There’s nothing worse than having some buzzy little bees ruining your outdoor fun or relaxing day on the patio. Since they’re good for the environment you don’t want to kill them, but you also don’t need them nearby. Here’s how to keep bees away and enjoy your summer outside.
How to Keep Bees Away
Bees, despite being relatively gentle creatures, always make me nervous. I have a family history of bee allergies and haven’t been stung. It’s also tough to tell when you hear buzzing if you’re being inspected by a bee or taunted by a wasp.
The problem with bees is that you can easily make them feel threatened just by doing usual things in the yard. Watering the flowers, mowing the lawn, or kids playing outside are all ways to scare or upset bees. Especially if they’re living nearby.
Avoid Smells That Attract Bees
Bees are going to be drawn to flowers and they find them by smell. Avoid flowery scents in the areas where you normally hang out. This might mean avoiding scented candles or keeping scented perfume off your body.
Another thing you could do is keep flowers off your deck or patio. While they may look nice, they’re going to attract bees. Instead, keep the flowers in a part of the yard you don’t mind bees visiting.
Protect Your Food and Drinks
Most bugs are attracted to the smells of food and drinks, including bees. When eating or entertaining outside, keep things covered when you’re not serving to avoid attracting critters.
Once you’re finished with your food and drink make sure you clean up. Dirty food containers, plates, and other dishes will attract insects. But most importantly make sure you pack up those empty sugary drink bottles and cans. Soda and beer is especially attractive to bees and wasps.
Plants That Repel Bees
Wondering how to keep bees away without chemicals or traps? If you want an easy and natural solution, consider using plants that bees dislike around your entertaining areas. One thing to keep in mind with this option is that if you have flowers that you want bees to visit you’ll have to keep these plants separate from those gardens.
Popular plants bees dislike include cucumber plants (which are a great vegetable to plant in the summer!), basil, geraniums, wormwood, mint, eucalyptus, marigolds, and citronella.
Use Deterring Scents
Bees and other bugs don’t like certain smells. If you want to keep bees away while you’re outside, but don’t want to hurt the bees, deterring them with smell works well. You can put bee repellent smells in a bottle and leave that near where you’re sitting, create a spray bottle and spray furniture, or burn scented candles.
Citronella is the most popular scent, and it also repels mosquitos. You can buy citronella scented candles almost anywhere in the summertime. But, bees also dislike the smell of lavender oil, lemon, lime, olive oil, vegetable oil, garlic powder, peppermint, cinnamon, vinegar, and mothballs.
Keep in mind when using scents that not everything is safe for pets. You should also keep any bee repellents away from children.
Try Dish Soap
Some people swear by this technique for getting rid of all kinds of pests including bees. What’s great about the dish soap solution is that it’s relatively safe for the environment and won’t harm pets or small kids.
Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mix of dish soap and water. Shake the bottle to mix, then spray the solution on any areas that bees normally gather. It works best if you spray in the evening.
This mix will kill bugs including bees, so if you don’t want to harm them make sure you’re only spraying surface areas.
Find the Nests
If you have a lot of bees in your yard throughout the season that might be an indication that they’ve built nests in your yard. Even gentle bees can be aggressive and territorial if you come near their nests, so it makes sense to want those gone.
Hives are commonly built in protected areas like under decks and on fences. To get rid of them, you could use a nest killing solution but this is only ideal for getting rid of wasps, not bees.
Instead, consider hiring an extermination service that specializes in live bee removal. That way they can move the bees to a safe location away from your home without further eliminating good pollinators in the environment. This is especially important with honeybees and bumble bees.
Plan Your Yard
When you’re planning out your yard or landscaping take into account what aspects will affect where bees gather. Placing bee-friendly gardens away from the entertaining and relaxing areas, for example, will help keep them at bay.
You should also avoid areas where bees like to build hives and clean regularly so they’re encouraged to nest somewhere else.
Finally, picking the right furniture and decor will make a difference too. Bees are attracted to bright colours – so stick to neutrals so avoid attracting “friends”.
You can’t always control the environment, especially when you’re outdoors in public. If bees are a problem at the park, beach, or campsite then you’re probably better off bee proofing yourself rather than the area.
Bees are attracted to hair for multiple reasons so wearing a hat can help keep them away from you – especially your face. They’re also attracted to bright colours, so sticking to neutrals is your best bet to not look like an enticing flower.
Finally, when all else fails apply bug spray. There’s a range of products depending on what kind of protection you need, although if the bees are really bad or you have allergies something with DEET is probably the most effective.
How to Keep Bees Out of Your Pool
Bees can be attracted to water including pools treated with salt water or chlorine. The last thing you want is a bunch of bees buzzing around while you’re trying to splash and swim! Especially since it’s easy to get them irritated that way.
To keep bees from landing on the pool keep the water moving. Pool jets and filters work well for this, but you could also add a small pool sprinkler to the pool to keep the water moving.
If you’ve already tried natural bee repellents in your pool area, you could also try giving the bees their own source of water. Place a birdbath or fountain somewhat nearby so they have a nice place to get water away from people.
Final Thoughts on How to Keep Bees Away
Bees are an important part of our ecosystem. Although they are pests for humans, it’s important to try and coexist with them. Whenever possible, try and use natural methods to keep bees away that don’t cause harm to the bees.
To help bee populations, avoid using pesticides and other bug killers in your yard, plant bee friendly flowers, and use natural solutions to keep bees away without extermination.