After walking out to your car in the middle of the day, you notice something strange – there are a few bees flying around it. Not overthinking of it, you get in your car and drive away, avoiding the bees at all cost. Day after day, you notice the bees are still hovering around your car, and finally you decide enough is enough.
Bees are attracted to sugar and can be kept away from a car by checking for open bottles and cans that may have been spilled in your car. Cleaning your car will remove any attractive sugary items and keep bees away.
The main attractant to bees is sugar – they absolutely love the stuff. If cleaning your car thoroughly doesn’t do the trick, then you may need to reassess your entire situation and find the root of the cause.
Determine Why There Are Bees Around Your Car in the First Place
There are a few reasons why bees could be flying around or near a car in the first place. The most likely reason is that there are bees flying around a car in search of nectar. While a car definitely doesn’t produce any nectar, there may be something that contains sugar that was spilled on or in the car.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please consult with a local beekeeping professional trying to remove any bees or wasps by yourself.
If you’re finding that you’ve got a few open bottles or cans lying in or around your car, then the first step would be to get rid of any possible trash around the car to ditch any attractants for the bees.
In addition to being attracted to sugary foods, bees are also attracted to any sweet-smelling air freshener, perfume or cologne. The scent reminds bees of flowers and makes them think it’s time to pollinate.
If you have a sweet or flower-scented air freshener in your car, try getting rid of the scent for a few days and see if the bees go away. If you’re wearing a perfume or cologne scent that could be considered to have a sweet or flower smell to it, then try switching scents for a few days to see if that helps.
n rare occasions, bees can actually create a nest out of your car and make a home out of it. Instead of making a hive or taking shelter in a tree, bees will sometimes find your car as a great solution to build their colony.
While this is unlikely, It’s much more reasonable that there is a bees nest nearby where your car is parked.
Before going and looking for the nest, it’s important to note what kind of bee you’re seeing flying around your car, so you know where to look for the nest.
Determine What Species of Bee is Near Your Car
So, you’ve cleaned your car, changed air fresheners, and even stopped wearing your favorite scent. The only issue is, there are still bees happily flying around the car.
This next section is important and will help you determine precisely what course of action you need to take before trying to remove the bees or wasps from around your car.
Of course, all of these creatures DO HAVE THE ABILITY TO STING. The best recommendation is to always have a professional deal with these matters whenever possible.
Here are some of the most common types of bees that you may be likely to find buzzing around your car.
If a Honeybee is Near Your Car, Leave it Be
One of the most essential types of bees in the United States, the honeybee is extremely common. While common, most honeybees are kept in artificial hives that are maintained by beekeepers.
Honeybees are generally passive creatures 1. When a honeybee uses its stinger, it cannot pull the stinger back out. The honeybee loses part of its abdomen and GI tract when it stings, and due to the significant abdominal rupture that happens, the bee is unable to survive after stinging.
You can best identify a honeybee by looking closely at its golden color or by looking at its legs to see if they look barbed or have a yellow tint to them, indicating that the honeybee was pollinating nearby.
While unlikely, if you see a large number of honeybees buzzing around your car, it’s important to call a beekeeper instead of harming the bee. Honeybees are on the path to going extinct, and we need them for our survival!
If a Bumblebee is Near Your Car, Leave it Alone!
Another common bee is the bumblebee 2. Unlike honeybees, bumblebees are able to survive after stinging an individual but are still much less likely to sting a person than a hornet or wasp is.
Bumblebees are easier to spot because they are the most “fluffy” looking type of bee. Unlike honeybees or wasps, the bumblebee has black fur with yellow stripes and a flat-shaped head. You’ll know you’re looking at a bumblebee when you notice its the biggest fluffy bee you’ve ever seen.
Bumblebees often build their nests in the ground, so if you notice a few buzzing around your car, then they may have a nest dug into the ground somewhere very close by.
The same thing goes for bumblebees as it does for honeybees. It’s important not to harm these species of bees because of the role they place in our agricultural system.
If you have a good amount of bumblebees flying around your car and you’ve said enough is enough, do a quick Google search for a local beekeeper to remove the bees from your car without harming them.
Wasps and Hornets are a Whole Different Story
Unlike honeybees and bumblebees, wasps and hornets are an entirely different story. Both wasps and hornets are pretty aggressive once you get near their nest 3. If you’re seeing more than 2 or 3 buzzing around your car, you can be reasonably sure that there’s a nest nearby.
Hornets actually belong to the wasp species but are generally treated with more caution in the bee world. The easiest and most straightforward way to identify wasps and hornets is to notice that they aren’t furry creatures at all and have extremely large backends where their stingers are. For instance, wasps often have a distinct black color with evenly placed yellow circles wrapping around their body and have a partly yellow head.
Hornets are very similar to common wasps, except their backend and head is mostly yellow. Compared to wasps, hornets generally have an entirely yellow head, where a wasp only has a head that’s both black and yellow.
If you see wasps or hornets buzzing around your car, it’s time to take action.
Determine Where the Bees are Coming From
If you’re seeing more than just a few bees flying around your car, then it’s time to go ahead and figure out just where the heck they’re all coming from.
More than likely, there is a nest near your car. You can look for signs of a bumblebee nest in the ground by searching for a large patch of brown grass with a hole in the ground nearby.
Again, really try not to harm the bumblebees, or even honeybees if you find them. If you do find them, it’s best to call a beekeeper to solve the problem.
If there are wasps nesting around your car, then look nearby in any trees, bushes, or fences that may be around your property. Additionally, wasps like to build nests on the outside corners of houses, so go around and check all of the corners between the house siding and roof of your home.
Here’s a wasps nests that was outside of my girlfriend’s car. Notice the slight grey difference in color that stands out in the tree from the distance.
If your car is parked nearby a tree like this, then looking here is a good place to start.
Take a closer look at the wasps’ nest. The nest is almost like a paper bag in structure and has a light grey color to it.
While unlikely, there’s also the possibility that the wasps have built a nest in your car. You’ll likely know this is the case if you see a large amount of them buzzing around your car.
If you don’t find a hive in a tree nearby, then you may find that the wasps are in is the front grille or engine of your car. Wasps love the heat that comes from your car, so they often see it as an excellent opportunity to take up residence.
However, the most likely scenario is that the beehive is in a tree nearby and that this is where the wasps are coming from to get near your car.
Use Eucalyptus Oil to Keep Bees From your Car Naturally
If you don’t want to take down the wasp hive or have found that there are honeybees or bumblebees nearby, then a really, genuinely great solution is to use eucalyptus oil.
Bees and wasps absolutely hate the smell of the stuff, so they try and avoid it at all costs.
Back home, we had an issue of bumblebees flying too close to one of the sheds near our cars and driveway. My mother would take a dab of eucalyptus oil and place it around the handle of the shed to where the bees seem to be flocking to.
It worked like a charm, and we no longer had to deal with the bees every time we went to get something out of the shed.
The same methodology applies to place some eucalyptus oil around spots on the car where the bees may be flying towards.
You may already have some eucalyptus oil lying around the house, but if you don’t, aim for a cheaper bottle on of the stuff online as we’re only using it to repel bees for these purposes.
If You Need to Get Rid of The Beehive, Then Try using Raid
Raid is a fantastic solution for getting rid of beehives in a very cheap and cost-effective manner. Raid is basically ready to use aerosol spray designed to get rid of wasps and hornets.
REMEMBER, CONSULT WITH A LOCAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE USING RAID OR ANY BEESPRAY.
If there is a wasp nest near your car, Raid will allow you to up to 22 feet away from the nest and spray at will. This is extremely useful for those who only have one or two beehives and don’t want to call an exterminator.
Raid is relatively cheap to purchase but will ensure that if there is a wasp nest near your car, it won’t be there for long.
Generally, you can find Raid or a similar wasp and hornet aerosol spray at your local Home Depot or outdoors store. Additionally, here’s a link that will take you to the Raid product if you just want it delivered to your home instead.
Remember: Please go ahead and call your local bee control expert and consult with them to avoid putting yourself in a possibly dangerous situation.
- Guzmán-Novoa, E., & Page Jr, R. E. (1994). Genetic dominance and worker interactions affect honeybee colony defense. Behavioral Ecology, 5(1), 91-97.
- Williams, P. (2000). Bumblebees of the World.
- Pfennig, D. W., & Reeve, H. K. (1989). Neighbor recognition and context‐dependent aggression in a solitary wasp, Sphecius speciosus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Ethology, 80(1‐4), 1-18.