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How to Get Rid of Bees Quickly (Step-By-Step)

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It’s a hot summer day and you’re sitting outside, enjoying the sun. Suddenly, you see a swarm of bees flying around your house. What do you do?

Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem, but sometimes they can be pests.

In this article, we’ll explain, step by step, how you can get rid of bees quickly, naturally, and without killing them.

How to Get Rid of Bees

The world is full of bees. Not just honeybees (the most common kind of bee), but various related species, including bumblebees and carpenter bees.

Although bees are important to our ecosystem, due to their pollination services, they’re not always welcomed by us humans. Bees sting, which can be incredibly painful.

If you’re experiencing a bee infestation, here’s how to get rid of bees.

1. Identify the Species of Bees

There are more than 20,000 identified species of bees. 4,000 of these are native to the U.S. Hence, it’s important to identify the type of bee before you do anything else.

It’s not always possible to identify the type of bee that’s swarming around you, but it could prove useful.

Some examples of the most common are honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and sweat bees. Most of these aren’t a threat unless you threaten or otherwise agitate them.

Once you have identified the type, use this information to determine what you should do about it. 

Some bees are more aggressive than others, meaning it’s a good idea to stay away from them. Others, like the bumblebee, are more gentle, meaning you have nothing to be afraid of.

bumblebee on a flower full of pollen

2. Call a Beekeeper

Calling a beekeeper is a great place to start. They may be able to come by your home and pick up the bees, making sure no harm is done to them or your home.

If you have a serious beehive problem, it is best to contact your local beekeepers’ association. They will have more insight on how to get rid of the bees without harming them or you.

Beekeepers are experts when it comes to handling bees and other similar insects such as wasps. They have the proper knowledge and experience to help you deal with such problems.

bee attacks

3. Use Natural Remedies to Repel Them

Bees are important, hence it’s best to remove them using natural methods. There are plenty of natural remedies, that can help you get rid of bees.

Ammonia spray is very effective for getting rid of bees. It’s non-toxic and cheap, so it’s a good alternative if you don’t want to spend money on a chemical product.

These include vinegar, bee repelling plants, citronella, mothballs, and other natural remedies, that we’ll cover later in this article.

spraying ants

4. Use a Chemical Remedy

If you’ve done everything you can to get rid of the bees, without killing them, you can move on to using chemical products. Some are made for repelling, while others are made for killing.

You can get spray repellents in many physical or online stores. Look for sprays with the active ingredient of Naphthalene. There are also aerosol cans with pyrethrin, another insecticide that you can use for this purpose.

chemical spray

5. Call Pest Control

Call pest control if you feel that the problem is out of control, or don’t know how to get rid of them. Exterminators are professionals, who know how to deal with the pest, as they do so on a daily basis.

Pest control can safely remove and relocate the bees without killing them and ensure they never return.

pest control

10 Best Methods to Get Rid of Bees Naturally

Bees are the most beneficial animals on earth, responsible for large portions of our crops and food supply, but sometimes they need to go.

Most people prefer natural remedies, as these don’t leave any chemical residue anywhere in their house, garden, or elsewhere.

Here is the best way to get rid of bees naturally.

Related: How to get rid of bees without killing them

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent way to help you repel bees from your property. To use vinegar for bees, mix 1 part vinegar with  9 parts water, and put it in a spray bottle.

Simply use the spray around areas where you don’t want bees to enter.

If you’re planning on killing the bees, you can use a higher concentration of vinegar, and spray it directly onto the bees. They die almost instantly if exposed to enough vinegar.

You can also use vinegar to make bee traps, mixing it with sugar water to attract bees to it.

Related: How to get rid of bees with vinegar

different kinds of vinegar

2. Soap and Water

While soap and water are good for cleaning, it’s also great at getting rid of bees. The soapy water will kill the bees, but won’t leave any harmful chemicals like insecticides.

Mix one part soap with four parts water, and make sure you hit all of the bees in your home. The soap causes the water to enter bees’ bodies, effectively killing them.

Related: How to kill bees with soapy water

spray bottle with soapy water

3. Bee Repelling Plants

Many plants help to repel bees and other unwanted insects such as mosquitos and flies. These include:

  • Basil
  • Camphor
  • Citronella Grass
  • Lemon balm
  • Mints (peppermint, spearmint, etc.)

And many more. There is a wide variety of herbs, flowers, and trees that will keep bees away.

These are the most useful in the long term, as you simply plant them in your garden and let them sit.

mint oil against ants

4. Citronella Candle

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep bees away, the simplest method is to buy a citronella candle.

Not only are they 100% natural, but they are also incredibly effective for getting rid of bees naturally. The aroma coming from the candle naturally repels bees as well as mosquitoes.

You just beware, that a citronella candle may not keep bees out of your entire house. A candle can only cover so much space, hence you may need to buy multiple.

citronella candle

5. Mothballs

Mothballs can be an effective way to get rid of bees naturally. Bees don’t like the smell of mothballs, which is what makes them very effective.

If you’re looking to get rid of an entire hive, simply hang a few mothballs around their nest, and wait for the smell to reach them. Once the smell of mothballs reaches the nest, the bees will fly away, most likely never to return.

The main ingredient in a mothball is a chemical called naphthalene, which is what makes it a good bee repellant. 

You should avoid inhaling any fumes from mothballs, as naphthalene is toxic to humans as well. You should also keep any pets you might have away from them too.

Naphthalene balls

6. Bee Traps

One of the easiest ways to get rid of the bee colony from your property is with a bee trap. 

There are several types of bee traps, but each relies on the same principle: to lure in the bees with honey, trapping them without killing them.

You can either make your own bee trap, or you can buy one already made. Once any bees in your home have been trapped, you can either set them free outside, or you can hand them off to animal control.

These aren’t always effective, as the bees may not get lured in.

artificial queen bee

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great deterrent against bees. [1] 

Its smell alone will repel bees, and it’s harmless to humans and pets, so you can safely use it in your home. 

The best way to use cinnamon against insects is to make a cinnamon and water mixture, using cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil is much more potent than cinnamon powder, making it easier to make a solution that works.

To get rid of bees with cinnamon, simply make the mixture (1 part cinnamon oil to 99 parts water), and spray it around their nest. This should make the bees relocate to another area.

After about a week, the bees should be ready to move.

This can also be done by sprinkling cinnamon powder around their nest.

A bottle of essential oil with spices on wooden background

8. Garlic Spray

Garlic works similarly to cinnamon, by repelling them with a strong and unpleasant scent. Bees hate the smell of garlic, which leads to them leaving your home. 

Here’s how to make a garlic spray to get rid of bees quickly, naturally, and safely:

  1. Take seven cloves of peeled garlic and put them in two cups of water.
  2. Boil the solution until only half a cup is left, and put the solution into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray this mixture around their nest, to make sure the scent reaches them.
  4. Repeat this process until the bees have left their hive.
spray bottle to kill ants

9. Water

Water is most commonly used to get rid of bees by drowning them. It’s the simplest way to kill a bee because it requires no additional materials or chemicals.

This method is not the safest though, as it agitates the bees.

If you’re looking to get rid of an entire nest, you should make sure to keep your distance while spraying them with water. Grab a hose, and spray down their hive.

When the bees start to get agitated, stop spraying them with water and go inside. Wait for them to calm down, and continue the process.

This method is not recommended though, as it will agitate the bees. Bees only sting when threatened or otherwise disturbed, which they will be if you spray them down with water.

a man with garden hose

10. Commercial Pest Repellent

Pest repellants are often used on crops to keep insects away from the fruit. For example, some farmers use Amdro, a famous brand of pest repellant, near their peach orchards so that wasps won’t approach them.

You can do the same for repelling honeybees. 

Pest repellents contain ingredients that are poisonous to bees, such as amitraz and tau-fluvalinate. 

These chemicals don’t affect other insects or humans but will repel them. Sometimes, pest repellent can even kill bees, as they contain many chemicals that are toxic to them.

Best Methods to Kill Bees

Bees do not require complicated methods for elimination. There are a lot of products you can use if you want to kill bees, both natural and chemical remedies.

The most effective way to kill bees is to use some form of chemical solution, whether it be bee spray, other insecticides, or powder. These are specifically produced for this very purpose.

1. Bee Spray

A bee spray is an insecticide that you can purchase at many stores. It’s a spray specifically produced to kill bees effectively and quickly.

Most bee sprays work either instantly, or within a very short amount of time.

Simply pick up a bee spray, and start spraying the bees directly. This works best for individual bees that have invaded your home, and not so well on larger nests. If you’ve found a nest on your property, you may want to take a different route.

bee spray

2. Powder or Dust

There are several types of insect powder or dust, that you can use to kill bees. You can either pick up a commercial product, or you can use Borax. Both work.

To use insect powder against bees, put it directly into the nest. This will disperse it among the bees, who’ll die upon inhalation. Most powder solutions work by causing respiratory issues, causing them to suffocate.

If you’re only dealing with a few solitary bees, you can sprinkle it directly onto them.

3. Insecticide & Pesticide

Insecticides or pesticides are produced with the purpose of getting rid of insects, including bees. 

There are numerous ways to go about this and many different pesticides that can do the trick.

Depending on your infestation, you may want to pick up either a spray, powder, or bait station. Each of these works differently, but will end with the same result. 

They’ll relieve you of your pest issue.

Research suggests that many pesticides used on crops and plants can also be toxic to bees, which before was assumed not to be the case. [2]

Are Bees Endangered?

The answer to this question is two-fold. Some bees are endangered, while others, such as honeybees, are not in any immediate danger, yet their population is still declining.

Honeybee hives have been decreasing because of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD refers to a situation where most worker bees in a hive disappear, leaving behind the queen bee and immature bees in the hive.

Colony collapse disorder is a serious threat to managed beehives across the world.

Is It Illegal to Kill Bees?

While it’s not illegal to kill bees, there are certain regulations and laws on the subject.

One example is the Pollinator Protection Act, which limits the use of toxic, bee-killing pesticides. Most states in the U.S. have also implemented bee breeding programs and protection of certain areas native to bees.

EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency) has also introduced certain restrictions on pesticides used on blooming flowers and crops.

They’ve done so because pollination is crucial to our ecosystem.

bee on a sunflower

When the bee population decreases, pollination also decreases. Pollination is the process of pollen transfer from a male part (anther) to the female parts (stigma and style) of flowers, leading to fertilization.

Without pollination, many plants die prematurely and produce no fruit or seeds. It also causes other problems for different animals and insects that depend on those plants for food and shelter.

Bee Species

Bees, which are members of the insect order Hymenoptera and therefore distant relatives of ants, play a vital role in pollinating fruit and vegetable crops. 

Before you decide to kill a beehive, you may want to identify the type of bee beforehand. Most of them aren’t dangerous to humans (unless you’re allergic).

Here are the most common types of bees.

Honeybees

Honeybees are perhaps the most vital of bee species on the planet. This species makes honey by collecting nectar from flowers. As they collect nectar, they spread pollen among flowers. 

They’re flying insects with a pair of large wings, characterized mainly by their long tongues and the ability to produce this honey from flower nectar [3].

honey bees on honeycomb

Bumblebees

Bumblebees are large, fuzzy, black, and yellow insects, and are the friendliest, and most gentle, of all the bees.

They don’t live very long. The queen lives for a year, and workers usually only live between 2 to 6 weeks.

Bumblebees have a different nesting pattern than honeybees. Where honeybees create nests above ground, bumblebees often nest underground, where the queen will lay her eggs.

Related: Are Bumblebees Friendly?

A macro shot of a bumblebee

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are the most serious of all bee infestations. These bees are known for damaging houses by building nests out of wood resin and burrowing holes into hardwood walls.

Once inside, they chew through wood, creating tunnels that will then be used to lay their eggs. 

If you discover a carpenter bee infestation, it’s best to call pest or animal control right away, to avoid any unnecessary damage to your property.

carpenter bee

Conclusion

There are many ways to get rid of bees, the most popular being vinegar, soapy water, bee repelling plants (or herbs), as well as chemical insecticides.

Before you kill off a beehive, make sure to call animal control or your local beekeeper first. They may be able to help you get rid of the problem, without having to kill the bees in the process.

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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