Bees are flying insects with many benefits like pollination of plants, food production for birds, humans, honey production, etc.
However, they can become pests when they infest your home en mass and unwarranted.
This article will discuss the pest management of bees that would be beneficial if they invade your home.
We will also discuss how to get rid of bees around your home and how to repel them.
Like many insects, a bee has a head with a proboscis for sucking, a thorax with wings and limbs, and an abdomen divided into nine segments.
A part of the appendages is modified into stingers, which they use to attack people or other oppressors.
A stinger is a modified ovipositor, where the bee’s eggs are stored. The stinger has a poison sac that contains the venom of the bee. The female bees possess the ovipositors, so male bees do not sting. There are stingless bees, which are both male and female bees without stingers.
There are two classes of bees;
The social ones who live in colonies, e.g., bumblebees, honey bees, and the solitary ones, e.g., carpenter bees, ground bees.
The bees who live in colonies have a caste system comprising the queen, male bees that mate with the queen known as the drones, and the worker bees, all females.
The queen is responsible for reproduction by mating with the male bees. The female bees do everything, including gathering food, pollinating plants, setting up the nest, cleaning the hive, etc.
Bees feed on pollens and nectars of flowers in a symbiotic relationship as they pollinate the plants in the process of moving from one plant to another.
There are over 20 000 bee species globally, and they form a large population of insects.
Here are four different types of bees:
1. Bumble Bees
Bumblebees are social types of bees with black and yellow stripes.
They sometimes nest in the ground but usually live together in a hive, found in attics or under roof beams. They feed on pollen and nectars and help in the cross-pollination of plants.
Bumblebees make loud, buzzing noises to defend their homes aggressively. They sting invaders as many times as they can and pursue them for long distances. The sting of a bumblebee is painful and may cause swelling and irritation in people allergic to insects’ stings.
2. Honey Bees
These social types of bees are golden yellow with brown bands and are found in many places around the world.
They are of economic importance as they are primarily involved in the pollination of many plants and in the production of Honey, which is of health importance.
Honey serves as food for bees, other insects, and humans. Honey from the bee is highly nutritious and has many medicinal benefits. In ancient times till date, this is what makes Honey bees very relevant to humans.
The bee colony of these insects can survive for a long time, as they eat their Honey with their young ones during harsh weather conditions like winter.
Honey bees live in nests of varying sizes built-in chimneys, tree crevices and attics. The buzzing sound they make is from the “11 000” times per minute flapping their wings.
They only sting once as their stingers have barbs, which attaches to the flesh of their prey.
The honey bee dies due to the abdomen ripping out when it moves away after the attachment has occurred. The sting of a honey bee is painful and may cause a severe reaction in people allergic to insects’ stings.
3. Carpenter Bees
These blue-black species of bees are solitary; that is, they do not live in colonies.
They are named after their ability to drill through woods like “carpenter.” They each build a nest by chewing a tunnel through a wood, where they lay eggs and raise and protect their young ones.
The tunnels have different rooms where they store food and lay eggs. It is not unusual to find several female carpenter bees live together in a single wood. Each female carpenter bee, however, has her marked rooms for her food and larvae.
Their food consists of nectars and pollens from flowers, which they also feed to their larvae.
The carpenter bees usually pollinate the plants ignored by the Honey bees. A carpenter bee marks her territory as she chews and deposits bits of wood known as “frass” at the tunnels’ entrance.
They sting as many times as they can only in defense. They do not pose a public health threat; however, it can be destructive when it comes to woods.
4. Ground Bees
Ground bees are dark-colored with dull yellow or light brown stripes and are solitary, non-aggressive, and beneficial.
They make burrows in dried, loose soil in the ground where they nest, store their food and raise and protect their larvae. Although they are solitary, multiple female ground bees can aggregate in suitable areas to burrow and create a nest.
Ground bees rarely attack as they are non-aggressive. The females only attack when they are threatened or have to protect their larvae.
The males are in charge of defending the burrow’s entrance from disturbance; however, they lack stingers; hence, they are harmless. The sting from a ground bee may be painful with a severe reaction for those allergic to bees’ stings.
Bees and wasps are closely related as they both are flying insects of the same family.
They both have social and solitary species. They are both of great economic importance but can also become pests.
Wasps may look like bees; however, they differ structurally and functionally:
A home remedy is the best way to get rid of bees naturally.
It is a nontoxic way to remove bees since most home remedies are made from plants and other organic products. Several home remedies repel and get rid of bees, and here are some of which you can choose from:
1. Citronella candles
Bees feed on nectars, pollen and other sweet things due to their scents.
Citronella has a pungent smell, and when burnt in a particular area, the smell is dominant for a while, erasing other scents.
Burning citronella candles around your home helps mask the odor of sweet things that may attract bees.
When the bees cannot locate any food source, they will leave and relocate somewhere else.
You can mix citronella oil in water and spray to discourage bees around your property. You can prevent bee stings by rubbing the oil on your body. Citronella is effective in repelling bees, and consistent use will keep them away for good.
2. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is a strong bee repellent as its spicy and pungent smell repels bees.
The powder can also kill bees if it comes in direct contact with them.
For practical use, sprinkle around any hive near your home.
If you must spray directly on a beehive, make sure you use protective gadgets, including goggles, gloves, overalls, boots, face shields, etc.
You can mix the powder with water and spray the mixture around your property. Consistent use of garlic powder will keep bees away for good.
Cinnamon is also a strong bee repellent with a spicy scent.
If you have cinnamon in your home, bees will stay away since they cannot stand it.
Dilute with water and apply in a spray bottle around your property, near any hive or burrows to discourage bee infestation.
You may need to do this as often as possible so that its effect does not wear off, and bees can stay away.
Peppermint has a strong spicy and mint scent that bees hate.
They steer clear of areas with a slight smell of peppermint and move elsewhere. Mix peppermint with water and use it in a spray bottle for better results. You can also plant peppermint in your yard or garden and around the perimeter of your home to keep bees out for good.
You can also apply peppermint oil in corners, attics or tree cavities where you can find a beehive. Ensure you spray the bees using protective clothing.
Cucumber peels have a scent that bees cannot stand, which repels them.
To discourage bees from invading your home, sprinkle some cucumber peels around the perimeter of your home. Consistent use can prove to be effective in the long run.
Vinegar’s scent is known to repel bees, affect their respiratory functions and suffocate them.
When these bees come in contact with vinegar, they die almost instantly. Mix water and vinegar in equal amounts and apply with a vinegar spray near your property. You can also use a vinegar spray directly on bees’ hive. Do not spray the bees without adequate protection with overalls, goggles, face shields, boots and gloves.
7. Soapy water
A mixture of soap and water is harmful to bees as it suffocates them.
When your yard has soapy water on its ground, it discourages the bees from there.
Add equal amounts of water and dishwashing soap in a bowl and spray near your property.
You can also use it as a trap by pouring the mixture in a big bucket and coating its edges with sweet things to attract the bees. The bees will come for the food but end up being suffocated by the soapy water.
Marigold is one of the bee repellent plants as it has an aromatic scent that helps keep bees far from your home.
Planting marigold in your garden or yard will discourage bees from inhabiting there. You can also plant them in your flower beds, around your swimming pool, and in flower pots inside your home.
If you use the above remedies, they will solve your bee problem, provided it is a small one and not a massive infestation.
The consistent use of these remedies may also serve as a preventive measure for any potential future bee infestation. They are also suitable for pest control of bees, as they prevent their infestation if appropriately used.
Getting rid of bees may involve killing the bees, and killing them is a dangerous mission.
The best way to kill bees is to do so instantly as you may be attacked aggressively by any survivors.
So, if you are going to kill the insects, go for the perfect one kill. Here are the things that kill bees instantly:
1. Pesticides or insecticides
Pesticides are chemicals with active ingredients that cause the death of bees.
When applied, the bee suffers paralysis and dies instantly. The chemicals can be in liquid or powdery form, known as dust.
Ensure you adhere to the safety protocols of whatever insecticide you want to spray, and check for rights reserved to understand how to proceed. The chemicals have adverse effects; hence, avoid contact with pets and anything of human consumption.
It is best to use it at night when the bees are in the hive, as you get to eliminate all of them at once, without chances of having survivors.
Use protective clothing to prevent attacks from the bees, and stay at least 15 feet away from the hive before spraying. Take precautions to prevent accidental inhalation of the aerosols and ensure you evacuate pets and children from the area.
It may take a few days up to a week or more before you or anyone else can be near the hive.
For the powder dust, you may apply it directly inside the hive or use a duster for convenience. Place the bottle inside the hive and squeeze to deposit the powder.
Fill the duster with the powder, and apply it to the burrow’s entrance or tree cavities with bee nest.
Ensure you are well protected from the aftermath attack of the bees while doing this.
Take precautions to avoid inhalation and contact with skin. Keep pets, children, humans, valuables, and consumables away from such areas.
2. Electric bug zappers
These devices kill insects without toxins or chemicals; instead, they use ultraviolet light to attract them and eventually electrocute them to death.
Electric bug zappers are very popular as a tool for pest control of insects, including bees. Insects, including bees, are attracted to light, especially at night, so an electric bug zapper is useful for capturing and killing them. Its high voltage of electricity electrocutes bees quickly.
You can hang the electric bug zapper on a hook in your yard or on your porch powered through a switch.
The blue light it emits will attract the bees, and they will enter the grid of the bugger in their tens.
Once captured, they will get electrocuted and drop dead immediately. It is highly efficient as it can catch up to a hundred bees at once.
Also, the electricity tariff is minimal despite its high voltage for electrocution. It is toxin and chemical-free and an excellent solution for how to get rid of bees. Check regularly to clear the dead bees off the ground.
3. Bee traps
You get to lure them into a container and then choose to either relocate them or kill them by leaving them to suffocate.
There are ready-made traps to help you capture and kill bees instantly; however, you can also make yours.
What to use
What to do
How it works
The sweet solution attracts the bee to the trap, and it enters through the opening.
However, it cannot leave because it will not exit the bottle; instead, it will drown in the solution. If you want to relocate the bees, you will need to pour just a small portion of the sweet solution to trap them and not kill them.
The use of traps is one of the best solutions for how to get rid of bees, as it is nontoxic, convenient and easy-to-use. With traps, you can eliminate as many bees as possible, and all you need is readily available.
4. An Exterminator
If you fail to solve your bee problem, then it is time to call in the exterminators.
They are experts at getting rid of bees of a massive infestation. Contact your local authorities for exterminators, specifically bees.
Ensure you discuss all your prior pest control activities of the bees and prepare to make before coming to kill the bees.
You may need to leave your home for a few days depending on how long it would take to get rid of the bees and have your home in a safer condition.
The preparation process may take a few days as the exterminators need to prepare adequately for the task.
Make sure the exterminators work according to the state’s environmental and safety laws and protocols regarding killing bees.
How to get rid of bees seems like a big issue due to the delicate circumstances surrounding bees.
The population of Honey bees is known to be declining due to years of killing.
While bees, in general, are of great economic importance, they are still a part of the pest population, and you need to get rid of them.
The best option for honey bees would be to call a beekeeper to help relocate them to a better habitat. Other types of bees should be discouraged from invading your home, especially if you have no plants.