What Attract Bees? Compared to hornets and wasps, bees are much more appreciated. They’re valuable members of an ecosystem that relies on them for pollination. Due to the bees’ role in cross-pollination, plants can reproduce even to the point where their actions can prevent inbreeding, ensuring healthy plants continue to thrive.
However, that’s not to say that everyone wants a beehive on their property. With their painful stings and the health hazards for those who are allergic to bees, having a hive on the property can be a safety risk and a potential liability for property owners.
To avoid these, it’s best to know what attracts bees and then take steps to make your property an unattractive breeding ground for them. Here are a few things that attract bees and what you can do to prevent bees from finding their way into your property.
How to Attract Bees
Bees are attracted to areas that provide them with what their hive needs to survive. This means having the materials to create a hive as well as the flora and organic materials that they can use for food and water.
Here are some of the most common culprits of what attracts bees to certain areas, as well as what we recommend you can do to prevent bees from establishing their hive on your property.
Having an orchard or a mini-garden filled with edible fruits can be great for homes and farms, but it’s also extremely attractive to bees. Bees mainly drink nectar, so they’re attracted to anything that’s sweet – just like certain types of fruits. In some cases, fruit can ripen or fall off a plant or tree and crack open. This scent is likely to attract nearby bees, leading to them creating a hive within or near the fruit-bearing plant.
A good solution is to take steps to harvest these fruits once they’re ready for consumption. If the plant or tree is in your home, consider giving the excess to your neighbors and friends to avoid wasting fruits. If a fruit falls and opens on the ground, clean it up immediately. You can dispose of it in the garbage bin for biodegradables, or you can add it to your compost bin.
Sweet and Sugary Food
Aside from sweet fruits from your property’s flora, bees can also be attracted to any sweet food you have. During outdoor gatherings, leaving sweet food and drinks out in the open can attract bees. If you’ve disposed of things like soft drink containers, the remaining soda in the container can spill and attract all types of insects and pests, especially around your garbage cans.
Ensure that your food is properly covered to prevent attracting bees with outdoor picnics and cookouts. Invest in durable garbage bins that have covers that can be fully shut to prevent attracting pests. You can even take it one step further by rinsing out your juice and soda containers before disposing of them.
Since bees create their own food from pollen, they’re attracted to bright-colored flowers they can collect pollen. If you have plenty of flowering plants around your property, bees might recognize your property as a good place to start a hive. While you have the benefit of having bees to keep your flowers healthy, there’s always the risk of having a beehive nearby.
Bees are particularly attracted to the following herbs and other types of flora:
- Lamb’s ear
- Purple coneflowers
- Bells or Phacelias
- Bee Balms
- Black-eyed Susans
In this case, you have two options: use a pesticide on your flowers or remove your flowering plants completely. Using pesticides can kill bees that stumble on your flowers or deter them from going to your area. You can use chemical pesticides found in hardware stores or online, though using too much can harm plant life and those exposed to it nearby. You can also use organic options such as:
- Vegetable Oil and Soap: This will suffocate insects by sticking to their mouths as this is where they breathe from.
- Neem Oil: This is an organic oil that can be sprayed onto plants and flowers to deter insects from feeding.
- Diatomaceous Earth: This is a powder made from fossilized algae that absorbs an insect’s oils and dehydrates them.
- Chili Spray: The substances in chilis can deter bees, but keep in mind that it can also cause discomfort in humans as well.
Alternatively, you can replace all flowering plants with other types of plants as well as other outdoor fixtures that can improve your outdoor aesthetic. This can be a costly move, but it can be one that reduces what attracts bees to your property.
Carpenter bees are a specific type of bee. Unlike honeybees that are attracted to flowers, carpenter bees will search for organic wood material. Their most common victims are trees, but they can also go after outdoor furniture and fixtures that are made with untreated wood. Carpenter bees will bore holes into their targets, which can weaken the structure.
In case you have a tree on your property, using the pesticides mentioned above can deter carpenter bees from making their way onto your property. Regularly cleaning your property’s yard of fallen branches and sticks can also reduce the risk.
Ensure that outdoor fixtures like fences, trellises, and pergolas are made with treated wood for your property. Avoid placing untreated wooden planks and boards along the side of your home, as it can attract carpenter bees too close to your property and lead them indoors. This could eventually lead to structural damage in your home.
During the summers or in areas with a dry climate, bees are attracted to areas with a shallow standing water source. This means that bird baths, unmaintained fountains, stagnant puddles, and other sources of water can attract bees. In fact, standing water can also be attractive to insects like mosquitoes, as this is where they can lay their eggs.
A good way to avoid stagnant water on your property is to take certain measures. Frequently refill your bird bath dishes or remember to empty them regularly. If your fountain is off, ensure that you drain your fountain rather than leaving the water standing. Check your outdoor property for recessed areas where water can pool.
A messy yard or unmaintained landscape can be the ideal breeding ground for bees. These types of settings can provide bees with everything they need to build their nests and feed off the area. This includes wild grass, flowers, dried grass, dead wood, and standing water.
A neat yard, on the other hand, can prevent bees from finding what they need. Hiring someone to regularly maintain your landscape can be a step in the right direction to deter bees from thriving on your property and setting up their hive.
What Are the Risks of Attracting Bees To Your Property?
Bees can be beneficial for the environment, but your property isn’t the right place for bees to establish their colony. Having a beehive on your property exposes you and those you love to unnecessary risks. While bees aren’t as aggressive as wasps or hornets, they can become aggressive when they feel threatened. This means everyday outdoor activities and loud sounds can be enough to trigger bees to attack. With a swarm of bees, whether someone is allergic or not, this can be a potentially deadly attack.
Some of the potential risks that come with bees entering include:
Bees Entering Your Property
When beehives are built too close to your property, they could eventually find entry points like an open window, chimneys, roof cracks, and other points of entry they can get in through. Then, once they enter, it can be difficult to kill them or release and capture them. The confined space and the presence of people on your property can potentially make a bee feel threatened and lead them to sting.
Liability from Bee Stings
For most people in your household or commercial establishment, the risks of a bee sting are very low. It can be a painful experience, and you may be left with a bump and experience symptoms like pain, redness, itching, and inflammation. However, these will subside within a matter of days and can be managed with over-the-counter solutions and home remedies.
However, for a few people, the toxin bees release when they sting can trigger a severe allergic reaction. This may require emergency medical attention. This also poses a potential liability risk for you as regardless of whether or not they had a severe reaction, people who have been stung on your property may sue for personal injury because of your negligence in maintaining your yard.
Bees that live in optimal conditions can thrive in numbers. This means creating more hives or potentially expanding their hive. If they’ve established the hive in areas like branches or in dark corners outside your home like under roofs, porches, and gutters, the weight and size of the hive can take a toll on the area and cause property damage.
Removing the Hive on Your Own to avoid attract bees
If you’ve noticed a beehive on your property, you may be considering removing it on your own. This is a dangerous option as you risk disturbing a beehive that could potentially carry thousands of bees inside.
While most people aren’t allergic to bees, a sting can be particularly unpleasant. Now, consider the pain of a hostile bee colony feeling threatened by you touching their hive and targeting you while you attempt to DIY your fix. One bee sting may not have enough toxin to cause an allergic reaction, but several stings may lead to a serious reaction and, in extreme cases, can lead to death.
Keep Your Property from Attracting Bees with Pest Control Unlimited
Bees can be beneficial to your outdoor plants and flowers to attract bees, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to attract a swarm to establish their hive on your property. Knowing what attracts bees to an area and how to prevent it can help you avoid an infestation.
However, if your property already has a bee problem, you may have a serious problem on your hands. Avoid trying to remove the hive yourself. Instead, call the professionals at Pest Control Unlimited to handle the hive for you.
At Pest Control Unlimited, we provide effective services to protect residential and commercial properties from the safety hazards of pest infestations. Bees are not only a nuisance but a potential threat to human health. We offer free inspections and same-day emergency visits for beehives that are particularly hazardous to your safety. Get in touch with us today to schedule your appointment.