View Full Version : How to repel bees from the neighbour's deck - help please?

07-27-2008, 09:49 PM
So it's winter slowly heading for spring here, and the neighbour has just been to see me at work.

After three days of heavy rain (storms over most of the country), the girls were out in force drinking from the concrete outside our back door yesterday and today, and, as it turns out, from the neighbour's deck as well.

I'll be setting up a salted drinking station for them tonight to draw them away, but I'd like to offer him something to actively repel the girls from his deck - he's been being a 'good neighbour' and not complaining though they've been visiting his place for a while, so of course they're pretty well attached to his deck now.

Keep in mind he has a toddler and a dog, so solutions need to be as safe as possible for both of them.

On a quick google search, I've come up with spraying Clorox, bleach, orange oil, listerine and/or hanging mothballs.

The listerine is the most appealing to me, both in terms of safety for child and dog and odour, though I don't know how or if it will hurt the girls.

Can anyone recommend something that is safe and actually works?

Oh, and just how much salt should one add to drinking water for bees to be attractive to them?

07-27-2008, 10:26 PM
Here is a suggestion:
You might start your spring stimulation feeding of thin sugar syrup.
Salt can be toxic. I do not know the amount of salt/gallon. But, some people use to place a Tbsp. full on the back bars of animal grade trace mineral salt.
Keep the water dripping on the concrete as bees prefer a freash cool supply of water.
You did not say how many hives are involved or the number of bees enjoying the water.
Ernie Lucas Apiaries.

07-27-2008, 10:29 PM
My experience has been that bees pretty much forage for what they want, where they want. I've never had luck drawing them away from a water source other than drying it up. I've also planted honey producing crops to have them ignore them and forage for nectar elsewhere and further away at that. Dry up the water source if you can.

mike haney
07-28-2008, 06:48 AM
clorox bleach is attractive to bees. iput a little in my fountain and it really draws them in. that wouldn't bee helpfull in repelling them from a porch. try some wasp spray on the UNDERSIDE of the deck the odor is repellent to wasps and if underneath will be safe for the kiddos. good luck,mike

mike haney
07-28-2008, 06:51 AM
"...how much salt should one add to drinking water ..." i use about a cup of bleach to ten gallons in my fountain. good luck,mike

07-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Thanks much for the replies :)

Mike, funnily enough, I had in the back of my mind that the bleach would be an attractant rather than a repellant as well, but that's what you get for searching on the internet!

It's only four hives at home, soon to be reduced back to two when we take the two new ones out to our main apiary. When I got the neighbour to be more specific than 'lots, and I mean LOTS of bees!", he came up with about 20, so it's not a huge number but that could grow easily.

The hard part with drying it up, is that this guy also runs a business and his equipment wash-down area is on his driveway at his back door, so there is frequently water in the area.. and it's a cleaning business, so quite probably cloroxed-extra attractive type water too. Bugger.

Ah well, much drier weather today, so hopefully the girls will find the tap I've left dripping for them rather than going looking for other supplies.

Joseph Clemens
07-28-2008, 04:48 PM
Sounds like your neighbors "wash-down" area for his "business" is located at his residence and is functioning as an attractive nuisance for your bees. Luring them away from their designated drinking area and to his alternate and potentially harmful water source. Sounds like you have the complaint, not him.

There are always at least two sides to every story. Don't let the other sides story cause you to forget your own.

07-28-2008, 05:38 PM
*LOL* Joseph, you have just brightened my day no end. It really has been bumming me out a bit since yesterday with the thought that he might force the issue, but I much prefer to look at it from your perspective.

(Unfortunately won't change anything if he does decide to complain the council - close-minded twits won't allow hives in town)

07-28-2008, 06:45 PM
Try spraying some Fishers Bee Quick. I am not sure how practical that would be with it being a wash down area. But maybe you can spray it in areas that do not get washed down. Also if some gets in the water where the bees do drink the smell may deter them enough to get them to find an alternate source. Just a thought let us know how it turns out.

07-28-2008, 06:59 PM
Walter Kelley wrote a nice little beekeeping book many years ago. He said that you should not give away any free jars of honey to your friends and relatives, but instead give jars of honey to your neighbors.


King bee apiary
07-28-2008, 08:36 PM
We use banana peels in our wasp traps to keep honey bees out of them, could try this as a cheap start. Have had good luck with the peels repelling honey bees.

07-29-2008, 01:55 PM
You know I like the Walter Kelley quote. My family and close friends that get free honey don't appreciate it - they expect it. The neighbor will always be thankful as he never expects it. Walter Kelley must have been a wise man.

Another repellent that I thought of would be to throw around a few moth flakes each day for a week or so. Particularly at the high side of the wash down area and it will mix with the water and flavor it all badly. After a week or so, the bees should learn not to drink there. I really don't think you'd need much at all. like a handful of flakes would do the whole deck each day. Sprinkle it around like snow and only a stripe across the driveway/deack every 3-5 feet or so.

At the same time work with the neighbor to try to keep things dry during the day as much as possible.

good luck

Julian Lewis
07-29-2008, 11:39 PM
Just make sure the peels are not where your neighbor walks!!:)
Or is it for the bees to slip on, get disheartened and find another water source?;)

Jim Fischer
07-30-2008, 10:44 AM
You don't repel bees from a large area like a deck, you attract them

Another approach might be to use fences to block bee flight near the hives, and get them to fly higher from the start. This often keeps them out of
the neighbor's yards.