Safe and Natural Ways to Remove Bee Hives
Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem, and they should be left alone whenever possible. However,
there are times when removing a hive is necessary for health and safety reasons. While you can call a
professional exterminator, beekeeper or apply pesticides to a hive, there are safer, cheaper and easier
options to consider as well.
Locate the Hive
Hives are not always visible at first glance. While bees do make hives on branches or corners or
homes, they tend to prefer more secluded areas. Look inside gutters, chimneys and areas where there
are spaces between wood, such is in walls without insulation. Bee hives are found in logs, rotted out
tree branches and a million and one other hiding places.
Keep in mind that there may be more than one hive for the colony that you want to eliminate. As
colonies grow, bees will begin to establish new hives within the same general vicinity. Consequently,
killing or removing one hive may not eliminate the entire problem. Just make sure that you always try
to control bees that are presenting a real safety hazard and leave more distant hives alone.
You also want to try and identify the bees. Some hives can be for wasps or hornets as well as certain
species of bees that are more aggressive than others. Identifying the type of bees can give you a good
indication as to the level of precautions that you will need to take in order to protect yourself and
Vinegar or Soap Solution
One way to quickly kill bees is by spraying them and the hive with vinegar and water. Mix 50%
vinegar with 50% water and shake the spray bottle. Thoroughly douse the hive with the spray in the
nighttime hours when the bees are inside and less active. However, you can definitely expect for some
bees to become agitated, exit and defend the hive.
It’s important to wear thick clothing from head to toe, preferably using multiple layers of different
material in order to minimize the chances of getting attacked and stung. Make sure to cover wrists, the
neck, ankles and protect the face as well. Don’t leave anything unprotected when applying treatments
Allow the vinegar to soak through the hive overnight and check for bee activity in the morning. You
will notice a considerable reduction in the amount of bees that are present. If you still see bees, use
your best judgment as to spray the hive now or wait until the evening again. Keep repeating the
process until you don’t see any more bees. Remove the hive and discard in a garbage bag. Place it in
another bag, tie off and put in the trash outside.
You can also repeat the same process by using liquid dish soap instead of vinegar. The results will be
essentially the same, and some argue that dish soap may be more effective when it comes to suffocating
or drowning bees.
Take a soda can or bottle, empty or drink about half of it, remove the entire lid and place near the hive.
The bees will become attracted to the sugar in the soda, swarm around the can and eventually fall in
and drown. You may need to use more than one can to deal with a large number of bees. Once the
bees become distracted and attracted to the soda, you can spray the hive with the solutions mentioned
above and speed up the process of removal.
Using natural repellents can be an effective way to keep bees away from hives to make removal a bit
easier. Mothballs are a very popular alternative when it comes to repelling certain species of bees.
Place them near the hive when practical and you will notice a reduction in numbers in a short period of
time. You can also sprinkle cloves around the area of the hive and toss some on the hive if possible.
Bees do not like the smell and are going to try and avoid the area as much as possible.
You can also take some brown paper bags, fill them with air, tie off the tops and hang them near
existing hives. Bees will be confused into thinking that the bag is another hive and try to avoid getting
into a territorial dispute. Finally, consider cutting up some slices of cucumber and scattering them
around a hive as well. Bees do not like the smell, and they will be more inclined to either stay inside of
the hive or avoid coming home.
Remember that the trick is to contain and neutralize the bees inside of the hive or keep as many from
coming back as possible. This is the safest and most practical way to remove a hive by yourself. This
approach can work for hives inside the home as well as those outside. Just remember to protect
yourself before applying any of these methods, and never get close to a hive if you have a known bee
Keep in mind that these are only a few of many guidelines out there with respect to bee hive removal.
If these steps don’t work, consider researching and exploring more options or contacting a professional