Saving Your Home, While Saving The Planet – The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Bees
Bees are most of the time a blessing, but can be a blessing in disguise. Especially if they aren’t in the care of a beekeeper.
Bees are flying insects which are best known for their usefulness when it comes to pollination and, in case of some species, for their ability to produce and store honey. Bees usually live in colonies which consist of:
- One queen (fertile female)
- A few thousand drones (fertile males)
- Worker bees (infertile females)
In order to defend themselves from the elements and from predators, bees build hives which can house up to 80.000 individuals. Unprovoked, most species of bees will generally remain massive when humans get close to their hives, but in the situation that they sense danger, large numbers of bees will swarm the attacker and sting him in an attempt to protect their colony. Swarms looking to establish a colony will usually prefer trees, but will also choose warm, dry places, such as attics, abandoned cars (provided that they can get in) and even rooms where there is no regular human activity.
Most common species of bees in the US
The bee population of North America consists mainly of honey bees, which have been introduced by beekeepers over the years. Bees which can be categorized in several species:
- Apismelliferacaucasica (or Caucasian bees)
- Apismelliferacarnica ( or Carniolan bees)
- Apismelliferacarpatica (or Russian bees)
- AHB (or Africanized Honey Bees)
- Peponapis pruinosa (or the Squash bees)
Of all the species of bees in the US, it is impossible to choose the most common as their number varies drastically from one year to another and from one state to another.
Getting rid of bees
General advice: When you see a swarm of bees, do not immediately assume that it is hostile. Bees also swarm together in order to travel from their old colony to a place where they may establish a new one. At this stage, they are usually not dangerous.
There are various ways to get rid of bees, ranging from chemical compounds designed to kill or irritate them into leaving to tried and tested methods used for repelling them safely, without killing them.
The best ways to get rid of bees
In order to get rid of the bees, do not kill them as soon as you see them flying around. Instead, follow them and let them lead you to their hive. Killing a few bees does not affect the hive by much. On the other hand, if you find the hive, you can stop them at the source. Regardless of which of the following methods you choose, always make sure that you wear thick, bulky clothes so that you will be protected from their stingers, and that there are no other people around.
Insecticides – Killing them and thus possibly harming the environment:
- Spray them with insecticides. Most commercially available insecticides will confuse and then kill the bees; Spray the hive after dusk as that’s the time when bees are more docile and less likely to sting you. After spraying the hive, once everything has settled down, take a thick plastic bag and put it over the hive. Try then to remove the hive.
- In case the bees have made their hive in the ground, never try pouring gasoline or other toxic substances into the nest as it will poison the soil and might not kill the bees. Instead, look for specially designed insecticides meant for killing bees in the ground.
- If there are hives in the walls of your home, it is advisable to call a specialist. Trying to remove them might cause more harm than good.
Natural solutions– Removing the bees without causing permanent harm to the colony:
- Use fruit and honey to lure them away. Place the lure in a place where they may establish a new hive and wait for them to move out;
- Smoke them out by setting a dry cotton cloth and placing it near the hive. After a while, the smoke will kill some of the bees and the surviving ones will leave in search of a new place to establish a hive.
- Use garlic to scare them away. A traditional use for garlic is bee repellent. Try to place it in areas where you usually see bees or which you want bees to avoid.
There are many ways to dispose of bees, but we recommend choosing the ones which protect the bees and the environment. These insects are essential for farming and honey production and, unfortunately, the numbers of some species have fallen significantly in the last a few years.