Bees are incredibly important to the health of our ecosystem but many of us are afraid of bees or even allergic to them. There are many different types of artificial bee repellent on the market but wouldn’t it be better for your family and your environment if you had a natural bee repellent that worked?
The synthetic chemicals we use in our gardens and on our agricultural land are one of the top reasons our bee populations have been drastically declining.
Switching to a natural bee repellent would not only be better for our environment but it is far more comforting knowing our children and families aren’t coming into contact with synthetic chemicals every time they play in the garden.
Whether you have noticed an increase in your garden’s bee population, which does not work so well with your five-year-old who is deathly afraid of bees – we are trying to get our children outside more not in. Perhaps you are allergic to bees and want to enjoy every family BBQ without always watching out for rogue bees.
Keep reading to find out some of the top natural bee-repellent scents, how to make your own natural bee repellent and some extra tips to keep the bees away.
*not all natural bee repellents will work the same for everyone. Keep trying until you find one for you and keep any antihistamines close at hand if you are allergic as you search for a natural bee-repellent that suits your needs.
Natural Bee Repellents
Although wild bees are paramount to the health of our gardens, food supplies and environment, too many bees in your garden may seem like a pain, especially if you are allergic or afraid of bees. There are some natural scents you can use to keep bees away from your home and certain parts of your gardens.
Once you know what smells bees hate and use them as a natural bee repellent, it’s easy to keep bees away and yourself safe.
Most of us have cinnamon somewhere in our kitchen cupboards. This cheap and easy-to-find spice is an excellent natural bee repellent. Its strong smell will keep most bees away from the areas of your garden and home you want to keep them from.
You can sprinkle ground cinnamon around your garden beds or crush cinnamon sticks to scare away ground-dwelling bees. You can also boil a simmer pot on your stove with some cinnamon sticks to keep bees from flying in your windows during the warm summer months.
If you use cinnamon as a natural bee repellent, you will want to reapply your cinnamon every week and after a heavy rainstorm.
Citronella is already a scent we use to keep insects like mosquitos and midges at bay. But did you know citronella is a wonderful natural bee repellent? Just like many other unwanted insects, bees hate the sour smell of citronella.
You can use citronella candles, incense and even citronella spray to keep bees away from areas you want to use in your garden.
If you have a bees nest taken up root in your home you can light a citronella candle or two near the hive to encourage them to look elsewhere to build their home.
Humans love the smell of peppermint but the bees definitely don’t. Peppermint essential oil is completely safe and non-toxic for your garden and home but its strong smell will keep the bees at bay.
Spray diluted peppermint oil or dab undiluted peppermint oil around your doorways and windows to keep bees out of your home.
You can also plant peppermint plants around your garden as a natural bee repellent. Be careful though, mint plants are well known for their ability to take over a garden.
It may be best to plant your peppermint in a container. This not only stops the plant from taking over your garden but also means you can easily move them around to necessary areas.
Vinegar is an excellent natural bee repellent and it has lots of other good uses around your garden. Bees hate the strong smell of white distilled vinegar and will run in the opposite direction once they get a whiff.
However, vinegar is toxic to bees, so use it carefully. Make sure you always dilute one part vinegar to four parts water and don’t spray it directly on any of your plants that the bees may collect pollen and nectar from.
Bees can become incredibly agitated if sprayed directly with vinegar, so avoid using this natural bee repellent directly on any bees that are bothering you. Instead, spray it on areas you want bees to stay away from.
There may not be any real vampires to repel with garlic but this kitchen staple works wonders on bees. However, like vinegar, garlic can have nasty consequences for our bees. So, be careful where you place it.
You can use garlic cloves around bee hives to encourage them to move elsewhere or sprinkle ground garlic in the areas of your garden you would like to stay bee free.
You could even create a garlic spray to spritz around your doors and windows if you can handle the smell of garlic every time you enter and exit your home.
This essential oil comes from the buds of a Southeast Asian tree, called the clove tree. Its extremely strong smell makes clove oil the perfect natural bee repellent.
Clove oil has a very low toxin level and is completely safe to use around your plants, animals, and children. You can put a few drops around your garden beds or dap some around the entryways of your home to ward off bees.
Clove oil also breaks down quickly into agricultural-safe organic matter, so it is very safe to use around any plants you are growing for eating.
Eucalyptus oil isn’t just a great cure for sinus issues and to soothe joints. Eucalyptus also works very well as a natural bee repellent.
You can grow eucalyptus plants, if your climate can support the growth of this tree, to help ward off unwanted buzzy visitors but eucalyptus works best in its concentrated form. Eucalyptus has a very similar smell to citrus scents, which are equally disliked by our bees.
A bonus of using eucalyptus oil is that it works wonders as a natural pesticide.
Make Your Own Natural Bee Repellent
You can use any of these scents on their own to repel bees but how about making your very own super-charged natural bee repellent?
You can use your imagination and combine any of the individual scents that bees seem to really dislike, or you can use our natural bee repellent recipes to dip your toes in the water of the non-toxic and organic bug-repellent world.
Our homemade natural bee sprays are non-toxic, safe for your garden and home, and keep those pesky bees at bay.
Natural Bee Repellent Spray
A spray repellent is handy for dousing your doorways and windows to keep bees from wanting to enter your home.
For this recipe, you will need:
- Clean, Empty Spray Bottle
- Dish Soap
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
What you need to do:
- Fill your clean spray bottle 3/4 full with water, then add two tablespoons of dish soap and give it a good shake to ensure the water and dish soap are well mixed.
- Add in your peppermint oil. Use enough peppermint oil so that when you spray your soap mixture you can smell the peppermint well. This should be about 5-6 drops but add more if needed.
- Now add your cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon. Give your bottle another good shake.
- You can spray this mixture directly around your doorways and windows or you can spray the mixture onto a clean dishcloth and dab it around the areas you want to keep bees away from.
Natural Bee Repellent Perfume
Using your perfume to repel bees means you smell divine and keep those bees from ruining a good time. Here is an essential oil perfume recipe you can use to keep bees away.
*make sure to test these on a small area of skin before applying liberally to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions to the essential oils
What you will need:
- 10ml Glass Roller Bottle
- Carrier Oil (jojoba oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, almond oil)
- 7 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
- 7 Drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 7 Drops of Lemon Essential Oil
What you need to do:
- Fill your glass roller bottle around 3/4 full with your chosen carrier oil. You can use other containers like a bottle or clean perfume spritz bottle but we prefer the easy and clean application a roller bottle gives.
- Add in your cinnamon oil, rosemary oil, and lemon oil. Don’t be afraid to play around with the amount of these essential oils you use until you get a scent you love. Bees aren’t particularly fond of any of these scents, so any variation of the recipe will work quite well.
- You can add a fixative ingredient, which helps the scent of your homemade perfume stay fresh and strong. The contents of half a Vitamin E capsule can work very well as a fixative. However, we want to keep this recipe as natural as possible. So, we haven’t included a fixative.
- Give your perfume a good shake with the lid on to ensure all of your perfume ingredients are well combined.
- Lastly, once you have tested that your skin is not sensitive to the perfume, apply it liberally on your wrists and neck area – and anywhere else you like – to smell divine and repel those bees.
Other Ways to Repel Bees
Now you know how to keep the bees away with natural bee repellent recipes to wear and spray. However, I have a few other handy tips that can keep our buzzy friends out of our faces and away from those allergic to bees or those who are afraid of them.
Wear Light Coloured Clothing
It’s no secret, bees love bright colours. Although they are blind when it comes to the colour red, there are other colours that will draw bees to you.
Pink, blue, and purple are colours you should consider leaving in your wardrobe if you are afraid of attracting any local bees during your family BBQ. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid all bright colours when it comes to your outfits.
Stick to light-coloured clothes and more pastel shades. Bees will be far less interested if they think your colours are boring.
Skip Flowery Scents
Bees love flowers. It’s the sweet, floral scents that have them coming back for more. These floral smells are a sign of nectar and pollen, the food that bees need to survive.
That’s why most natural bee repellent products won’t include floral scents.
Avoid wearing floral perfumes or washing your clothes in sweet-smelling washing powders. Otherwise, you may end up being mistaken for a flower by an overzealous bee.
Plan Your Garden Planting
How you plan and plant your garden will have a massive effect on the number of bees that find their way into your yard. If you don’t want any bees in your garden, avoid any bee-friendly plants.
However, bees still need a little help and planting bee-friendly plants is always a good idea.
To keep bees away from your entertaining space, plant your bee-friendly plants as far away from this space as you can.
Will You Use A Natural Bee Repellent?
Our lives are full of synthetic chemicals and these chemicals are beginning to have an unwanted effect on our health and environment.
Although it’s easy to jump to those mass-produced bug sprays, how about reducing your synthetic chemical use with a natural bee repellent?
It’s safe for you, safer for the bees, and far kinder to the plants and animals that already inhabit your garden space. If you’re interested in more natural remedies to keep unwanted out of your house or garden, also check out our article about natural ant repellent.