What To Do if You Find Bees in Your Backyard - Home & Texture
Garden Removing Bees

Have Bees? Here's What To Do if They're Taking Over Your Backyard

Learn how to coexist with bees and safely relocate nests.

June 11, 2024 at 9:54 AM PST
Updated on June 10, 2024 at 11:00 PM PST
Garden Removing Bees

Have Bees? Here's What To Do if They're Taking Over Your Backyard

Learn how to coexist with bees and safely relocate nests.

June 11, 2024 at 9:54 AM PST
Updated on June 10, 2024 at 11:00 PM PST

You’re relaxing in your backyard, sipping a refreshing drink, and enjoying the sun, when suddenly you hear that unmistakable buzz. It’s the bees, but they’re more than just uninvited guests—they’re important contributors to the ecosystem. Before you freak out and run inside, let’s take a moment to appreciate these tiny but mighty insects, and know what to do if you find a nest in your yard.

Why are bees important?

Bees play a major role in pollination and plant reproduction. Without bees, many of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts you know and love would be at risk. They work—mostly unassuming and harmlessly—in your gardens, to make sure your plants thrive. So, the next time you see a bee buzzing around, remember they’re not just there to ruin your day—they’re helping to keep our environment healthy and our food supply stable.

Flying bee
Photo Credit: Goumbik

What To Do When You Find Bees

While bees are important, discovering a nest near your home can be unsettling. You can likely expect them to leave you alone and tend not to sting unless threatened, but if you have allergies or small children, wanting to remove a nest is understandable. Here’s where to start.

Make sure to identify the bees.

Before you do anything, it’s important to identify what kind you’re dealing with. Honeybees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees are the most common types you’ll encounter. Each type has its own quirks and preferred nesting spots.

  • Honeybees: These social insects often nest in cavities like hollow trees or, occasionally, in your walls. They’re relatively docile and focused on making honey.
  • Bumblebees: These fuzzy varieties prefer nesting in the ground or abandoned rodent burrows. They’re generally friendly but will defend their nest if threatened.
  • Carpenter Bees: These solitary species love boring into wood to create their nests. While they might cause some damage to your wooden structures, they’re not aggressive.

Knowing which bee you’re dealing with will help you decide the best course of action.

Keep calm and don’t panic.

First and foremost, stay calm. Bees can sense fear and agitation, and the last thing you want is to provoke them. If the nest is in a high-traffic area or inside your home, it’s understandable that you’ll want to address it quickly. However, if the nest is in a more secluded spot, consider leaving it be. Bees will typically move on after the season.

Consult a pro.

If the nest is too close for comfort or you’re allergic to bee stings, it’s best to call in a professional. Bee removal experts can safely relocate the nest without harming the bees. This is the most eco-friendly option and makes it so that the bees can continue their vital work elsewhere.

Bee nest
Photo Credit: Pixabay

DIY Bee Removal Tips

It’s not recommended, but if you’re feeling brave and the nest is small and accessible, you might consider tackling the removal yourself. Just do so with caution! Here are some tips to help you do it safely:

  • Protect Yourself: Wear protective clothing—long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a hat.
  • Choose the Right Time: Bees are less active during the early morning or late evening. These are the best times to approach the nest.
  • Use Smoke: Bees have a natural instinct to flee from smoke. Light a small fire in a smoker or use a bee smoker to gently puff smoke around the nest entrance. This will calm the bees and encourage them to leave temporarily.
  • Relocate the Nest: If possible, carefully move the entire nest to a better location where it won’t be disturbed. Place it in a box and relocate it to a safe distance from your home.
  • Seal the Entry Points: Once the nest is removed, make sure to seal any potential entry points to prevent bees from returning.

Remember, prevention is important.

Bees, like most houseguests, prefer certain accommodations. Here’s how to make your home less appealing to them:

  • Secure Openings: Seal cracks and crevices in walls, eaves, and foundations where bees might enter.
  • Avoid Sweet Scents: Bees are attracted to sweet smells, so be mindful of scented candles, perfumes, and food left outside.
  • Plant Wisely: While flowers are great for the environment, planting them away from your home can help keep bees at a distance.
  • Maintain Your Property: Regularly inspect and maintain your home’s exterior, including decks and sheds, to prevent bees from finding a suitable nesting spot.



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