Skip to Content

Does Smoke Repel Bees? (Explained)

Bees are very aggressive towards their hive and very concerned about their stored honey. It’s not an easy thing to get honey from bee hives. Thousands of bees live in a hive and if you try to get honey without any precautionary measures, they may sting you and make you mourn a lot.

Smoke to repel bees

Smoke is an effective bee-repellent that successfully drives away bees from their nest or hives. Bees are sensitive to gas that can distract them and harm their sense of smell and sight. Moreover, it irritates their nasal receptors and makes it difficult for bees to fly and move easily in the air.

Bees are highly concerned and protective for their hives. The female honey bees have stings and if it stings, you’ll face terrible pain. You need to cautiously choose an effective technique that’ll eventually drive the bees away from their hives and you can collect the honey. 

There are varieties of techniques to repel bees but the most efficient one is creating smoke to push the bees into another place by directly pouncing on their receptors. 

Bees are suffocated in the smoky air due to lack of oxygen levels. They are quite sensitive to gas. A thick cloud can actively harm their nasal receptors and they are unable to fly and move normally.  However, not all kinds of smoke are effective to repel bees. 

Wood and scented smoke are more effective than others. 

Cigar smoke: 

Cigar smoke isn’t strong enough to create a thick smoke that is required to repel bees. It’s actually the lightly wafting smoke that can simply work for repelling bugs and flies but not the bees. 

Rather, bees may assume their home is in danger and will be more cautious about their stored food or honey. 

Fire smoke: 

Fire smoke has a good possibility of repelling bees for a certain period of time. But you have to be tactful during use, because the heat and smoke both work to repel the bees in this case. 

But while doing these, if you are not careful enough none can save you from the vicious stings. On the other hand, carelessness can end up ruining the hive along with the honey. So, this method is not recommended without prior expertise. 

Cedar smoke: 

Bees are successfully repelled by creating smoke from a strong scent. Cedar is an aromatic wood that contains a camphoraceous odor that’s not bees friendly. Bees are distracted by its terrible scent and find the scent too strong to hold, thus it works in repelling bees. 

Campfire smoke: 

If the campfire smoke is produced in the lower temperature areas, it will not have any ill effect on bees and can’t actively  repel them. Setting thick smoke with scented wood directly underneath the bees hive and creating a warmer atmosphere can work well to repel bees. 

Wood smoke: 

Creating smoke with wood can actively drive away bees from their nest. The scent doesn’t harm the honeybees and makes them aggressive. Smoke produced by wood creates a lot of smoke which is sufficient to distract bees. 

However, it’s better to use any pungent, strong smelling wood which directly strikes their photoreceptors and repels them. 

Firework smoke: 

Firework smoke doesn’t create as much as smoke that is needed to distract the bees. The noise and the smoke can make them aggressive if it especially harms or makes any of them pass away. Moreover, firework smoke is not a safe option as it may cause fire or harm people. 

Cigarette smoke: 

Smoke with tobaccos and nicotine can have a negative effect on the bees but it’s temporary. It’s a  powerful narcotic that is strong enough that can make bees sick. 

However, a cigarette is not sufficient enough to create thick clouds that are needed for bees so, it’ll need a few ones to repel bees. Additionally, if absorbed in the honey, the harmful materials can make it toxic. 

What does the smoke do to the bees? 

Smoke plays as a danger to the bees and efficiently deter them from their hives. Bees avoid areas where there is smoke because it irritates their nasal receptors and makes bees moving and flying difficult through the air. 

As a result, they become distracted and tend to fly in the opposite direction when there is smoke nearby. Smoke also keeps bees from returning because the smell of smoke is unpleasant to bees.

Bees may experience suffocation because of the lack of oxygen in the smoky air since smoke releases elements that are detrimental to them and can enter their nasal canals through microscopic pores. 

In fact, smoke is particularly successful in keeping bees away due to the presence of too many other gasses besides oxygen that makes it impossible for them to stay there. So, smoke serves as an effective bee repellent. 

3 reasons why smoke repels bees 

Smoke might irritate the bees’ eyes since they are particularly sensitive to gasses that contain sulfur. 

Bees use receptors to look for food, but when there is smoke, they are unable to smell or sense the presence of food as it affects the receptors which causes them to become distracted and escape. Moreover, they can’t move normally in the smoke and so, they mark it as a danger. 

The receptors are irritated: 

If there is smoke in the air, bees won’t be able to smell or see anything. The reason is chemical materials present in the smoke irritate their nose and photoreceptors which eventually harms their sense of smell and sight. 

Movement impediment: 

The elements present in the fire harm bees to move easily. In fact, they fail to fly in the thick smoke. Actually, bees find it tough to change direction and move away since they can’t navigate through the thick fumes easily.

It impedes getting oxygen

Bees need oxygen to survive, and when there is smoke, the oxygen saturation drops, making it difficult for the bees to breathe and preventing them from moving through the smokey air.

What smoke keeps bees away?

Bees can be successfully repelled by smoke that has been burning for a long time and emits certain potent odors. Bees can be effectively repelled by smoke that has a citronella or eucalyptus aroma. 

If the smoke is persistent or is produced by burning dry plants, bees become annoyed when they smell the unpleasant fragrances.

Smoke contains a number of harmful gasses that react with bees’ cell surfaces and receptors and mask their released hormones, which they use for communication. As a result, bees are typically irritated by the smell of smoke. 

Bees will be affected more severely if the smoke has a strong smell and if it continues to burn for a while.

Smoke with a strong scent: 

Try using strong-smelling smoke to ward off bees. In particular, some bee repellents have a minty or citronella-like scent. Bees will become distracted and unable to tolerate the smoke if it contains scents that deter bees.

Smoke  produced by the combustion of dried herbs:

Bees can be repelled by generating smoke by burning dry herbs or herb mixtures. Use cloves or eucalyptus leaves to produce smoke; the smoke the addition of these ingredients produces is good for keeping bees away.

How to use smoke to repel bees?

In order to prevent bees, smoke must be used repeatedly in puffs. To make smoke last longer, burn cardboard or other ingredients with strong scents, such as citronella or mint. The more potent the aroma and the longer the smoke lingers, the more successfully bees are repelled. 

The bees will be more effectively deterred by placing smoke underneath the honeycomb and repeatedly spraying smoke around their residence. 

Creating the smoke: 

To better scare away bees, first create smoke with potent aromas or burn combustion mint or eucalyptus. Use cardboard, pine straws, or citronella leaves in combination with mint to create a stronger, more pungent smoke. 

The stronger the smoke, the quicker it will be to get rid of bees. 

Find the location and apply:

Find the beehives and the locations where the bees are most likely to be found. Apply three or four puffs of smoke at a time to the beehives after making smoke. Apply the puffs repeatedly or for ten to fifteen minutes. 

Or, for more smoke, gather pine straws and start a fire inside a smoker cane or using cardboard. 

Bees become annoyed by intense, pungent smoke, and this also helps to disguise the hormones released by bees, preventing them from signaling their compatriots for assistance. 

Blow fire from bees’ undersides:

Avoid blowing straight into the bees’ veils because this could cause immediate harm to them. Make an effort to the bees’ undersides. 

If the bees are not completely moved, a few more puffs may be given if necessary until all the bees move away.

Final Thoughts

Smoke is one of the efficient ways to repel bees by pushing the bees into another place. It strikes directly to their nasal and photoreceptors. Smoke makes it difficult for the bees to breathe and move easily. Smoke that has a strong aroma is the most effective one to repel bees.