Can Citronella be used as a bee repellent? Let’s find out.
One popular essential oil you might have heard of, used, or came across is citronella oil. It’s popularly used as an insect and animal repellent. Its key advantage is that it’s totally harmless to the environment.
Citronella oil can be used to solve a variety of pest problems.
Will Citronella Repel Bees?
Of particular interest to us are bees.
Repelling bees, really? Now, bees are known to offer a wide range of benefits.
The primary benefit is that of pollination. Asides from being pollinators, bees produce honey used as food in addition to wax among other benefits.
So, why repel them in the first place?
Why Repel Bees?
Before we get to answer the question about whether citronella repels bees, it’s necessary to first state the “why.”
It’s an undisputed fact that bees are valuable to humans and the ecosystem. However, these can sometimes build their hives in unfavorable locations.
Such may be around homes or close to public areas. At other times, bees may be in danger of drowning around water bodies. Repelling them is the most humane way of bee control.
This doesn’t kill them but drives them off.
Using Citronella For Bee Control
In answering the question asked at the beginning of the article, Yes! Citronella does repel bees. Whether using its extracted essential oil or growing the citronella grass itself, the same repellent effect is achieved.
Citronella plants or grass can be grown in a bed or potted.
Also, it can be grown indoors and outdoors. So, why place citronella plants indoors? Apart from being an effective bee repellent, citronella will also repel mosquitoes and other insect pests like flies.
This is why potted citronella plants are placed indoors.
However, those kept indoors should be located close to the window or be taken out for about hours of sunlight every day. This plant requires well-drained soils to thrive.
How to Use Citronella to Repel Bees
Having confirmed the efficacy of citronella as a bee repellent, it’s necessary to explain how it’s used. The use of citronella as a bee repellent depends on the type being used.
Remember we said citronella plants exist in addition to essential oils extracted from such plants.
Also, there are citronella candles you can burn which produce the same effect. So, what you use determines how you use it. For citronella plants, the process of usage is a no-brainer. You only need to move or relocate such plants to areas where bees nest around.
Before long, bees will be irritated by the characteristic smell of this plant thus causing them to relocate. Having some of these plants around your property will never be a bad idea as mosquitoes are also kept at bay.
Using citronella candles is another effective way to drive away bees from your home. Just like the citronella plant from where the main active ingredient is derived, citronella candles create a masking effect.
The masking effect here refers to the odor created by burning the candle.
This overshadows the scent of flowers attracting bees to your home. Basically, bees and wasps cannot stand the scent of citronella and will move to a more favorable location.
Is it Possible to Still Find Bees Around After Using Citronella?
This question relates to the efficacy of citronella as a bee repellent. While citronella has been found to repel bees, it’s still possible to have these insects sticking around your home. This will be the case for an established colony.
Under such circumstances, a more drastic approach needs to be taken. “Drastic” in this sense has nothing to do with exterminating them. Rather, it involves the relocation of these insects to a more agreeable or ideal location.
So, who performs such tasks? An experienced beekeeper can be of great help.
Asides from the expertise of a beekeeper, you might want to contact a pest service to help out with this task. Any of the two options should be enough to solve the problem.
Experts will assess the situation and plan on moving or relocating the beehive to a new location.
When Citronella Fails, Can I Relocate Bees Myself?
Handling bees can be a dangerous undertaking for persons with limited experience.
Bees will readily sting at any perceived threat. Therefore, it’s important to always enlist professional help. The only exception will be when you’re an experienced beekeeper yourself.
So, in a nutshell, you must avoid performing beehive relocation yourself. With the citronella control methods not giving any results, your best bet is to call the experts to get the job done.
This procedure is professionally handled without killing bees.
At the end of the day, bees find a new abode while you take back control of your property. It’s important to ask for professional tips on the best ways to prevent a reoccurrence of bee presence on your property.
Also, consider planting citronella as part of the preventive measures.
Other Plants That Repel Bees
Apart from citronella, several other plants will repel bees just as well. These alternatives will be ideal for persons experiencing adverse reactions while using citronella.
Alternative plants that also serve as bee repellents include basil, cucumber, and geraniums.
Others are mint, wormwood, marigolds, eucalyptus, pitcher plants, and pennyroyal. Like citronella, the essential oils of these plants as well as the plants themselves will serve as excellent repellents for bees.
Another advantage is that bees aren’t the only insects repelled by the scent of these plants. Other affected pests include mosquitoes and wasps.
What more? The presence of these plants helps beautify your home’s landscape.
Citronella has been found to provide relief from bees. This repellent product can be applied in its various forms around bee-infested areas. We’ve seen that its main repellent action lies in the scent it releases.
This is detested by bees which makes them keep their distance from such areas.
We’ve also seen that though citronella will help you take back control of your yard, it may sometimes prove ineffective. In other words, bees might remain after using citronella for treatment.
At this point, help from bee control experts is your best bet on getting a hold of the situation.