Bees – you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Most people like to have the occasional visitor come by for a conversation or a drink. But I bet very few of us want those visitors to move in permanently. This is the dilemma we face with bees, we all know that they are good for the environment, and good for us, producing honey, wax, and bee pollen, but no one wants them in their house. For one, they tend to sting when one least expects it, and that can be not only painful but even fatal for those that have a severe bee allergy. So in this article we will explore ways to keep bees away from your house.
Scientists will tell you that the key to dealing with animals is to understand them. Therefore to learn how to keep bees away from your house, we must first understand why they want to come to our house in the first place, and then figure out how to avoid that. Bees, like most animals, need two main things to survive, food and shelter. So we should first make sure that our homes are unattractive to bees when it comes to sources of food and shelter. And then we can identify what keeps bees away, i.e. what repels bees from your house and yard and how to use that to avoid bees coming in or near your home.
A basic need of bees is shelter, they need a place to build their nest. And just as you find your house comfortable, they will too. But there are a few simple things you can do to convey to bees that they are not welcomed in your home. Proper maintenance of your house is key. Therefore take care of both your house and backyard and keep it clean and tidy. Because heaps of dry wood, decaying leaves and litter are like green light to bees that they can move in. So keep your yard clutter-free, especially areas around and near to your house. Remove and or properly store all empty buckets, flower pots, unused hoses, and plumbing pipes. Repair the eaves and overhangs of your house, and patch up all holes that your house might have. Also, make sure that all possible pest entryways are sealed properly with silicone, caulk, or expanding foam, leave no holes unplugged as bees can gain entrance to your home through those. And finally routinely check the house, yard, sheds, and basements for any of these problems and fix them as soon as you can.
Another basic need of bees is food. Many people love to plant flowers near their homes. Well, guess what? Bees feed on flower pollen and the flowers that you have planted near your house will serve as an invitation for bees to visit your home. A good way to avoid this from happening but to also still have a flower garden is to design your outdoor space so that your garden is as far away from your house as possible. This will make sure that bees are not tempted to visit your home after they have feasted on some delicious plant nectar. Some even plant bee-friendly plants on the edges of their property, away from the house, to make sure that the bees visit that spot instead of the flowers that you have close to your living quarters.
Water is another attractant for bees. In the hot and dry summer months bees they will seek out sources of water. So make sure that no standing or dripping water sources are near your house. This can also be a good way how to redirect swarms of bees so they stop coming near your home. Just place a container of water further away from your home and watch bees flocking to this container instead of your residence.
And then there is the question on what to use to keep bees away from their house… There are many ways how to keep bees away from your house, but due to the ecological benefits of bees, I would advise you to use only natural bee deterring methods that will repel rather than kill the bees. Which is why below we will cover some other, natural things you can do to let bees know they are not welcomed in your home.
- Vinegar – you can place small containers of vinegar around the house that will repel them since bees do not like vinegar
- Garlic – boil some garlic and let the mixture cool, then place the liquid in a spray bottle and occasionally spray it in the areas you notice bees frequent. You can also just place sliced cloves of garlic in the areas. Since bees don’t like the smell of garlic, this will also keep them away
- Essential oils – you can also use essential oils because essential oils such as Citronella, peppermint, hyssop, fennel and thyme oil, or any combination of these oils will deter bees. You can spray an essential oil and water mixture around your home. Wipe your surfaces with essential oils or simply place cotton balls soaked in these essential oils around your house. Just make sure that kids or pets don’t think that the cotton balls are candy. If that might happen, chose a different method of using the bee-repelling essential oils
- Cucumber peels – place some cucumber peels by your windows, which will also keep bees out
- Cinnamon – you can sprinkle some cinnamon powder around areas that bees like because the strong smell of cinnamon will keep them away
- Commercial repellents – of course, in cases of a more severe bee infestation you might feel the need to ask for professional help. Here you can either seek out an exterminator to remove or destroy the bee nest yourself using do-it-yourself methods like commercially-available bee killers and repellents
- Beehive – believe it or not, a beehive in your yard is also a good way to keep bees from coming inside your home and making a colony near your house. Place the beehive as far away from your house as your backyard allows, but close enough that the bees will favor going to the hive instead of your home and you might see a drastic decrease in bees near or inside your home