How To Repel Bees?

Common bee collects pollen from flowers in a meadow
Common bee collects pollen from flowers in a meadow

Bees are one of the many beautiful creations of nature but many a times, they can prove to be a great nuisance by causing hindrance in some of the most delightful moments of life. For example, consider a family get-together at home. Sitting with family out in the open followed by a delicious dinner in the lawn is a cherished by all. However, with a swarm of bees around, the fear of getting stung would keep everyone on their toes. Thus for your own safety, it is very important to repel them (killing them would not be correct and is definitely not the solution).

A house and its surroundings can easily be secured from bees if sufficient measures are taken towards repelling them. The steps include taking care of everything that attracts them. Read the subsequent sections for a more detailed overview.

Clean the Surroundings

Carpenter bees are known to be present in places like junkyards where a lot of unattended items are present. Take time to clean your garden and remove anything that fits into the category of junk or wastes (broken vehicle parts, unused wood, pulp etc.). Unattended gardens are the nesting grounds for most species of bees and leniency on this front should be avoided. By giving due attention to the garden, not only would an individual get rid of the menace but also find himself to be the owner of a beautiful garden.

Paint the Exterior with Bee Repellents

Bee repellents consist of a mixture of orange oil and water in a ratio of 2:1. One may either buy bee repellents from stores of make it at home. Whichever the case, apply it on the wooden exteriors, banisters and the front porch with a paint brush to keep the bees at bay. This mixture is hundred percent natural and is completely safe to use. The myth that these actually kill the bees is false and baseless. Unlike what many believe, it is completely harmless for both the humans as well as the bees.

Insect Repellent

Application of insect repellents on the exposed body parts can go a long way in securing a person from getting stung by bees. Make sure that the repellent is unscented (bees are attracted towards perfumes and deodorants) and are oil based. There are number of such products available in the market prominent amongst which is Avon. However, this is not a full proof method but it does help repelling bees to some extent. For best results, it should be complimented with other bee repelling methods.


Despite undertaking the above mentioned processes, if the bee problem still persists, it would be best to burn down their nest. If their nest is destroyed, bees avoid making a nest in the same location again. Burning down can be achieved by keeping lighted newspaper right below their nest. However, this bee repelling method comes with some precautions:

1. Attempt this method only at night when the bees are sleeping. It is their nature to be on guard during day light and the probability of getting stung is relatively very high

2. Keep children safety secure in their rooms while attempting this

3. Take enough precautions that the fire does not spread into the house and burn one or more items inside

People who do not belong to the DIY category can always call up pest removal services. They would be more than happy to help get rid of bees for a nominal fee. You may also learn a couple of tricks or two while they are present to be in a better position to handle the spread in the future.

Related Video:


Author: Kelly

Kelly Hurston has been a professional writer for 10 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in May, 2010. Kelly enjoys cooking, doing DIY projects, and is an avid reader.

18 thoughts on “How To Repel Bees?”

  1. The author is using the word “bees” when I believe she really means wasps, hornets and yellowjackets. Honey bees are not attracted to people food or sweets like the other stinging insects mentioned. Honey bees move between flowers and other flowering plants and trees, collecting nectar and pollen, and want nothing to do with people or our food.

  2. No……she means bees.  My students are constantly fighting them outside our classroom.  They love the wood that our cubbies are made of and many of my students have been stung just trying to pack up their backpacks.  The old adage…..”If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.” has been proven false.  We don’t want to hurt them, we just want them to go away!

  3. There are over 20,000 known species of bees.   Some are more aggressive than other types are, but they all can sting a person when agitated or when the bee feels threatened.  Bees can sense a person’s fear or anger and will automatically respond to it.  The fear in the pheremones will attract them.

    Tigermomjody, I admire your desire not to kill the bees.  Most bees are beneficial and essential to our ecological balance.  I don’t know what methods you have tried already, but you may want to have a professional beekeeper try to remove the bees.  You might also try coating the wood of the cubbies with some type of sealant or paint and then coat it again with orange oil.  Also, you need to close off their access to their hives and the building,  You can try making  a screen covering of 1/8″ hardware cloth over any entry and exit points.

    If you absolutely have to kill them, then using a mixture of detergent and water can help flush them out.  Strips of flypaper can also catch them and kill them.  Whether you kill them or have them removed, make sure you thoroughly clean the area and remove any wax, honeycombs, and honey that is left behind.  Otherwise you will get a new infestation of bees. 

  4. I just want to get the bees away  from my hummer feeders. The bees don’t bother me but the competition can be fierce.

  5. Hi, Mtnbirdman!  I’ve seen some pretty aggressive bees and wasps fighting with hummingbirds at feeders too.  I found this site (, that sells humming bird feeders that come with bee guards.  The birds can get the nectar out but the bees can’t.  They also suggest making sure your feeders don’t aren’t yellow and aren’t leaky.  According to this site, sometimes just moving the feeder by a few feet helps too.

  6. We have had honey bees invade our kitchen…twice!  Dozens, possible a hundred. We have an older brick & cedar home in a wooded neighborhood and they find their way into the tiniest of openings when swarming and looking to relocate. We called a local bee keeper last spring who advised us to turn out the lights and set the a/c thermostat as low as it will go untill he could get here. They were all gone by the time he arrives a couple hours later. Tried it again yesterday and it worked again. Hope it does not become an annual ritual.

  7. PawPaw, I can sympathize with you on not wanting the bee routine to become an annual ritual.  Since bees mostly like warm places, I can understand why they wouldn’t like the a/c being on and the lights off.  From what I’ve read, leaving even the least amount of beeswax, honeycomb or honey will bring them back to an area. thus re-creating a bee infestation.

  8. Any suggestions on how to keep honey bees away from an area? I live in AZ and there is quite a population of Africanized Bees out here. Like every one else I don’t want to kill them (a few bees flying around are bad enough but killing even one would bring an angry swarm) I just want to deter them my campsite for a few hours. I usually pack up all of my food products in the ice cooler so they can’t get to it. And  I’ve sprayed  OFF! with Deet around the chairs, which only sometimes works. Any additional advice would be welcome.

  9. My bedroom just got invaded by a couple hundred bees! Regretfully (I suppose!) had to get some Raid from 7-11 and vacuum them up… Will be calling animal control later in the morning since I can’t sleep. AT&T guy who upgraded the cables outside apparently made a pretty nice size hole in the wall. Luckily, they don’t seem to be of the Africanized variety!

  10. I  work on a military base that is surrounded by trees.  I have been chased by bees three times this week just walking to my car.  I am going to try wiping down the areas I sprayed perfume on this morning (chest and back of neck) and wash my hands but not put lotion on before I walk out to my car today and see if that helps.  I am not highly allergic but the area that gets stung swells up and besides that, I have a fear of bees. 

  11. Hi, everyone!  Here’s a video that I thought might be helpful to those who are having problems with bees despite the wonderful advice that Kelly provided in her article.

    Half-pint, perfume attracts bees so you may want to forego using perfume.  Or at least only use a light spray immediately after you get to work and then hope the fragrance has dissipated by the time you leave work. Also, try not to be afraid of the bees because they can smell that fear and it will attract them to you.

    Hanson, I hope you got the holes the cable guy left you patched up already! Bees like to hide inside warm walls.

    AZ77, although the woman in this video recommends using citrus oils or rubbing citrus fruits like lemon or lime on the skin, the Girl Scout Camping handbook suggests avoiding this type of activity. They recommend:
    “First and foremost, stay away from bee colonies. It is estimated that in Arizona
    there are about 250,000 wild bee colonies. They nest in a wide variety of
    locations, so be alert for groups of flying bees entering or leaving an opening.
    Listen for buzzing sounds. Be especially alert when climbing because bees will
    often nest under rocks or within crevices.
    If you find a colony, don’t try to destroy it by yourself or with your friends. Don’t
    try breaking it or throwing rocks at it or burning it. If it is in an area frequented by
    people or livestock, notify authorities immediately.
    Wear appropriate clothing when hiking, this means light colored clothing. Avoid
    leather. Bees target their natural predators (bears, skunks), so they tend to go
    after dark objects. Keep in mind that bees see the color red as if it were black.
    So, if you’re out hunting wear fluorescent orange. Avoid scents of any sort,
    especially if it makes you smell like a skunk, but bees also like the sweet flowery
    scent of shampoos and perfumes. Bees communicate using scents. If riding,
    leave the lemony or citrus flavored products off your horse.”

    I guess everyone will have to decide which expert to believe.

  12. Your article entitled How to Repel Bees should be edited by someone who actually knows about bees and the dilemma of their declining populations these days. The suggestion to “burn them out” is entirely inappropriate and politically, socially and ecologically incorrect. Besides being a major fire hazard since beeswax is what candles are made of, the dripping honey will make an awful mess and attract robber bees and wood destroying pests. Call a beekeeper on your local beekeepers association’s swarm list or check Craigslist for a bee extractor to come and re-locate the colony WITHOUT KILLING THEM OFF.  Bees are considered to be docile when out foraging in the garden. I never heard of anyone getting stung by sitting in their garden. Threatening the hive will elicit a protective response by the bees.  Use Bee Quick, Bee Go, or Honey Robber to repel the bees the way the professionals do. These and similar products are available from your local beekeeping supply store.

    1. Randall, if you have read this article and checked out the video, you should be able to tell that almost everyone on this forum and the author of this article have advocated not killing the bees if it can be avoided.  However, it should also be noted that not every human can be around bees and other stinging insects such as wasps without endangering themselves.  Sometimes boundaries do need to be set to keep both, bees and humans safe. 

      Even though most bees are docile, not all bees are and most people don’t know how to distinguish one species from another.  So the majority of  people tend to get a bit agitated when a bee insists on hovering around them.  The smell of the person’s fear also incites the bee’s instincts to sting its predator, which is how it will perceive any human that is swatting at it. 

      As for burning the nest being the best way to repel bees, I would have to agree with you that this isn’t the best way to go about ridding yourself of the bees.  Numerous people get hurt attempting to use this method every year.  However, some professional exterminators do use this method. 

      And although getting a professional beekeeper to help out is the best idea, there aren’t that many around anymore.  There may be a local beekeepers’ association where you live and a local beekeeper’s supply store conveniently located by you, but most people don’t have that luxury.   And nowadays, due to the threat of Africanized Bees being mixed in with the more docile bees, many professional beekeepers will not help a homeowner out with bee removal.

  13. Africanization” is a load of codswallop. It’s just grist to the mill of American ignorance and paranoia about the world beyond Hollywood, “Friends” and Walmart.

  14. This seems to be an old post conversation, but I will add to it anyway. I have a very large butterfly and bee garden with nectar and host plants galore. I have photos of happy bees loaded with pollen. Last year and many years before I could sit in the garden one foot from dozens of bees without ever being stung. This year something has changed. I have been stung 5 separate times so far. I don’t know what gives. What about using a tincture of mint on your body? Would that repel them? I live on the coast in South Carolina.

  15. If you get the guest to wear a smoking suit and carry around some newspaper
    and a fly swatter. The home owner is sure to be safe.

  16. If you get the guest to wear a smoking suit and carry around some newspaper
    and a fly swatter. The home owner is sure to be safe.

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