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How to Get Rid of Bees With Vinegar (Does Vinegar Get Rid of Bees?)

You can use vinegar to get rid of bees by mixing it with water and spraying it directly on the bees and their hive. You can use this to kill and repel bees.

Bees are a crucial part of the ecosystem, but they can also become a nuisance when they invade our homes.

If you’re looking for ways to get rid of bees, vinegar is a great place to start. 

Keep reading to find out how to use vinegar to get rid of bees and prevent them from returning.

How to Get Rid of Bees With Vinegar (Step-By-Step)

To get rid of bees with vinegar, start out by mixing one part vinegar with four parts water. Then, shake it together in a spray bottle, and spray the bees. This should kill them, or at least repel them.

Vinegar is a great natural alternative to using pesticides, which are harmful to both bees and can be harmful to your health. [1]

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use vinegar to get rid of bees.

For even better results, use a spray specifically made to repel bees.

1. Mix Vinegar and Water

The first step is to make a water-vinegar mixture. Mix one part vinegar with four parts water. The vinegar is what’ll get rid of the bees, while water is there to enhance the volume of your mixture.

Vinegar is very toxic to bees, hence you don’t need 100% concentrated vinegar. If you’re looking to repel bees, and not kill them, you can use less vinegar.

different kinds of vinegar

2. Shake the Mixture in a Spray Bottle

Ensure that you shake the mixture thoroughly so that everything blends well. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also mix it in a bowl, or a bucket, and throw it at the bees.

Using a spray bottle works the best though.

spray bottle with soapy water

3. Spray the Bees

Once you’ve mixed the vinegar and water, it’s time to start spraying the bees. Be sure to aim for the bees directly and avoid spraying anything else.

You may have to spray the bees in intervals, as the bees will become agitated. If they start attacking you, make sure to retreat and wait for them to calm down.

If you’re looking to simply repel the bees, don’t spray it at them or their hive, but place either bowl of vinegar next to them or spray the solution around them.

spraying ants

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Bees?

Yes, vinegar can get rid of bees. Vinegar is toxic to bees and can be used both as a natural repellant and bee killer. Direct contact with vinegar can kill bees instantly.

One of the most effective ingredients in vinegar is acetic acid. This ingredient is what makes vinegar so potent against bees. When sprayed directly on a bee, the acid will dissolve its protective layer, causing it to die.

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Honey Bees?

Vinegar is very effective for getting rid of honey bees. Honey bees typically build nests above the ground, either in trees or overhangs. When using vinegar specifically against honey bees, you should spray onto the bees, as well as into their nest.

chemical spray

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Bumble Bees?

Vinegar is also very effective against bumblebees, and can indeed be used to get rid of these large bees. If you’ve found a bumblebee nest in the ground, you can pour vinegar directly into the hole.

Related: Are Bumblebees Friendly?

Does Vinegar Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?

There is some debate over whether vinegar can get rid of carpenter bees. Some people say that spraying vinegar on the nest will kill the bees, while other people claim that this will only aggravate them and make them more likely to attack.

Most experts agree that vinegar does in fact get rid of carpenter bees, as they’re both repelled and killed by the substance. Spray directly into the nest to get rid of carpenter bee larvae as well.

Does Vinegar Kill Bees Instantly?

Yes, vinegar does kill bees almost instantaneously. Bees have an exoskeleton as well as an outer protective layer. Vinegar will penetrate this outer shell and kill the bees from the inside.

Vinegar is approximately 5-8% acetic acid. 

While some say the sulfuric compounds in the bee’s exoskeleton can mitigate this, studies show that it is highly unlikely that these compounds are capable of counteracting the effects of acetic acid.

Group of dead bees, isolated on white

Why Does Vinegar Work Against Bees?

Vinegar works both as a repellant and as a killer, and there are good reasons for this. Vinegar disrupts the bee’s ability to breathe and dissolve the bee’s exoskeleton.

First of all, vinegar is great as a repellant because of its strong odor. Bees don’t like strong smells unless it’s floral. This is why cinnamon and mothballs and work great as repellants. [2]

In addition to this, the acidity of vinegar makes it difficult for bees to breathe, which further deters them from coming near. 

Vinegar is great as a bee killer, as it’s toxic to bees. The chemical structure of vinegar penetrates and kills bees when they come into direct contact.

When vinegar is sprayed on bees, it dissolves their waxy protective coating. Once their protective covering has been removed, bees have a difficult time regulating their body temperatures and will die.

dead swarm of worker bees

How Long Does It Take for Vinegar to Kill Bees?

It doesn’t take long for vinegar to kill bees. Most bees will die within a couple of seconds after exposure, but it depends on how much vinegar was sprayed onto them.

If they were just hit with a little vinegar, they may survive for a couple of minutes, but not much longer than that.

What Kind of Vinegar Gets Rid of Bees?

You can use different kinds of vinegar to get rid of bees: white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and rice wine vinegar. 

  • White vinegar is the most effective type of vinegar for getting rid of bees, but other types of vinegar can also be helpful in getting rid of these stinging insects.
  • Apple cider vinegar also works great, as is something many people already have at hand.
  • Red wine vinegar is also effective in getting rid of bees, and it has been shown to be more effective than white vinegar in some cases.
  • Rice wine vinegar is the least effective type of vinegar for getting rid of bees, but can still work.

Other Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Bees

If you don’t have vinegar in your home, or if you want to take a different approach, there are several other things you can do.

Here are some other natural ways of getting rid of bees, without killing them.

Related: How to Kill Bees With Soapy Water

Call a Beekeeper

If you don’t want to kill bees, or if you don’t feel comfortable trying to get rid of them yourself, you can call a beekeeper.

Beekeepers know how to safely remove bees and their hives, so they won’t cause any trouble. They may also be able to give you some advice on how to prevent bees from setting up homes in your house.

You can also call pest control.

beekeeper protective suit

Moth Balls

Mothballs are a natural way to eliminate bees from your home. 

Bees are a serious nuisance and can be quite dangerous to humans, pets, and even other insects. 

Mothballs contain naphthalene, which is a chemical that is toxic to insects. When the bees come into contact with the mothballs, it will kill them, hence they’ll want to get away from places with mothballs.

By hanging a few mothballs around their hive, the bees will usually swarm within a week, flying off to find a new place to nest.

Naphthalene balls


Cinnamon is a popular spice that is often used in food. It can also be used as a natural remedy to get rid of bees. 

Cinnamon has a strong smell that bees do not like. You can either sprinkle cinnamon around your home or garden to keep bees away, or you can apply cinnamon essential oil directly on and around their hive.

Bees will avoid areas that have been sprayed with cinnamon. Some people believe that the smell of cinnamon also helps to deter other pests, such as ants and flies.

Spoon full of powdered cinnamon, with cinnamon sticks

Safety Precautions When Handling Bees

When working with bees it is important to always be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions to stay safe. 

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear protective clothing, including a veil, when working with bees.
  • Do not wear strong scents or fragrances when working with bees.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing and dangling jewelry.
  • Consider using gloves, as they can also provide extra safety measures for your arms and hands.
  • Don’t go near a beehive in bad weather, as they will be more aggressive.
  • If you are stung by a bee, remove the stinger as quickly as possible and apply ice to the area. If you are allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately.
beekeeper-or-apiarist-collecting-pollen-from-beehive (1)


All in all, vinegar is a great way to get rid of bees. You can use it both as a repellant if you don’t want to kill them, or you can use it to kill the bees.

Making a water-vinegar fixture (4 to 1), and putting it in a spray bottle is the easiest way to go about doing this. Make sure you hit all of the bees.

If you don’t get rid of all the bees on your first try, retreat and come back 30 minutes later. This way, the bees have a chance to calm down, before you go near them again.


Does White Vinegar Kill Bees?

Yes, white vinegar can kill bees. This is because it has a high concentration of acetic acid and kills by dissolving the bee’s exoskeleton.

Does Vinegar Repel Bees?

Vinegar can repel bees, but it might be difficult not to kill a few in the process. Placing bowls of vinegar around their hive would be your best bet to get rid of a beehive, without killing them.

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.

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