How To Get Rid Of Bees Without Killing Them

Bees are an essential part of a healthy environment because they pollinate countless species of plants, including many we eat. Without bees, we wouldn’t have the diversity of food we enjoy now. 

However, bees sometimes decide to make a home in an inconvenient place and we need to move them away without harm being done to us or them. So what are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of bees without killing them?

First, let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s necessary for the colony of bees to be moved to a new location.

Swarm of bees gathered on a fence post

Why Should You Remove Bees?


If you, a family member, or a regular visitor to your home is allergic to bees then removing them is essential. A severe allergic reaction to bee venom may include symptoms such as extreme swelling, breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and nausea and requires medical treatment. So, don’t hesitate to remove a colony of bees that has taken up residence on your property.

Location Of The Hive

Bees may settle in a place that can be uncomfortable for you, such as near a window or door, or inside a wall or ceiling cavity. If so, you’ll find bees entering your house and creating a nuisance. If they’re in the ceiling or wall, you may find they cause structural damage over time. In addition, if the bees are not removed fairly quickly, they will establish themselves, build comb, and will be much harder to remove.

Aggressive bees

Aggressive bees really have no place in a suburban garden. All bees are defensive; it’s a natural instinct. If they perceive a threat to the hive they are likely to sting you. That’s why we wear protective clothing and use a smoker to distract them when working in the hive.

However, an aggressive hive gets angry much more readily than others. They can become defensive even if you are some distance away, buzzing angrily around you and attempting to sting as you walk in the garden. 

You, your family, friends, and neighbors will want to enjoy being out in the garden and not be bothered by overly hostile bees. Also, If you’re a beekeeper, you’ll want to enjoy working your hive and not be afraid of aggressive bees.

Ways To Get Rid Of Bees Without Killing Them

There are several natural products that can be used to encourage bees to leave and find a new home. How effective they are may depend on the situation you are facing.

If you have a large hive of many thousands of bees, or if the colony is located in a hard to get to place then you might have trouble moving them just using some of the natural methods described below. That’s when you’ll need to contact a professional bee removal company or person.

In any case, if you wish to try removing them yourself using some of the following methods, be sure to wear protective clothing and gloves. Bees can become defensive if they feel under threat.

Of course, if you are severely allergic to bee stings, let a professional bee remover handle this for you instead.


Cool, grey smoke is what beekeepers use to move bees away when inspecting hives or taking frames of honey. The bees sense the smoke and believe a fire is threatening their colony, so they fill themselves with honey in preparation to leave, while ignoring your intrusion.

You can make a fire near the hive if it is safe and convenient for you to do so. The fire needs to smolder with cool smoke traveling around the hive. So, check the weather and make sure it is not a hot summer’s day when fires are banned from being lit. Be prepared and stay nearby with a hose or buckets of water to douse the fire if necessary. It’s essential you wear protective clothing too.


Cinnamon is a strong-smelling spice that bees and ants don’t like. Cinnamon is probably better as a deterrent to keep bees away from areas that you don’t want them, such as your doors or porch area around your home.

To move bees away you sprinkle abundantly around the hive area and keep doing so for several days until they leave and make sure to always wear protective clothing.

Garlic Spray

It’s probably no surprise to you how powerful the smell of garlic can be. Turns out this bulb also discourages bees and some other insects from settling nearby.

Crush two cloves (or use a teaspoon of garlic powder), add water, and spray in the direction of the bees you want to move. 

This spray would be best used to prevent bees from frequenting places you don’t want them to, such as the entry area to your home, work shed, or garage. Wear protective clothing when applying this spray.


Peppermint is an aromatic herb that could be used either as a spray or planted in pots around the areas that you want to keep free of bees.

For the spray, use peppermint oil in water, or leaves of the peppermint plant that have been left in hot water to steep. Once cooled, remove the leaves, add water and use the liquid in a spray bottle. 

Wearing protective clothing, spray the peppermint mix in the direction of the bees you wish to relocate. Peppermint in pots placed near doorways and windows can discourage bees from visiting the area, and the leaves make a fragrant and delicious tea.

Professional Beekeeper

A hive of many thousands of bees gathered in an inconvenient location near your home is best dealt with by a professional beekeeper, who will have the equipment and knowledge to remove them without killing them.

Professional beekeepers in your area can usually be found on the internet. If you are a member of a local beekeeping club, you can ask them and they will likely recommend a person near you who can relocate the bees in a safe manner.

Colonies of bees are collected and often given to beekeeper who wants to expand their apiary or may be looking to begin their beekeeping journey.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove a colony of bees that have decided to make a home in a location that’s not convenient. Depending on some factors like the size of the colony and the place they have settled in, there are certain things you can try to get them to move away without harming them.

If it’s a small number of bees then you could try the natural methods I’ve suggested above making sure you always wear protective clothing.

However, if you believe the colony could have several thousands of bees, it’s best for a professional beekeeper to deal with it as they would have experience removing bees without killing them. This way, the bees can live and thrive in a location that suits both people and bees.

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