How to Get Rid of Bees
Bees are an essential part of nature’s food chain. However, few people enjoy the idea of sharing their yard or home with them. If you’ve found yourself host to a colony, you are likely wondering how to get rid of bees. The answer to this depends on your situation and goals.
Bee Do’s and Don’t’s
These do’s and don’ts will help you get rid of bees safely, and coexist with them in the meantime.
- Wait till nighttime if you plan to exterminate a hive
- Use a red light to avoid waking the bees.
- Wear dark clothing and avoid bright colors
- Swat at the bees
- Kill a bee. The other members of the hive will be angry and aggressive
- Wear perfume or cologne
Identifying Type of Bee
You need to know what type of bee you are dealing with, because some pose more risk than others. Bumble bees are fat and fuzzy. Whey will build a hive anywhere they are dry and feel secluded. This can include holes in siding and piles of brush. Bumblebee hives have less bees than honeybee hives. Bumblebees can sting more than once.
Carpenter bees resemble honeybees, but true to their name, they burrow into wood. Instead of creating a hive, each bee will have it’s own burrow. Only female carpenter bees can sting, and they aren’t usually aggressive.
Honeybees are smaller, and often found in large numbers. They can only deliver one sting. However, if you anger the hive, they can swarm you. They aren’t known to be aggressive unless provoked.
Africanized honey bees deliver ten times more stings than their European counterparts. They are more easily provoked, and have been known to chase intruders 1/4 mile. If you suspect you have these bees, don’t attempt to exterminate them on your own.
Occasional Bees in Your Yard
If you see bees in your yard but haven’t found a hive nearby, you can consider a bee catcher. There are both kill and no-kill bee catchers on the market. Bees are very beneficial to nature, so consider a no-kill option if possible.
You can also use bee repellants for minor bee problems. Citronella candles, cucumber peels, mothballs, and cinnamon can all deter bees from making a stop by your house. Cinnamon can even be effective for a hive. Apply cinnamon powder or essential oil to the area around the hive every day, and the bees should decide to move in about a week.
Bee Hives or Infestation
The occasional bee isn’t usually cause for major concern. However, if you encounter a hive or swarm of bees, you’ll need to take different steps. You should consider professional removal or relocation for a hive, because disturbing the hive greatly increases the risk of stings.
You can purchase sprays designed for hives, but you will need to spray the hive directly. This is risky. If you choose to do it on your own, be sure to wear protective clothing. For a more environmentally friendly method, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water. This should kill the bees.
You can also use dust insecticide to kill a hive. This method will kill everything inside the hive, including larva. You’ll need to throw the dust inside the entrance to the hive, and then seal the entrance with foam sealant to keep the bees from escaping.
When You Need a Professional
Sometimes the answer to how to get rid of bees is to call a professional.
Reasons you may need a professional include:
- A large or aggressive swarm
- You or a family member have a bee allergy
- The hive is difficult to get to
- You aren’t comfortable with the risk of stings
If you aren’t comfortable or feel that getting rid of bees on your own is risky, don’t hesitate to call a professional. If the bees have a hive in the ground, the siding of your home, or another area that’s difficult to get too, a professional is a wise choice.
Become Unattractive to Bees
Bees are attracted to sweet foods and drinks. Keep your yard free of food scraps and soda cans. Keep a lid on the outside and inside trash cans. You can also grow plants that repel bees. This is a great solution if you enjoy growing flowers which attract bees. Mint, citronella, and eucalyptus will help keep bees at bay and add variety to your flower bed. Bee removal can be a tricky process so be sure to leave it to the professionals.