How to Get Rid of Bees

by Daniel Packer on 19 July 2011 10 comments

Bees are very important to our food supply; cross-pollination is necessary for many plants to fertilize and grow. Still, the insects can be a major annoyance around the house. There's nothing worse than a bee sting, and many people have allergic reactions to them.

The good news is that there are some specific things we can do to keep bees away and deal with them if they do pop up. The best way to avoid bee stings is to never have bees around the house to begin with, so if you see them on your porch or backyard, it's time to take action. (See also: Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests)

The best thing to do is to get a beekeeper to take the bees away. In most cases, they'll do this as a free service (they want bees!). Check your area for a local beekeeper. If there isn't anyone who will take them away, you can always call an exterminator to do the job for you. But if you're careful, you can take care of the problem yourself for little cost.

How to Get Rid of a Beehive

With the wind at your back, simply spray insecticide directly at the beehive, ensuring that it makes contact with all the bees. The best and least risky time to spray a beehive is during the day when all the bees are out looking for nectar, because you're least likely to get stung. Some say that spraying at night when all the bees are there is a good time because you know they'll get hit with the insecticide. Insecticide products can spray up to 25 feet and kill on contact, so spraying in the evening when the creatures are home is definitely an option.

The next day, spray the insecticide again, and after a few days, if you don't see any bees in or near the hive, you've successfully killed them.

How to Keep Bees From Returning

Killing the bees or destroying their nest while they are away can be just a temporary solution if you don't take the proper steps to make it last.

In order to keep the bees away, you must fully destroy the nest. If the bees built a nest in a crack or hard-to-reach spot, you should block it off with cement or sealant so they can't reach and continue using it.

How to Handle Wasps and Hornets

Unfortunately, bees aren't the only pests that can ruin a picnic. Hornets and wasps are other creatures that should be taken care of if they're flying around the house. Techniques for dealing with wasps and hornets are the same as for dealing with bees, except that you can't call a beekeeper in on these guys. But a can of wasp, hornet, and bee spray (and some good running shoes just to be safe) should do the trick.

Bees, wasps, and hornets can be very distracting and frustrating to deal with. However, having these nasty creatures at home doesn't mean you're stuck with them forever. These steps can help get rid of bees around your house and let you enjoy your summer bee-free!

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Guest's picture

There's two areas where I slightly disagree with you.

1) Even though there are less bees in the nest during the day, you have a greater chance to be stung because they're actively coming and going. In the evening, they're in the nest so you won't have the traffic that could get you stung.

2) You have to be careful before sealing bees in somewhere. If they've built a nest in an eave or around the siding of your home, don't seal their exit to the outdoors, otherwise they'll find an alternate path out of their nest, and that alternate path can be right inside your home.

Another tip is to get them early. We have a spot around our flower beds where yellowjackets built a nest every year. I never had luck keeping the nest down, but last fall and early spring, instead of using the liquid insecticide, I bought a duster and 'Delta Dust' and sent puffs in where they typically go. The trick there is to try to get to it while the queen is setting up shop. Knock on wood, but this year I haven't seen them so it might have just done the trick!

Guest's picture
Guest

Bees swarm to seek a new home. True, you don't want them inside your home, but if you wait a couple of days, they will usually find a much better spot to make their hive. What evidence do you have that "many" people are allergic to bee stings? Bees when swarming are LEAST likely to sting anyone; usually, bees don't sting unless you are bothering THEM. To urge people to kill a hive is irresponsible.

Guest's picture
Guest

I had a swarm of bees on a dead branch in my yard. I am so glad I dug around for good advice on what to do with them. A local bee expert told me to do nothing - swarms are temporary, while they are looking for a new home. So I left the area of the yard where they were alone and they moved on in less than a week.

With all the damage being done to bees, and how vital they are to our food chain, killing bees should be an absolute last resort.

Guest's picture
Emily

Amen - exactly what I was going to say about killing bees.

Guest's picture
Lavender

I had a nest of bees behind the shutters in my house. I got 4-6 feet away and started spraying Windex on them. (I read it in a home remedies book) They immediately started dropping dead with satisfying plopping sounds as they fell. Some flew out but the more I sprayed, the more they fell out dead. I just kept spraying until I didn't hear or see buzzing anymore. Miraculously I never got stung either. It doesn't work on wasps or hornets, and you have to use a name brand not generic.

Guest's picture
Guest

definitely try to find a local beekeeper, or beekeeping club. you might even get some free honey out of the deal!

Guest's picture
Guest

Considering that bee populations have been decimated, this seems like an extremely ill-timed article. @Lavender - you are thoughtless. Try educating yourself a little before killing useful creatures.

Meg Favreau's picture

Guest,

As Daniel suggests in the article, we definitely encourage finding a beekeeper to help bring the bees to a new home before trying to get rid of them in another way. Bees are extremely important!

And please, there's no need to attack other commenters. We don't know much about Lavender's situation with her bees, and she provided a tip that could be useful to some readers.

Best,
Meg

Guest's picture
Tamara

Regarding yellow jackets - I have virtually eliminated our yellow jacket problem without using poisons and sprays. Early in the spring (before you see any yellow jackets) put a trap or two out. These are readily available at hardware stores. By catching the queens and early yellow jackets in the trap (where they cannot escape and then die) we no longer have a problem.

Guest's picture
Linda

I have been seeing Green/ yellow jackets and yes they do sting! one stung me on my arm I was just sitiing there enjoying the good weather and a rather large one just stung me for no reason, I am finding this year the bees or hornets to be aggressive and have a strange color to them: I have sprayed 6x so far and it is only May!