Bees are crucial to our planet’s ecosystem. As such, experts would often suggest that we leave these pollinators alone as long as they aren’t causing serious trouble.
Still, if you have these insects swarming a tree near your home, it’d be unwise not to take action, especially if you or your family spend time near the tree in question.
You could be allergic to bees, and having these insects around is especially dangerous for your well-being. Or, you might be planning a party in your yard, and you fear having them buzzing about would frighten your guests.
So, what can you do in this buzzing trouble?
Below, I’ll discuss several DIY methods to get rid of a bee nest in a tree. I’ll also share some bee facts to understand when and why bees swarm next to your home.
7 Smart Ways to Get Rid of Bees
Bees are generally calm insects. However, they can get quite aggressive when threatened or disturbed, which can cause plenty of issues to your home.
Here are seven practical ways to eliminate bees and their nest:
1 – Call a Beekeeper
If you think you have bee sting allergies, calling for professional help is the best decision—more so if you care about the bees and don’t want to harm them.
You might have a beekeeper in your area willing to take the bees. A beekeeper will have the necessary tools and skills to remove a beehive and relocate it.
You can do local research to find beekeepers or beekeeping groups in your area.
Or you can use platforms like Pollinator.com, a non-profit organization that offers a list of beekeepers you can contact to rescue the bees. They’ll surely appreciate what you’re trying to do!
Many people can’t find beekeepers, though, and this means that they have to look into other measures. So, be sure to take a look at the solutions below.
2 – Sprinkle Cinnamon Around the Beehive
Cinnamon is another excellent method if hurting the bees doesn’t sit right with you. Yes, I mean the condiment sitting on your counter right now.
You see, bees don’t like the smell of cinnamon. The condiment’s potent scent disturbs their extremely sensitive olfactory senses, which is a hundred times more sensitive than a human!
Their repulsion to cinnamon will make the bees want to get away. In short, you might convince them to relocate without harming them.
Here’s how you do it:
Sprinkle cinnamon around the tree or the area where the bees are nesting. Alternatively, you can use cinnamon bark and lay them as close to the nest as possible.
After about a week of placing or sprinkling cinnamon around the hive, the bees will likely give up and leave the tree to find a better spot.
3 – Try to Repel the Bees with Certain Plants
Another idea you can try is planting particular plants that bees don’t like.
It might sound surprising, but while bees are generally necessary to plants, there are some species of flora they can’t stand being around.
In fact, many plants repel bees, and you can use them to your advantage.
One of the most common bee-repelling plants that people use is citronella. You might be familiar with citronella, a plant often used as an ingredient in candles that repel mosquitoes.
Planting citronella near the tree that has the beehive could produce good results. Like cinnamon, bees hate citronella’s citrusy scent, so they might choose to leave without a fuss.
Of course, aside from citronella, there are other plants you can consider using. Cloves, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, neem, and mint plants are all known to work well to repel bees.
Granted, this might work better to keep bees away from specific spots of your home, such as your porch or your deck. Even so, it’s worth a shot.
4 – Mothballs
Using mothballs will work very much the same way that cinnamon does. So, you’ll just want to place mothballs near the beehive to get them to leave.
Bees don’t like mothballs, and the smell is horrendous enough for their sensitive noses that they might choose to relocate. Sure, you’ll offend their noses, but at least you won’t harm them!
This method also works for keeping away wasps.
Here’s how you use mothballs:
Place the mothball in a cloth bag and hang it near the beehive. At least put them somewhere close so the scent can reach their nest.
After a while, you might notice that the bees will choose to go away. This idea has worked for several homeowners with bee problems, and it might be worth a shot in your situation.
5 – Kill the Bees with Chemical Sprays
They’re easy to use, too!
Simply spray the beehive and try your best not to get stung by the bees. However, it can be dangerous in some ways because you’ll need to be close to spray the beehive.
Moreover, it won’t be easy to get all of the bees before some can fly away or try to sting you. So, I’d recommend using a beekeeping suit or protecting yourself with as much clothing as possible.
High-quality sprays will paralyze the bees when the chemical touches their bodies. They’ll usually die within minutes of being sprayed, too.
6 – Vinegar Spray
Vinegar spray is an excellent alternative if you don’t want to spend money. Bee spray isn’t that expensive overall, but it’ll still cost more than vinegar.
You might even have white vinegar in your kitchen already. So, how can you use this seemingly harmless solution to scare away your buzzing neighbor?
There are two ways.
On one hand, you can simply use the sour vinegar smell to repel them. Pour white vinegar into dishes or soak it into dryer sheets and place them near the hive.
On the other hand, you can produce a vinegar spray that will kill the insects. You can make it by mixing one part vinegar and one part water together in a spray bottle.
Vinegar is toxic to bees, so you can use it as you use chemical sprays. However, vinegar isn’t as potent, so spray it when the bees sleep.
As a note, avoid sticking around too long after spraying just to be on the safe side. You can clean things up later on.
7 – Call Exterminators
Taking out a whole hive of bees with only a spray can take courage. So, while insect and vinegar sprays are a great idea, I’d avoid using them unless you have proper protective gear.
So, if you’re concerned for your safety or have health issues preventing you from acting, such as a bee sting allergy, the safest thing you can do is call exterminators.
Calling exterminators won’t take too much time. Most importantly, they have the equipment and expertise to solve the issue efficiently and with fewer risks.
The only downside to this method is the price. Of course, calling exterminators will cost more than buying chemical sprays, cinnamon, or vinegar.
On average, bee removal will cost you around $450. But depending on the bee species and the degree of infestation, it can go up to $1,500.
Bees Swarming: Why Bees Nest Near Your Home?
Swarming is a natural part of the life of bees. It’s as natural as birds migrating from one place to another or like elephants guiding their herd to safer environments.
Bees swarm for two reasons. Either the hive’s population has become too large, and they need more space, or they abscond, where all the bees abandon their current home for lack of food.
Swarming usually occurs during spring and summer, when the weather, temperature, and food source are ideal. It’s also the time when most hives produce a new queen.
When they swarm, the bees and their queen will actively look for a new spot to nest. They’ll send the worker bees to scout for safe areas near their food source.
The problem is that it typically takes a few days for the scout bees to find an optimal spot. So, the colony usually hangs out everywhere—in your mailbox, car, garage, or tree!
The bees can stay for a few hours, a day, or a week, depending on how quickly they can find a spot to relocate to.
In short, they’ll eventually leave, so you can simply wait it out. And if they don’t, you can always use the methods above.
There are quite a few things that you can do to try to get rid of bees in a tree. Before you harm the bees to get them to leave, it might be best to see if the non-lethal options will work out.
Try to use cinnamon or mothballs to scare the bees away and make them relocate their hive. Or, contact beekeepers and experts for help if that doesn’t work.
Still, bees aren’t necessarily harmful. Remember, they’re indispensable to the ecosystem, contributing to plant pollination and survival. We may not want them near our homes, but we need them for the planet!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.