Do Tiki Torches Keep Bees Away? (Tiki Torches and Other Methods to Repel Bees)

We all love having family BBQs, but those buzzing bees can be real party crashers, right? If you’re nodding along, you’re not alone.

Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate these pollinators, but their presence can be unsettling during family gatherings. So, many seek ways to keep these buzzing guests away without harm.

Enter tiki torches – a popular method for keeping insects and mosquitoes at bay. However, do tiki torches keep bees away, too?

In this article, we’ll discuss the effects of tiki torches on bees and whether they’re effective at deterring them. We’ll also offer alternatives to ensure your outdoor space remains free of stingers and buzzers.

What Is a Tiki Torch?

Picture a bamboo pole-mounted torch with a dancing flame – that’s a tiki torch! They illuminate outdoor spaces like patios and decks and are famous for their tropical vibes.

Tiki torches rely on various fuels to keep their flame alive. 

Paraffin lamp oil, a smoke-free option, illuminates spaces beautifully. Lemongrass and eucalyptus oils serve as natural insect repellents. 

Propane gas offers a long-lasting flame, while eucalyptus oil burns cleanly with minimal smoke. Others also use kerosene for its sustained burn with minimal scent. 

Tiki torch

Do Tiki Torches Work on Bees?

While tiki torches are known for repelling mosquitoes, their effectiveness against bees will depend on your fuel. 

Bees and wasps have an acute sense of smell, so the oil you use should have strong scents to keep them away.

One of the most popular fuels to deter bugs and stingers comes from the citronella plant, an evergreen perennial plant that emits a potent citrus-like scent. It’s known among gardeners to repel mosquitoes and other pesky fliers.

Citronella comes in many forms. You can purchase citronella candles, spray bottles, and essential citronella oils from natural food stores and online.

Whether you opt for citronella torches or apply them indirectly around your yard, on tables, or through soaked cotton balls, the strong smell can act as a barrier, helping you enjoy your outdoor space without unwelcome buzzing visitors.

Are There Other Ways to Repel Bees?

Yes. There are plenty of options to keep your buzzing neighbors from crashing into your backyard party. Here are a few alternatives you can try:

1. Plant Herbs Bees Hate

Water droplets on lemongrass leaves

Creating a buzz-free yard can be as simple as planting herbs that bees find unappealing. 

Mint, particularly peppermint and spearmint, tops the list. Easy to grow, both varieties emit strong scents that deter bees.

Lemongrass, known for its insect-repelling properties, adds a citrusy aroma to your garden. And as you probably know, these buzzers hate citrus scent.

Lastly, consider citronella not just as a store-bought solution but as a plant itself. This perennial grass, thriving in warm regions, can be a natural bee deterrent, returning year after year.

Avoid lemon balm, as it attracts bees!

2. Lure Bees Away 

Here’s another excellent idea. Rather than using bug repellents to scare off bees, try redirecting them during outdoor activities.

Set up alternative feeding stations with sugar water, maple syrup, or banana peel strips away from your main gathering area. However, ensure a significant distance to avoid backfiring.

If wasps are present, offer both sugar and meat attractants. But be cautious with this method in campgrounds, as it may attract other wildlife.

3. Care Bees With Smoke

Finally, you can harness the power of carbon dioxide or smoke to drive bees away. A campfire or a scented smoky candle can go a long way to do this trick.

See, smoke disrupts their sense of smell and triggers a response to a potential forest fire. The bees, thinking they must relocate, return to their hive and consume honey.

They consume honey as a natural tactic to help them build a new hive elsewhere. So, use caution and moderation when using this method to avoid harming bees or causing distress.

4. Use Bitter Almond Oil

Almond oil on a wooden board

It might surprise you. But beyond its role in perfumes, bitter almond oil can be a natural bee deterrent.

To utilize its repelling properties, saturate a rag with a small amount of bitter almond oil and place it in outdoor areas where evaporation occurs swiftly. 

Some individuals amplify the effect by incorporating tea tree oil into the rag.

However, some studies said that excessive quantities may harm the bees, although this aspect needs further research. Still, employ this fragrant approach judiciously, keeping the rag away from pets and children to ensure safety.

5. Apply Commercial Repellants

While conventional insect repellents may not deter bees, specialized bee repellants like Bee Go or Honey Robber, obtainable from stores catering to beekeeping needs, offer personal protection.

That said, prioritize products with an EPA-approved logo for human and environmental safety. 

When seeking to repel bees from specific areas, choose reputable and approved bee-repellent products for optimal results.


What repels bees instantly?

Several natural solutions can instantly repel bees. Neem, mint, citronella, eucalyptus, and cloves are effective options. 

Most of these plants grow effortlessly in pots with minimal maintenance and act as natural bee deterrents. Marigold and geranium are also potent repellents. 

Does vinegar keep bees away?

Yes, vinegar is an effective solution for keeping bees at bay. Opt for white distilled vinegar due to its mild scent. 

You can use it by pouring it into dishes, placing them strategically around your garden or near bee hives, or even soaking dryer sheets in vinegar. 

However, exercise caution, as vinegar can harm bees in large quantities. So, avoid spraying vinegar directly on bees or their hives

Final Thoughts

To recap, tiki torches with suitable fuel can help repel bees. Citronella, for example, can be a potent bee deterrent as fuel for your torches.

However, for a bee-friendly garden, consider alternative methods like planting mint, lemongrass, and citronella plants. You can also experiment with natural options such as smoke or bitter almond oil, but exercise caution.

Take action now for a buzz-free and bee-friendly outdoor experience!