1. Avoid planting bees’ favorite flowers.
The first step to avoiding bees is knowing what they’re drawn to. Bees primarily survive off nectar found in flowering plants. There are certain kinds of plants that bees are more attracted to. In particular, plants that have yellow, blue, red, or purple flowers are most appealing to bees. If you are trying to minimize bees on your property, try to avoid flowering garden plants and shrubs.
Learn more about what attracts bees.
2. Make sure your home is carpenter bee-proofed.
Bees don’t usually want to enter homes–they’re much more interested in flowering plants and leftover food. However, there is one exception, and that’s carpenter bees. Carpenter bees bore holes in wood to lay eggs. If your home has wood paneling or siding that’s untreated, carpenter bees may attempt to drill into your house.
3. Be mindful of open containers at outdoor gatherings.
Because bees eat nectar, they may want to sample sweet foods and drinks. During the warmer months, if you’re hosting or attending outdoor activities like barbecues or picnics, try to keep beverages closed and food covered. Trash cans should also all have lids, and you’ll want to make sure you clean up after your event.
4. Try insect repellents.
As it gets warmer, it’s usually a good idea to purchase some kind of bug repellent. Over-the-counter insect repellents can sometimes work on bees and are widely available at drugstores. Insect repellents have a variety of different formats and active ingredients. Some old wives tales city dryer sheets as an excellent repellent and most households already have them on hand. Even if bug repellents aren’t the best at deterring bees, they can still help you avoid mosquito and tick bites!
5. Natural remedies when applied to the skin may be able to repel insects, including bees.
If you’re spending time outside and you’re sensitive to chemical repellents, natural bee repellents may be the way to go. Just bear in mind that like with any DIY solution, these suggestions may have varying degrees of success. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned or are unaware of any allergies to the ingredients mentioned below, do not use them.
- Try essential oils. Peppermint, eucalyptus, citronella, and lemongrass may have certain properties that repel bees. Essential oils can be used in a variety of formats when mixed with water and witch hazel. Some people like to mix a few drops with water and apply their natural perfume with a spray bottle, while others prefer a rollerball. If using essential oils, make sure you are using ones that are skin-safe.
- Experiment with crushed garlic and/or fresh cucumber peels. These two ingredients can be used alone or separately. You can try crushing the two items together to make a paste and rub that on your wrists and behind the ears, or make a water-based solution by allowing the ingredients to soak for a while.