How To Get Rid Of Bees Without Killing Them

Although bees are vital for the environment, it’s understandable to want to defend yourself from them. Even though bees only attack when provoked or if they’re defending their hive, there are ways you can get rid of honeybees. This is especially important if someone in your family has a bee allergy.

Since the honey bee population is declining fast, it’s important to take careful steps to remove them without killing them. 

Establish The Problem

First, establish the exact cause of the problem. Is it an occasional bee or a nest? If you’ve noticed a lot more bees than normal or a sudden influx, it may be that bees have formed a nest. You should try and establish where exactly the bees are nesting. 

If you notice large numbers of bees going in and out of a hole in the ground or wall, this is indicative of a nest. We advise that you take care as disturbance and noise can aggravate the bees.

Getting Rid of Honey Bees

Once you’ve identified that you have a honey bee nest in your home or backyard, you have some options to get rid of the honey bees without killing them:

  1. Call a beekeeper
  2. Relocate them
  3. Garlic spray
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Moth balls
  6. Burn wood, cardboard or paper
  7. Bee trap

Call a Beekeeper

A local beekeeper or a professional beehive remover will remove the hive safely and securely, without hurting them. The professionals are likely to be very happy to take the hive and look after the bees, and most importantly, keep them alive.

honey bee swarm

Relocating a colony of a thousand stinging bees is a difficult process. We don’t recommend that you attempt to move a nest yourself. If the hive is fairly small, though, you may wish to try the below methods before calling a professional, or if one isn’t available.

Relocate the Bees

If the hive is located within a tree, consider cutting out the part containing the nest. You can then move it to a secluded area away from your backyard.

We recommend that you do this as soon as possible before the colony increases. Wear protective clothing as the bees are likely to become aggravated by the sound of sawing or chopping.

Garlic Spray

Bees have a strong sense of smell, and they can be put off by overpowering odors.

Spraying a mixture of crushed garlic gloves and water around the nest may force the bees to leave their hive.


As an alternative to the garlic spray, you could sprinkle cinnamon around the hive every day for a week. The smell sends the bees in search of a place to relocate. 

You can also use other sugary substances, such as drinks and fruits. Just place them 5 meters away from the nest. Keep moving the substances away weekly and, eventually, the bees will build a new hive away from your backyard.

Moth Balls

Bees don’t like the smell of mothballs, so you may want to consider hanging some near the nest to deter the bees from returning.

Burn Wood, Cardboard Or Paper Under The Beehive

It’s also possible to deter bees from their hive by burning wood, cardboard, paper or giant incense sticks under the nest to create smoke. Beekeepers commonly use the smoke method when they want to take honey from beehives. This is because the honey bees think that the woods are on fire. They then try to get all the honey they can and search for a new place to build a nest.

Bees are active during the day and inactive at night, therefore, you should carry out the smoke method in the evenings or at night, when they’re in the hive. 

Once the bees have left, remove it and remove traces of honey. This will prevent the bees from coming back.

This method is only suitable for hives found in the backyard. You should ensure that you close your windows and doors before you start the smoking process to prevent bees from entering your house.

Depending on the hive’s size and the number of bees, this process can take approximately 10 hours for all bees to leave the hive.

Use A Bee Trap

A bee trap is a good idea if you’re dealing with a small number of bees. You can purchase a trap at your local backyard center. Simply place it next to the hive and wait until the bees get stuck inside.

You could also make your trap:

  1. Grab a cardboard box and place some sticky traps inside
  2. Sprinkle some pollen or flowers on the sticky traps
  3. Make small holes around the box so that bees can get inside
  4. Place the box near the hive 

Whether you use a commercial trap or a homemade one, contact a beekeeper or a professional beehive remover to relocate the bees.

It’s important to note that the honey bees will become quite aggressive when they’re trapped, so it’s essential that you take care when using a bee trap. 


Whenever you’re around a bee, don’t try and hit it or flap at it. This will aggravate the bee, and it will likely sting you. Instead, stay still and it’ll become disinterested. Then is the time to see if there’s a hive nearby. Once you’ve located it, use one of our methods on how to get rid of the honey bees without killing them.

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