Keeping bees at bay is one of the prime tasks of the apartment maintenance crew; because you don’t want bees buzzing around when you are outside in your garden, do you? Worse, they can get inside your house. When it comes to getting rid of bees, don’t immediately think of spraying them or calling the exterminators or your apartment maintenance crew.
While it’s understandable that you may not want bees buzzing around you and that you don’t want to get stung, you should know that killing them is not the only option open to you. Try getting rid of them in the Gandhian way. Drive them away, don’t kill them.
Why should you care?
You should anyway, not only because all creatures have a right to live, whether you like them or not, but because bees are important to us too. Apart from making honey, bees are one of the most important pollinators of many of our major nutrient sources like fruits, berries, nuts.
Do you like some mustard with your food? Do you like mangoes? Well these crops and plants need bees for pollination purposes. So if you see bees, don’t panic and search for the number of the exterminator in the yellow pages. There are other options:
Eliminate The Attractions
Bees generally seek out water sources. If you have a bird bath or a fountain or even open water containers, they will keep coming back to take a drink. Have your apartment maintenance crew keep the bird bath and the fountains dry until the bees go away.
Empty water buckets and shut off other water sources, like a leaky faucet. Cover the pool. You can also try reducing the amount of flowering plants in your garden. Alternatively, plant them well away from walkways if you have the space. Do this with fruit trees too. The apartment maintenance crew should take measures to keep the swimming pool covered when it is not being used. Pools of water attract bees. Grasses and bushes should also be trimmed.
Keep Them Away From Parties
If you are holding an outdoor party or a family BBQ, keep all the meat and sweet drinks covered. They attract wasps and bees, especially wasps.
Wear light colored clothing – these insects are attracted to dark colors. Do not swat at bees or kill them. This puts them in attack mode, and they will come at you in a swarm. You can hang a mesh bag filled with fruits in a place away from your house. The bees will go for those bags.
The apartment maintenance crew can hire a professional to do this. This should be done in the evening. Bees are diurnal, so they go home in the evening. If you cannot hire a professional, then take all the precautions necessary to avoid getting stung.
Put some coal and crimpled paper in a pail and set fire to it. When the flame is strong, put it out. Wear some protective gear to cover your head, and a loose robe and gloves. Carry the smoking pail to the hive. You should wait till there are no more bees buzzing around. Then place this pail under the hive and leave the area.
Make sure you avoid windy days to do this or you’ll end up starting a fire. The smoke going up into the hive will drive out the bees. You will have to do this for many days to make sure the bees are driven away.
Your apartment maintenance crew can try and find bee keepers who want bees, for honey or for pollination. See if you can find someone who is interested. You can take an effort together to hire a professional to remove the hive from within the apartment complex over to the beekeeper’s land. This way you can both benefit, and the bees get to live in a place where they are wanted.
If you have ground nesting bees, try sprinkling the nesting area with water. Bees don’t like damp homes and will immediately relocate to some other ideal spot.
If your problem is with carpenter bees (the kind that bore holes though wood), you should wait till you see the bees leave the nest. Then you can cover it up and spray it with insect repellent, preferably the natural kind. You might have to hunt around and do this for all the holes. Use the repellent on the nests till you are sure the bees are not coming back.
Avoid using chemical sprays and insecticides that will probably do you more harm than the bees. Try preparing some natural home-made repellent. You can easily find these natural formulas, and use them to keep the bees away. Tie up some moth balls in strips of cloth and hang them around the area that the bees usually visit. This sometimes works.
Bees are an important part of the ecosystem, and are vital to our human urvival. So, try to find ways of dealing with bees that do not involve killing them. Some ideas have been suggested above, if you search around, you can find many more.