A Guide to Moving Bees Without Killing Them

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Bees are lovely little creatures, but sometimes they can be pests if they decide to build a colony in an unwanted area. Although we should encourage them to grow here, they must be moved for safety reasons and hygiene, etc. However, calling an exterminator is a definite no. So, how do you move bees without killing them?

There are tons of tried and tested methods of moving bees without causing any harm. Some ways include sprinkling cinnamon on their hive each day for a week, and others involve creating a vinegar spray solution. Either method won’t kill or harm the bees, and it’ll just force them to relocate and build another hive.

Getting bees to relocate isn’t that difficult, and it will just require you to be persistent. Some people have found better outcomes with each method, but it’s all about how you implement them. If you want to learn more about how you’re able to achieve this, I suggest you read the below.

How do you move a beehive without killing them?

As mentioned, there are various ways in which you’re able to relocate a beehive without killing any of them. Including cinnamon and vinegar, there’s a few more solutions in which you should consider. Want to know how to move a beehive without killing them? Check out the following:

1. Beekeeper

Your first and safest port of call should be a beekeeper. They won’t just help you move a beehive without killing them, they might actually take it back to their farm and increase their reproduction. Remember, bees are considered an endangered insect, and the only way to decrease this from becoming an issue is by providing them superb mating environments.

Needless to say, there should be a professional beekeeper near your location who is willing to help. If you struggle with this, you’ll need to consider the below options. These are natural ways in which you’re able to repel and relocate bees.

2. Mothballs

Only a few places still sell them, but you could also consider mothballs. As you can guess by the name, they help repel moths. However, people have found out they actually work superbly for repelling bees also. But the only problem with this method is that there’s no evidence that they don’t negatively affect bees.

Yes, they can relocate bees, but no, it isn’t suggested whether they harm them or not. If you want to go this route (which many people do), you’ll want to hang or place mothballs around their hive when it’s inactive. Doing this will minimize the disturbance you cause and, ultimately, your safety.

After you’ve located your mothballs near the hive, it should only take around five days for them to relocate. If this fails, you may need to place them closer. Again, if you don’t see the bees relocate, it may be best to try another solution below.

3. Vinegar spray

Additionally to the above, something else you could try is a vinegar spray solution. This is another superb method of naturally relocating and removing bees from their hive or location. To achieve this, you’ll want to make a simple solution. This requires just a 50/50 mix of both water and vinegar. Once you’ve obtained this, shake the mixture up, and spray it on the hive when it’s inactive. The best time to do this is during dusk.

Spraying the hive when it’s active may cause the bees to become agitated, resulting in them becoming defensive. We want to avoid this at all costs because a group of stings will most definitely be painful.

4. Cinnamon

Above, we mentioned the cinnamon removal trick, and this is another method that works great. If you have access to cinnamon, this is also extremely simple to undergo. To get the bees to relocate with cinnamon, you’ll just need to sprinkle some cinnamon powder around the hive. For most effective results, you’ll want to sprinkle the hive at least seven days over the course of a week. From this, bees that were out scavenging will come back, smell the cinnamon, and leave to find the rest of their colony.

5. Repelling plants

Lastly, is planting repelling plants. However, this isn’t a quick method. Instead of something which is able to remove them overnight, it’s more of a prevention method once you’ve achieved the above. You can get repelling plants for various insects and animals, and it’s the same for bees. If you want to repel bees from your garden naturally, you’ll want to consider planting the below:


As you can see, there are various methods you can undergo to remove bees without killing them successfully. However, what if you want to move an entire beehive with the colony? Although it may seem extraordinarily problematic and not possible, you’re mistaken. Check out the below how-to guide to moving a beehive humanely.

How do you humanely move a beehive?

Before we get into how to move a beehive, there’s one crucial rule of thumb you need to become familiar with. This is that you shouldn’t move bees more than three miles or fewer than three feet. This is because bees become familiar with their local area very precisely. Moving the hive to less than three feet will cause mass confusion with the bees, which will lead to death. When doing this, they’ll try and relocate back to their original hive spot only to realize it’s not there.

Now you understand that, here’s how you move a beehive humanely:

  1. First, you’ll need a beehive moving box like this one here and the standard beekeeping equipment.
  2. Once you’ve obtained these, you’ll want to wait until dusk. This is when their less active and inside the hive.
  3. Place the hive inside the transportation box and begin the moving process. Remember, be extremely careful with the box.
  4. When you’ve changed location, wait around fifteen minutes until the bees are settled. ]
  5. After, you can open the transportation box. Some people throw the grass around the exit holes to slow the process of them getting through, so this may be something you want to consider.

After reading, you should understand how to relocate bees and move an entire beehive safely. Without a doubt, if you’re not a professional beekeeper, I suggest you find help. This will guarantee that the bees are completely safe, and it’ll undoubtedly save you from buying the equipment.

About Grampa Beekeeper

Having spent a lifetime tending to bees, I now want to pass my knowledge onto the next generation of beekeepers. Beekeeping may not be fashionable, but it is my life long passion! From entrance excluders to packaged bee handling, I've got you covered! I'm not the best at writing, though, so bear with me!!