How to Get Rid of Bees Without Killing Them

Updated June 16th, 2023
getting rid bees

Who doesn’t love and adore the charm, thrill, and allure that spring brings? Blossoming flowers, Lush green ambiance, graceful butterflies, and of course, buzzing bees. I mean, everything about this season breathes life, and many of us enjoy basking in its adulation. Even so, there is a high likelihood that you are wary of the glamour that this season brings because with it comes the bees. And with the bees comes stings…stings that are not only excruciatingly painful but also agonizing and, in some cases, lethal. For this reason, we tend to imagine that bees are dangerous insects and killing them is the only effective and lasting solution.

Why not simply kill them?

Contrary to popular belief, bees are useful and expedient insects. And though potentially dangerous, they are a vital and priceless component of our ecosystem. As a matter of fact, most, if not all, wild plants, agricultural crops, and garden vegetables cannot survive – let alone thrive in the absence of their pollination services. And with bee colonies significantly dwindling across the globe, it has become more important than ever to protect and preserve surviving populations so as to avoid the punishing ramifications of a world without them. Therefore, whenever you are getting rid of bees for safety reasons – may it be from your garden, garage, or house, use an approach that will keep them at bay without harming or injuring them.

But how? First and foremost, know your bees

Well, there are several ways to go about this. But before we can get there, it is very important to know what you are up against. I mean, are you dealing with African killer bees? Carpenter Bees? Bumblebees? Or perhaps hornets? Identifying what type of bees you are dealing with is as imperative as knowing how to get rid of them safely because different species act and behave in different ways.

Honey Bees

July Honey BeeThese live in huge colonies by building hives on places such as window ledges or structures outside your house. Native bees are typically docile unless provoked. However, there are reports that the highly aggressive and dangerous African killer bees are rampantly spreading. So, whenever you see a colony, first establish whether they are native or African Killer bees.



They are yellow with black stripes running across their backs, which makes them pretty. They also live in colonies but build their hives underground, unlike honey bees.

Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee on twig

Unlike the other two species, these are solitary insects that live in pairs. They are also very docile and less likely to sting anyone. Their name comes from their tendency to drill tunnels in wooden structures and trees.


These are noticeably bigger than all other species and build teardrop-shaped nests.

Now we know one bee from the next, how do you remove bees?

Professional Relocation

Relocating BeeThis is perhaps the safest and most effective way to get rid of bees without killing them. I insist on professional relocation because dealing with a swarm of stinging bees in their thousands can be precarious and even mortal. For your own safety, you should never attempt to do this whatsoever if you don’t have experience. Therefore, look for professional bee relocating services or even a local beekeeper to remove the bees from your property safely. When looking for one, insist on a pest control company that does not use chemicals to exterminate bees. After all, that’s your main goal, and you should not desist from it.

Natural Bee Lures

Sweet CherriesIf there are flowers within your property, honey bees will certainly pay you hundreds of visits on a daily basis. This is due to the simple fact that bees are naturally attracted to conspicuous flowers and naturally sugary things. Fortunately, you can use this tendency to your own advantage. By formulating an attractant that has more sugar and fragrance than your flowers, it is possible to safely and seamlessly lure them out of your property.
And though there are commercial bee attractants that rely on their synthetic sweetness to entice bees, steer away from them because the chemicals used to manufacture them could compromise the entire process of getting rid of them without killing them. Natural is always best, and research has already established that naturally sweet things are better, safer, and more effective when it comes to attracting bees. So, stick with them.

The process

  1. Look for a fruit that is sugary, soft, and, most importantly, with a strong sweet aroma since bees are more attracted to fragrant things.
  2. Chop it into chunks and put the pieces in a sandwich bag.
  3. Place the contents 20ft away from your house and repeat this for a few days, every time moving the lure further from your hive to where you have prepared a new hive (in case they have already built a hive on your property).
  4. Keep the process going till they stop visiting or after they have migrated into the new hive.

Tip: If the bees already have a hive within your property, this method might be infective. In such a case, always look for professional help.

Natural Bee Repellents

Just like bees are attracted to sweet and fragrant smells, they are equally rebuffed by noxious odors. Speaking of which, this method is perhaps one of the most effective and easy ways to get rid of bees from your property whether they are just visiting to drink nectar or have already built a hive. However, bear in mind that most of these repellants will achieve little or nothing when it comes to eliminating hives completely.

Powdered garlic

Natural Repellent GarlicDust powdered garlic generously in the areas within your property where bees have the tendency to congregate. They will find the smell offensive and noxious and, with time, discourage them from visiting that area. However, bear in mind that garlic powder can be lethal when applied to bees directly. For this reason, sprinkle it at night or early in the morning when bees are less active.

Citronella candles

Bee Repellent CandleThis will come in handy if there are lots of beautiful and fragrant flowers on your property. The reason being when burnt, citronella produces a strong odor that easily masks any other odor near it. So, wherever there are flowers, light a few citronella candles for 3 or 4 days to infuse the area, and bees will avoid it.

If there is a hive nearby, this method can be used to keep them at bay since they will always be avoiding all locations infused with the citronella odor. It might not drive the hive away, but at least it will keep you safe.

Cucumber peels

Cucumber peels are also an effective natural bee repellant. The peel produces an order that is offensive to many insects, including bees. However, this method can only be used to keep bees from visiting your property. In other words, they don’t pack a punch to force bees to leave their hive.


bee smokerSmoking will come in handy if a bee colony has already built a hive within your property. Besides being safe, it is very effective when it comes to making bees leave a hive. However, you should be extremely cautious because forcefully removing a swarm of bees from its hive can be very dangerous not only to you but also to your neighbors. For safety precautions, ensure that all the windows, doors, and other entrances to your house are closed before starting the fire. And most importantly, it should only be done very early in the morning or preferably at night when all the bees are in the hive and less active.
Besides this, no animals or pets should be left outside. And once you have started the fire or unleashed your smoke bomb, retreat to your house as fast as you can because smoking the hive irritates them, which in turn makes them very aggressive. The materials to be burnt below the hive should produce a substantial amount of smoke but not too much heat because this could potentially kill them. The smoke will irritate the bees and eventually force them out of the hive.

Bottom line

Bee HivesAs much as bees can be dangerous when provoked, we should always bear in mind that they hold an irreplaceable position within our ecosystem. This, plus the fact that their pollution is threatened by extinction all around the world, should inspire us to change the lens through which we view this priceless insect. So, even when you have to get rid of them for safety reasons, ensure that you do it in a harmless way in an effort to conserve the surviving populations. And never forget that when a bee strikes, it is never a declaration of way but an effort to defend its hive.

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