You can avoid using highly toxic sprays by using some preventative measures:
First, like with all other insects, keep your home clean. With bees, though, it’s important to keep your yard and home’s exterior clean. Mow your lawn often. Remove piles of firewood, mulch, leaves, grass clippings, boards, stones or tires, as well as dead trees, logs, and stumps.
(While they’re not bees, you can prevent wasps by removing their food sources. They’re attracted to garbage, compost, picnics and pet food, as well as cans of pop and fruit juice. If you’re picnicking, cover any open drinks or food containers.)
Next, try to prevent any possible spaces that bees could use for entry points. Check for holes and cracks, then fill the openings with caulking or mortar.
If you notice you have bees, identify where they live. Try following bees around dusk, since they return home at that time of day.
While it’s not a spray, boric acid is a bee killer. (It’s toxic to children and pets, too.) Sprinkle a little boric acid around bees underground nests and at the entrances of their hives and nests. The boric acid will stick to their legs and bodies and poison the colony.
- Cut a banana peel into thin strips and insert them into an empty two-liter bottle. Mix one cup of sugar with one cup of vinegar, then pour it into the bottle. Next, fill the bottle with water up to two inches below the neck. Tie a piece of string around the neck of the bottle and hang it from a nearby tree branch. Bees will be attracted to the sticky concoction, then get trapped in the bottle and drown.
- Make another trap with a two-liter plastic bottle. Remove the lid, cut off the bottle where the neck starts to slant inward, then turn the top upside down into the bottle. Staple and tape the two surfaces together. Add a few inches of soda pop or fruit juice, and add a few drops of dish soap. Set your trap out and watch it work.
- For a final bee trap, cut the top from a two-liter plastic bottle, just above the shoulder of the bottle. Fill the bottle half full with water and a few drops of dish soap. Coat the neck of the bottle with jelly or jam, then invert it and set it on the bottle. Tape it in place. Use a razor knife to cut the top from a 2-liter plastic pop bottle. Cut just above the shoulder of the bottle. Discard the screw top. Fill with water about halfway. Coat the neck with jam, invert it and set back on the bottle. Use two small pieces of tape to hold it in place and set the trap four inches above the ground.
- Grab a clear glass and a thin piece of cardboard. Once the bee lands, put the glass over the bee and slide the cardboard under the glass and where the bee is standing. Simply take the bee outside and set it free.
- Grab your vacuum cleaner! Use the hose attachment to suck away bees. This method also is very effective in removing flies from inside your home.
If you have ground bees, though, you can (carefully) get rid of them yourself. Put a garden hose by the nest in the ground, and turn on the water. Flood the bees out – after a while, the bees that are still buzzing around will discover their nest is gone. You also can try to dump buckets of warm, soapy water (just use liquid dish soap) down the holes.
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Milk Bubbles says
I’d just like to point out that interfering with honey bees in any way, even natural ones, is illegal in most states(unless you have a stray bee in your house obviously) because of the decline in honey bee population. Honey bees are vital to natural and organic farming among other things! PLEASE make sure you are not dealing with honey bees before you employ any removal methods! Many bee removal services will do a free evaluation as to what type of bees you are dealing with and some states/counties have grants to provide free honey bee relocation.
Very excellent point! Next week I’m going to cover the benefits of honey bees and honey. Honey bees really are vital!
Janice D. Green says
When you mention ground bees, I believe you are talking about yellow jackets. These are not actually bees at all. They are wasps. Your suggestion about flooding out yellow jackets is good when they are in your yard – especially in an area where children play. May I add that you need to do this after dark as they will all be in the nest at that time and you won’t have any still flying around. You are less likely to get stung as well. A bucket of hot water with detergent in it is better than a garden hose as well. Your hanging bottle traps are also effective with yellow jackets and less likely to attract honeybees.
I have experience as a professional beekeeper. Feel free to check out my (old) website on honeybees at http://queenbeejan.com
Hi X, How are you?
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Thanks For Very Interesting Post.