Can I Safely Remove Bees from My Backyard?

Bees are an essential part of our world, and to say that we cannot live without them is not an exaggeration. Without them and other essential pollinators, 90% of the world’s food would cease to exist. One-third of food production throughout the entire world depends on bees alone! And with all the pesticides used in gardening and lawn maintenance, the well-being of bees is threatened daily. This is just one of the many reasons why Bath Garden Center focuses on natural, organic gardening. Find out more about how to help bees and other pollinators by planting native plants that attract pollinators!

While bees play such a vital role in our lives, they can also pose a threat in certain situations. Whether it’s an unsightly or unsafe bee hive located near your home, or whether you are trying to protect yourself or a loved one from a sting that could bring about a severe allergic reaction, there are ways to avoid bees, or rather, help them avoid you!

When To Leave the Bee's Alone

Here are several factors to consider before taking action. With the critical role which bees play, it is important to make sure that you are taking the environment into account, as there are situations where allowing the bees to stay is the best course of action, despite the sting risk.

Bees Aren’t Inherently Mean

This may be controversial, however despite people’s fear of bees, they will not sting you for no reason. Bees are quite happy with simply minding their own business and doing their job of pollinating plants. Bees will usually only attack a human if that human is posing some sort of immediate threat to the bee or its nest. These gentle creatures may be interested in the floral shirt you decided to wear for that family BBQ, though it will quickly move on once it realizes those flowers are in no need of pollination. However, if you begin to wave and swat at the bee, it may decide to retaliate. So, leave it alone and it will leave you alone!

Threat Level

If no one in the family is severely allergic to bees, it may be a better option to let them stay. You may risk a painful sting, however even this is unlikely. And in the event that you do get stung, you will likely only incur a single sting, unless you are posing a threat to the entire nest. Young children are a common reason to want to remove bees from an area. However, if a sting is only going to cause discomfort and does not pose a threat otherwise, it may be better to use the bees presence as a chance to teach the children about bees rather than removing them from the environment.

Location of the Nest

Location plays a big part in the likelihood of getting stung. The farther away a nest is, the less of a threat it is. Similarly, the further away a bee is from its nest, then less likely it will be to sting. So, think about the location of the nest, and if it is relatively distant, consider leaving it be.

Are Attractions Nearby?

If you have flowers that seem to attract an unusual number of bees planted in close proximity to frequently used outdoor spaces, this could pose a threat, as the more often you are near bees, the more likely you are to get stung due to some accidental encounter. In this case, finding some way to attract bees away from highly trafficked areas may be in order. If you do not have many attractions planted nearby, or if the number of bees hanging out near your patio is minimal, it may be worth it to simply leave them alone.

Are You Sure It’s a Bee?

This may seem like a silly question, but there are plenty of little flying critters out there that look very similar! There are hundreds of species of flies that mimic bees extremely well, and in addition to flies, there are also wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and other more dangerous flying insects. In the case of any of these less favorable species, it is recommended to remove their nests as quickly as possible. However, make sure you know what you are dealing with before you do, as yellow jackets and the like tend to be aggressive and will sting with no provocation.