them. It has a heavy, pungent aroma that bees do not like. If you want to keep them away, sprinkle some garlic powder in problem areas.
  • Cinnamon is another strong-smelling powder that can be used to deter bees. This natural spice can be sprinkled anywhere that you’re having issues with bees.
  • Vinegar smells just as strong and unsweet as garlic so it goes without saying that bees aren’t going to want to be around it. You don’t need to pour it on your garden; simply leaving an open container where the bees are found should be more than enough to keep them at bay.


If bees are a problem in your outdoor space, you may have been looking for ways to get rid of them. A lot of people wonder, will bleach kill a beehive? Bleach isn’t going to have a huge effect on a beehive or a swarm of bees. The only way that bees would die from coming into contact with bleach would be if they were to fall into a pool of it and drown.

Where bees are becoming a pest, there are lots of natural products you can use to deter them. Things like garlic powder and vinegar are particularly effective. They will keep the bees away without causing any harm to them. While you can kill bees using soapy water, this is not ideal since removing too many bees can be damaging to the local ecosystem.

Share this post:

Leave a Comment