How to Get Rid of Bumble Bees (8 Simple Ways)

Bumble bees are a crucial part of the environment and they need protection. However, there are times that you need to know how to get rid of bumble bees in your yard.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, if you have an allergy to bees, you probably don’t want them buzzing around your yard or house.

To help you out, we’re going to go through some of the different ways to get rid of bumble bees. To ensure that you aren’t hurting the local bee population, we’ll take a look at some bee-friendly options as well.

Recognizing Bumble Bees

Before we get into specific measures you can take against bumble bees, let’s look deeper at them. It’s important to make sure that you’re actually dealing with bumble bees.

It’s easy to get confused too! There are more than 20,000 types of bees and wasps, so it’s not hard to misidentify them.

Luckily, you don’t need expert knowledge of insects to identify a bumble bee. You’ll recognize them for their rounded, fuzzy bodies.

Bumble bees also won’t have a pinched waist. If you see a pinched waist, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a wasp.

A convenient trait of bumble bees is that they usually aren’t as aggressive as other species. For instance, you’re less likely to get stung by a bumble bee than a wasp or yellow jacket.

One reason for this is that stinging actually kills a bumble bee. So, if you’ve ever been stung more than once by the same pest, it isn’t a bumble bee.

These are important distinctions to make because the dislikes of bumble bees can vary from other varieties. The following remedies are for bumble bees specifically.

Bumble bee head macro

Homemade Cinnamon and Peppermint Spray

When it comes to how to get rid of bumble bees around your house, think of what they don’t like. With the right combination of ingredients, you can ensure that bees aren’t interested in your home.

There are certain items and ingredients that bees don’t find attractive like cinnamon and peppermint. You can make your own bee repellent with these ingredients.

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For this recipe, you’ll need a couple of drops of essential oil in each scent. In the place of cinnamon essential oil, you can use ⅛ teaspoon of ground cinnamon although the oil is preferred.

Add these ingredients to water and two teaspoons of liquid dish soap. Put the whole combination in a spray bottle.

Once you have your mixture ready, spray it where bees typically hang out in your home. You’ll want to make sure the mixture is well-blended for the best results.

Whatever you do, don’t spray the bees directly with this. While it won’t kill them, they won’t like it and you’re more likely to get stung.

Using Clove Essential Oils

Another essential oil that will drive bees away is clove. This is a great choice if you want to keep bees out of your house.

The easiest way to use this method is to combine clove essential oil and a cotton ball. All you have to do is soak the cotton balls in the essential oil.

Then, you can place the soaked cotton balls around your house to keep bumble bees at bay. To avoid getting any surfaces soaked from the wet cotton ball, place them on a dish rather than directly.

Using Citrus to Get Rid of Bumble Bees

This method works wherever you need it. Plus, it’s easy to do and all you need is some citrus – lemon slices work great!

You can’t just put lemon slices down, though. Not only is this less effective but it will leave you with lemon slices going bad everywhere!

Instead, throw your lemon slives into a pot of water. Let the water boil down until there’s about ⅓ of it left.

Once you’ve done this, put the mixture into a spray bottle for easy use. You can spray this mixture wherever bumble bees hang out but spraying the hive and surrounding area is most effective.

Two Bumble bees

Repelling Bumble Bees with Garlic

Garlic doesn’t harm adult bees but they don’t like it. This makes it an advantageous choice for repelling bees.

Even better, the smell of garlic is strong enough to cover the scent of flowers. This means that it will help prevent bees from having a reason to come around in the first place.

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There are a few ways to do this. For the easiest option, you can either spray garlic extract or dust some garlic powder in the affected area.

You can also use a head of garlic if that’s what you have handy. For the best results with this method, boil the garlic head in 16 ounces of water for about 10 minutes.

On the other hand, you won’t want to put garlic around a bumble nest. This can disrupt life for the bees and put the colony in danger.

Specifically, while adult bees aren’t harmed by garlic, larval bees often are. So, if you try to spray garlic on or around a bumble bee nest, you’ll likely kill any larval bees.

Getting Rid of Bumble Bees with Vinegar

This tip works better for how to get rid of bumble bees in the ground or outside. It can work inside so long as you don’t mind the smell of vinegar for a while.

For this method, you’ll need your handy spray bottle again. You can mix the solution in your spray bottle if you want.

All you need is vinegar and water. It doesn’t matter how much you make so long as those ingredients are used in equal parts.

Once you have your mixture ready, you can spray the hive. However, make sure to dress in protective clothing and wait until night, when the bumble bees aren’t as active.

Bumblebee with nectar near flower

Relocate the Nest

If you have experience working with bees, relocating the nest is a great way to move the bees safely. However, if you’re allergic or aren’t sure that you can calmly handle bees, call a professional for this.

There are a few tips to help you make sure you can move the nest safely. First, make sure that you use red light to see because bumble bees actually can’t see the color red.

It’s best to complete this process at night. This is when the bees are the least likely to be active.

On top of that, make sure you wear protective gear including long sleeves, pants, and rubber gloves. Try not to breathe on the nest too as this will disturb the bees.

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When it comes to moving the nest, you also need to consider the new location. You should move it more than a kilometer away to avoid them spending time in the same area.

It’s also important to put the nest where it won’t vibrate. This means not placing it in a windy spot or somewhere that people frequent.

Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work as well for bumble bees in the ground. Trying to dig a nest up is likely to cause too much of a disturbance to not anger the bees.

Moving Individual Bumble Bees

It’s not uncommon to use a bee trap to move the bees a little at a time. Technically, this method works but if you have a large bee population, it can take a long time.

If you want to capture a stray bee with this method, it’s fairly easy. Remember, though, to check the traps frequently or the bees may die inside.

To create a DIY bee trap, you’ll need an empty 2-liter bottle, sugar water, and cotton balls. You can substitute sugar water with almost any sweet liquid including fruit juice or soda.

Start by cutting the bottle in two. Make the incision where the bottle starts to taper so you have a cylinder and a funnel to fit inside.

Before putting them in the main cylinder of the bottle, soak your cotton balls in the sugar water. If you put the sugar water directly in the trap, it poses the risk of drowning the bees.

Again, it’s crucial to stress that this won’t help move a bee population. Hives are built around the queen who is unlikely to leave the nest and get caught in the trap.

This method is best if you have a stray bee stuck in your house that you want to remove safely.

Bumblebee on pink thistle flower blossom

Talk to a Beekeeper

Sometimes, you may not be sure how to best handle bumble bees on your own. If you want to call in a professional’s help, a beekeeper might be able to help!

It makes sense, after all. These are professionals that handle bees for a living, they have some stuff like beekeeping suits, so they’ll know what to do.

If you have a nest you want to be removed, a beekeeper will know how to do this safely. On top of that, they can help care for the bees once the nest has been removed.

Depending on the beekeeper, this service may come at a cost. Yet, it’s much more beneficial to the bees in place of calling an exterminator.


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