How To Keep Bees Away Without Hurting Them – A Simple Guide

Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 11:57 am

Are you seeking simple and effective ways to keep bees at a respectful distance without causing them any harm?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, you’ll find actionable steps to help you to enjoy the outdoors and coexist with our buzzing friends.

Let’s dive straight into our list of tips to keep bees at a safe distance. 

Bright Or Floral Clothing

Wearing bright colours and floral patterns can attract bees who’ve unwittingly mistaken you for a large flower.

This floral mimicry isn’t just reserved for bees, so don’t be surprised if you’re also more popular with other insects.

While I think this is fairly entertaining, avoiding the vibrant pink if you’re allergic and know you’re heading somewhere with lots of flowers is a good idea.

Scented Lotions, Perfumes, Or Hair Products 

The same fragrances we all love are just as much of a hit with the bees.

Bees have an acute sense of smell and are drawn to floral scents, which they associate with nectar-rich flowers.

When you walk by, smelling fantastic, the strong fragrances can confuse bees.

They may mistake the scents for actual flowers and start investigating you as a potential food source.

So if you’re all about keeping bees at a safe distance, then maybe take it easy on the smelly stuff.

Use Essential Oils As Your Secret Weapon

Did you know you can use some carefully selected essential oils to deter bees from a specific area?

My favourite is peppermint oil in a diffuser, but some people swear by using a spray bottle and squirting a few spots nearby.

Other oils like thyme, spearmint and eucalyptus all work as great natural bee repellents.

It’s important to note that peppermint plants do not have the same effect and will probably encourage more bees in your garden!

Leaving Out Sweet Food

Bees are just out here trying to get their work done, and a tasty fruit salad is just a very appealing target for a honey bee flying overhead.

Bees are naturally drawn to sugary substances. Bees primarily feed on nectar, which is a sweet, carbohydrate-rich liquid produced by flowers.

When sweet foods like fruits, syrups, or sugary beverages, are left outside dining areas, they emit a scent that resembles the aroma of nectar-rich flowers.

Bees have a keen sense of smell and can detect these potent smells from a distance, leading them to investigate.

Locating Your Water Features

Like us, bumble bees and honey bees tire during a long hard day of foraging for nectar and pollen.

Collecting resources all day is thirsty work, and your chlorinated swimming pool can seem like an oasis in the desert during warmer months.

Bees use water to cool their hives, dilute honey, and regulate the temperature and humidity within the colony.

If there is no reliable natural water source nearby, such as a pond or river, bees may seek out alternative water sources, including your swimming pool. 

To avoid this, you could create a bee watering station close to the flowers in your garden.

Do this by offering a bowl of water with several stones that stick out of the water, acting as islands for the bees to drink from safely.

Are Your Bees Wasps? 

Yellow jackets and honey bees can look awfully similar sometimes, and making sure you’re dealing with the right one is essential.

If you think you might be dealing with wasps in and around your property, then I strongly advise seeking professional help.


Now we’ve covered a range of preventative steps and natural insect repellents; you’re all set to peacefully coexist with the bees flying around your garden.

Bee stings are a rare occurrence anyway, but with all these steps, you’ll be able to keep a distance from all types of bees and flying insects.

Make sure to check out some of our other short reads below, diving into the fascinating world of bees and insects in your garden.

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