Bees are such an essential part of our ecosystem, that truthfully, it would be hard to imagine life without them. As much as we need them, not everyone wants them nesting in their yard or property.
Having a beehive in your vicinity can be stressful, inconvenient, and sometimes even dangerous – that’s why, if you’re thinking of removing one, you should know how to do it responsibly and humanely.
There’s no need to kill any of the bees in the hive, and removal can be done efficiently and humanely with the right tools. Hand your busy bee neighbors their eviction notice with these simple, efficient ways to get rid of a beehive.
How To Get Rid Of A Beehive Or Nest
However you choose to deal with the beehive, keeping the bees safe should be your number one priority. Unless you have no other option, we would never advocate eliminating the bees in the hive.
The bee population is in decline, specifically honey bees, and we all have a duty to protect them.
1. Don’t Provoke Them
Once you’ve located the hive, avoid provoking them. Remember: bees only sting if they feel threatened, so as long as you keep your distance and respect the hive, you’re unlikely to come to any harm.
If you provoke the nest, you also risk provoking a swarm of bees. This is as terrifying as it sounds – large swarms will gather at a nearby location (usually a tree branch or a bush) and surround the queen to protect her.
If you provoke the nest, you could face the brunt of their anger. So, keep an eye on the nest and maintain a safe distance until you’ve figured out an appropriate strategy.
2. Call A Professional
Although you may feel comfortable dealing with the issue yourself, we’d always recommend calling a professional. We’ll discuss a few individual methods you can use later, but if you call a professional, they’ll usually use the following methods:
Honey Bee Cut-Outs
If you’re dealing with honey bees, honey bee cutouts are the most common method of removal. A professional will vacuum the bees safely into a box, and the larvae and young bees will be placed in a smaller hive (see also: Best Paint For Bee Hives)box to be reunited later.
Any wax, honey, pollen, and resin will be cut out of the space where the hive is. Must professionals can complete a cut-out within a day, and none of the bees are harmed in the process.
Trap-outs are another removal method that’s usually used for honey bee nests. Although trap-outs aren’t a common method, there are some instances where they may be appropriate.
A professional will trap the bees in a void that they’ve colonized, and they’re then slowly gathered into a nuc box over a long period of time.
This is not a quick method, and it will be done based on the lifecycle of the bees. However, it’s an extremely effective method if you’re dealing with a hive that’s located in a concealed area.
3. Natural Remedies
If you don’t want to call a professional, there are a few ways to deal with the issue yourself – especially if the beehive is on your property. Here are a few natural remedies you can try to get rid of the beehive:
Vinegar can work for hives that are on your property, or in your yard. A solution of vinegar spray can be made at home and sprayed on the hive and the areas surrounding it.
This natural deterrent will encourage the bees to leave the hive but be aware, it doesn’t always work – especially if you’re dealing with a larger, more territorial colony.
Cinnamon is another natural deterrent that may encourage the bees to leave the hive. Sprinkling ground cinnamon around the hive can be enough to make them vacate, but it may take up to a week.
Again, this does not always work and will depend largely on the size and temperament of the colony.
How To Prevent Bees From Nesting On Your Property
If you’ve just got rid of a hive, or you want to avoid one appearing on your property, you’ll need to be proactive. Bees are opportunities, and they’ll nest in many yards and properties, as long as the conditions are appropriate.
Here are a few things you can do to stop them from making themselves at home:
Fill Exposed Holes
Unfortunately, if you have any exposed holes in your property, these can make a prime nesting place. As soon as you notice any exposed holes, do your best to fill them.
This will not only deter bees, but also other insects and rodents.
Keep It Clean
Keep your yard and property as clean as possible – but especially your yard. Substantial overgrowths of vegetation can attract bees, and if these overgrowths are close to your property, you’re asking for trouble.
Keep on top of yard maintenance and prevent overgrowth.
Eliminate Food Sources Outdoors
If you have food sources in your yard, you’re more likely to attract bees. If you’ve been feeding other animals outdoors but you’ve noticed an increase in bee activity, you may be encouraging them into your yard.
Get rid of any excess sugar or protein that may be encouraging bees to build a hive in your yard.
Use Plants To Your Advantage
If you want to get creative, you can use other plants and flowers to your advantage. Bees hate the smell of cloves, eucalyptus, citronella, and mint; so, why not introduce them to your yard?
They’ll make your outdoor space smell amazing while repelling the bees – it’s a win-win!
Removing an established beehive is no small feat. Whether it’s on your yard or your property, you’ll want to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do this that won’t cause harm to the bees.
We’d always recommend contacting a professional beekeeper to handle your removal. They’ll remove your beehive quickly and ethically, keeping all the bees safe and healthy in the process.
If you want to avoid a hive on your property, remember to keep things clean, and plug any exposed holes that could attract bees and other insects.