Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bumble Bees | A Detailed Guide

Bumble bees are excellent plant pollinators. Their species are also highly threatened, so it’s worth considering letting them be.

However, if you think your family is at risk, especially kids, getting rid of them naturally is the best way to deal with them.

What are the natural ways to get rid of bumble bees? To eliminate bumble bees naturally, use a vinegar spray. This item contains the acidity and strong scent that most insects hate, including bumble bees. To create the solution, just mix the amount of water and vinegar, shake it well, put the mixture in a spray bottle, and start spraying. 

By reading this guide further, you will learn more ways to get rid of bumble bees naturally, their characteristics, and many more. So, let’s get this started!

What Do Bumble Bees Look Like?

What Do Bumble Bees Look Like

Bumble bees are oval, fuzzy creatures with their iconic yellow and black-streaked bands on their body. Their bodies are covered with smooth hair, making them seem wooly. 

The sting of the female bumble bees is quite painful, while males don’t cause any punctures since they don’t have stingers.

What Is the Lifecycle of a Bumble Bee?

The bumble bee’s life cycle has four stages—the egg, larva, pupa, and the final stage—adult. Unlike other bees, the colonies of bumble bees can’t survive for over a year. 

Colonies are typically annual, with the queens arising every spring season. These queens will make new queens, which will build new colonies in the succeeding years. 

This cycle will repeat itself throughout the lives of bumble bees.

How Long Do Bumble Bees Live?

How Long Do Bumble Bees Live

The lifespan of bumble bees generally depends on their role in the colony. For instance, worker bumble bees typically live around two to six weeks, while the queens of the colonies can live up to one year. 

Where Do Bumble Bees Live?

Bumble bees choose to nest in various places, such as compost heaps, under sheds, and abandoned rodent holes. Some live above the ground, particularly in thick grass, trees, bird boxes, and lofts.

What Does Bumble Bees Eat?

It’s known that bumble bees feast on protein-rich pollen and nectar. Their first food at the start of their adult life is the feces of their fellow bumble bees.

The bacteria found in the fecal matter they eat help boost their immune system, protecting them from any parasites.

Where Do Bumble Bees Nest?

Where Do Bumble Bees Nest

Bumble bees commonly nest in abandoned landscape cavities, such as deserted mouse burrows, rock piles, and beneath the thick vegetation layers. They also nest above the ground, specifically on grasses and even on bird boxes. 

How to Attract Bumble Bees?

If you want to attract bumble bees to your area since they’re great pollinators, consider doing the following:

Provide them with ground cover.

Bumble bees love a good shade to rest, so providing them with cover, such as creeping plants is a good option. Some of the plants that you can use as ground covers are:

  • Bugleweed
  • Japanese pachysandra
  • Moss phlox
  • Creeping phlox
  • Green and gold

You can also add red or lemon thyme as a ground covering and make sure to provide them with water for hydration. You can do this by putting a shallow container with water so they can sip from there.

Cultivate plants they love.

Another way to attract bumble bees into your yard is to grow plants they love. For instance, they prefer perennial plants since they tend to have more nectar.

Among the plant options you have are:

  • Agastache 
  • Broad bean
  • Betony
  • Buddleia
  • Chives
  • Catmint
  • Borage 
  • Bugle

Just plant these around your house, and you will surely attract the attention of several bumble bees.

Say no to chemical pesticides.

If you want to attract bumble bees, you have to say NO to chemical pesticides. They’re the major reason why there’s a huge drop in bee population all over the world.

So, instead of using chemicals, grow plants that bees love instead, such as those listed above. 

Do Bumble Bees Sting?

Bumblebees seldom sting people unless they’re provoked or feel threatened. So, if you want to avoid any of this from happening, you have to be calm when you encounter them or work with them.

As much as possible, never wave your arms at them, try to touch them, or bump in their hive. As long as you do these, they won’t try to sting even when you’re within their vicinity.

How to Get Rid of Bumble Bees Without Killing Them? 

Bumble bees can be troublesome when they invade a particular area of your property. However, they are excellent pollinators and help plants to survive by hampering inbreeding.

So, if you want to rid of these bees without killing them, you can opt for the following methods. 

1. Soapy Mint Oil and Water Mixture

The best option to eliminate bees is to attack their nest. You can do this by mixing two to three cups of castile soap with two cups of water. Make sure to bring at least one kettle of boiling water.

This helps the soapy mint oil and a mixture of water to penetrate well through the nest.

To apply, just pour the water and soap mixture onto the ground where bumble bees are nesting, pour the boiling water, and run right away after it’s done.

Before taking on this task, you must wear long sleeves and other protective clothing to protect yourself from a potential bite.

2. Homemade Vinegar Spray

A homemade spray made from the vinegar is another working option to terminate bumble bees in your garden or yard. Before taking on a task like this, always wear long sleeves, long pants, and other protective clothing to protect yourself.

To make the spray solution:

  1. Blend together equal parts of vinegar and water.
  1. Then, transfer the mixture to a clean spray bottle and shake well.
  1. After that, you can start spraying the solution on the bumble bees’ nests.

3. Soda Bottle Trap

This is one of the most effective ways of eliminating bumble bees from your property. Just get a bottle of soda, cut half of it and fill it with half of the sweetest drink available.

After that, place the soda bottle close to the hive and in areas where you often detect these bees. The drink’s overload sweetness will entice the bees to take a sip.

But, once they fly over and dive into the solution, they’ll start to drown but can still escape if they react quickly. 

4. Cinnamon

This spice can help you get rid of bumble bees without killing them. To apply, just sprinkle a generous amount of grounded cinnamon close to the beehive and do this for at least 1 to 2 weeks.

5. Water Your Garden More Often

In general, bumble bees prefer to nest in coarse and dry soil. So, if you happen to see hives under your grasses, make sure to water your lawn and garden regularly.

This will moisten the soil, discouraging these bees from returning to your place. On top of that, it’s an absolutely free way to eliminate bumble bees without needing to kill them.

What Keeps Bumble Bees Away?

What Keeps Bumble Bees Away

If you’re wondering about other ways to keep bumble bees away from your property, here are some of your inexpensive options:

Bee Spray Repellent

One of the best methods to keep bees at bay is to produce your own bee repellent spray. To make the spray, mix one drop of tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, and peppermint oil into a cup of odorless shampoo.

After that, transfer the mixture into a clean spray bottle and begin spraying it around your plants, where they usually gather, and their nests.

Citronella Candles

The masking scent of citronella candles appalls bees. So, take advantage of it by lighting several pieces of citronella candles in the affected areas. 

Repeat for at least a few more days, and you’ll see bees starting to steer away from those places. Once you’ve confirmed the bees are no longer there, start eliminating their nests.


Garlic has that pungent odor that most insects hate, and bumble bees aren’t an exception. To use this spice to your advantage, soak minced garlic in cooking oil, then pour some vinegar.

It’s much preferred to use the cheapest white vinegar since it’s usually more acidic than the expensive ones. This will inflict more damage to them, enough to make them leave your place.

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and transfer them to a clean spray bottle. Once done, spray it on the affected sites, but ensure that you are already wearing protective clothing before the application.


Citrus is acidic, and their scent is particularly strong that insects try to avoid them. To use this as your natural bee repellent, just slice citrus fruits like lemons or oranges into one kettle of water and bring it to a boil.

After that, transfer the mixture of boiled water and juice of citrus fruits into a spray bottle. Once done, spray it on your plants and the bees’ nests.

Related: How to Get Rid of Bees Naturally? | A Complete Guide


So, these are some of the natural ways you can eliminate bumble bees without killing them. If the given methods are not working for you, it’s time to call in professional pest control to handle this matter.

List of Sources

Life Cycle and Biology – Bumble Bees of Wincosin

Bumble Bee Nest

Why Bees Are So Important to the Environment

Comparative Analysis of Flowering in Annual and Perennial Plants