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How to Get Rid of Bees Without Killing Them

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To get rid of bees without killing them, you can call a beekeeper, smoke them out, use mothballs, garlic, citrus, vinegar, peppermint, cinnamon, or citronella, or you call pest control.

Looking to get rid of bees without killing them? 

Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to go about this.

Bees are important to our ecosystem, hence it’s always better to get rid of them naturally, and without killing them.

In this article, we’ll talk about the top 10 methods of how to do so.

How to Get Rid of Bees Without Killing Them?

There are several ways to get rid of bees without killing them. Here are the top 10 ways to go about this:

  1. Call a beekeeper
  2. Smoke the bees
  3. Mothballs
  4. Garlic
  5. Citrus
  6. Vinegar
  7. Peppermint
  8. Cinnamon
  9. Citronella candles
  10. Pest control

Related: How to get rid of bees in your home

1. Call a Beekeeper

If you’re having a bee problem, the best thing to do is call a beekeeper. Beekeepers are experts at getting rid of bees without killing them. They have the knowledge and equipment needed to safely remove bees from your property.

Beekeepers handle bees on a daily basis and can make sure no harm is done to you, your property, or the bees.

They may even be able to tell you why the bees arrived in the first place, which can help you prevent future infestations.

beekeeper protective suit

2. Smoke

When it comes to getting rid of bees, smoke is a great tool. However, you need to be careful if you plan on smoking out the bees.

Too much heat can melt their wings, so it’s important to use cool smoke [1]. Beekeepers typically use smoke to keep bees calm, but if you want to use it to get rid of them, you may need more smoke.

metal bee smoker

3. Mothballs

Mothballs can help get rid of bees without killing them. Mothballs are full of naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene, which are also used in insecticides and bee repellants.

If you want to repel bees, simply hand up a few mothballs around the hive. They can also be used to kill bees, so be careful with this method.

Naphthalene balls

4. Garlic

Garlic is another great option for getting rid of bees. The scent of garlic will repel them and keep them away.

You can either plant garlic around your home or use garlic essential oil. Just make sure to be careful when using the oil, as it’s very potent. Placing a few drops of garlic oil around the bees’ hive should be enough to make them swarm.

garlic against bees

5. Citrus

Citrus scents are also great for repelling bees. You can use lemon, orange, or grapefruit essential oils to get rid of the pests without killing them.

You can apply the oils directly to their hive, or place some drops on cotton balls and leave them around the house.

citrus scent

6. Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural way to get rid of bees. Vinegar is toxis to bees. Direct contact will cause bees to die instantly – hence, you need to be careful, if you’re planning on letting the little insects live.

Since vinegar is toxic to bees (on direct contact), they know to stay away from it. Hence, you can pour some vinegar into bowls and place them around their hive, or you can pour it onto cotton balls and do the same thing.

Related: How to get rid of bees with vinegar

different kinds of vinegar

7. Peppermint

Peppermint is a natural bee repellant due to its strong scent. When bees get the scent of peppermint, they’ll stay away from it. Hence, placing a few cotton balls of peppermint around a beehive, or placing some drops of peppermint oil, will do the trick.

peppermint closeup in wooden spoon

8. Cinnamon

To repel bees with cinnamon, all you need to do is sprinkle it around the hive entrance or around the base of the nest. This should keep them away while not harming them in any way.

You can also use cinnamon essential oil for an easier approach. This is more potent and may achieve results faster.

A bottle of essential oil with spices on wooden background

9. Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are a great way to repel bees without harming them. The strong, citrusy smell of the candles is unpleasant to bees and will keep them away. [2]

Plus, citronella candles are natural, so they won’t harm the environment. You can find citronella candles at most hardware stores or online.

citronella candle

10. Call Pest Control

If nothing else works, you can always call pest control. They have the experience and equipment necessary to get rid of bees without killing them. 

Pest control will also be able to help you prevent any future infestations.

Pesticide Plants Spraying

What Is the Best Natural Way to Get Rid of Bees?

The best natural way to get rid of bees is to call a local beekeeper. This way, the bees won’t be disturbed or harmed too much, as beekeepers know how to handle bees correctly.

The beekeeper will also be able to relocate the bees properly, giving them a great new home.

How Do You Get Bees to Leave?

There are various ways to get rid of bees. You can either use vinegar, mothballs, or garlic to repel them. Other ways include the use of cinnamon or citronella to repel them safely.

If you feel that the infestation is getting way out of hand, calling pest control or bee control is the best option. They have the necessary skills and tools to perform the job well.

What Smells Do Bees Hate?

Bees have a very strong sense of smell, and they are particularly sensitive to certain scents. In fact, there are several smells that bees absolutely hate.

Some of the smells that bother bees include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Mint
  • Garlic
  • Cloves
  • Car fumes
  • Citronella oil
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil

How Do You Humanely Get Rid of Bees?

Getting rid of bees in a humane way is all about keeping them unharmed, making sure they aren’t disturbed more than necessary, and not killing them.

There are a few ways to humanely get rid of bees. One way is to call a beekeeper. Beekeepers will usually remove the beehive for you and relocate the bees.

If you want to remove bees in a natural, humane way, you should avoid using pesticides, insecticides, or other chemical solutions. Stick to organic remedies.

Related: Do Beekeepers Get Stung When Working With Bees?

beekeeper holding bee smoke

Protection Against Bees

Bees sting when they’re threatened. When trying to get rid of them, they may feel threatened. Hence, it’s important to protect yourself.

If you do get stung by bees, don’t panic. For most people, a bee sting is merely an inconvenience. If you’re allergic to bees, you should however seek medical attention immediately.

To protect yourself against bees, you should keep your distance as much as possible, wear protective gear, stay calm, and operate at night.

Protective Gear

Wearing protective gear is one of the best ways to protect yourself against bees. 

When working with bees, it is important to wear thick gloves that cover your wrists, long sleeves that cover most of your arms, long pants that cover your legs, and something that covers your face.

It’s also best to wear protective eyewear along with a beekeeping veil.

It is also essential to remember that bees may be agitated by strong scents. So, avoid wearing any perfumes or colognes when working with them.


Keep Your Distance

When you’re trying to get rid of bees, keep your distance as much as possible. Chances are, they’re going to get agitated and aggressive at some point, as you’re disturbing their colony.

If they start buzzing a lot, retreat and wait for them to calm down.

Stay Calm

When you’re around bees, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Acting scared or aggressive will only make the bee more agitated and may lead to it stinging you. Try to move slowly and avoid making sudden movements. If a bee lands on you, simply brush it off gently.

Do It at Nighttime

Bees sleep at night. Hence, working on a way to get rid of them during nighttime may be your best shot at avoiding a sting.

You should still be careful though. Bees have so-called “Guard Bees”, which sleep near the entrance to the hive. If they detect you, they’ll release alarm pheromones, causing the other bees to wake up.

Related: Do Bees Attack & Sting at Night


There are plenty of ways to get rid of bees without killing them, the best being to call a beekeeper. You can also make use of numerous DIY methods including using mothballs, exposing them to strong scents, or applying various essential oils to their hive.

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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