If you’re finding a lot of bees buzzing around your dog’s water bowl or floating dead in the water, you’re probably worried that one of these bees might sting your dog or be swallowed when your dog takes a drink.
To keep bees away from the dog’s water bowl, it’s best to keep bees away from the area altogether. You can try using smells that bees don’t like, growing plants that bees stay away from, or giving bees their own water to drink.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep your dog’s water bowl bee-free and not harm the bees in the process, such as…
Keep your dog’s bowl very clean
Bees are attracted to water because they need it to survive. And bees often love water that isn’t pure – such as what’s floating in your dog’s bowl.
Your dog’s mouth carries food particles, slobber, and many other things that your dog sniffs or tastes throughout the day. When your dog drinks water, these particles often move from your dog’s mouth to the bowl.
Bees use their excellent sense of smell to find slobbery water just like this because it’s full of goodies, such as nutrients and minerals from the dog’s food.
Wash out your dog’s water bowl daily, to get rid of these particles. This is healthier for your dog and helps to keep the bees away.
Put vinegar in the water bowl
Add a few drops of white or apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water, to keep bees away. Don’t add more than this or your dog will be able to smell the vinegar too and stay away.
Most dogs can tolerate a tiny amount of vinegar diluted in their water, but watch to make sure that your dog will still drink the water.
Move the water bowl
Take a look around your yard and home to see if there’s another place to keep your dog’s water bowl, where bees will stay away from it or can’t get to it.
Choose an outdoor area where you’ve never seen bees before or move the bowl inside.
If there’s no way to keep your dog’s water bowl inside, keep the water bowl close to the entrance where there are fewer insects.
Give bees their own water bowl
Giving bees a water bowl may keep them away from your dog’s water bowl. Make sure to get a colorful bowl for the bees, as they are attracted to bright colors that resemble flowers.
Bees can see yellow, blue, purple and white, so make your bee bowl one of these colors. Bees struggle to see red, so don’t make your bee bowl this color.
The bee bowl needs to be shallow, so the bees don’t drown. And to make it even nicer for the bees, put colorful marbles or little rocks in the dish for the bees to sit on.
Keep the bee dish high up, out of your dog’s reach, so your dog can’t drink the water, annoy the bees, or swallow the marbles (this is very dangerous).
Make bee repellent
It’s very easy to make your own bee repellent, but this repellent is toxic to animals and is not safe for your pets to eat – don’t use it in your dog’s water bowl or anywhere your dog might lick.
The smell of peppermint keeps bees away. Some people add dish soap to their spray to kill bees, but the recipe below is to keep them away rather than kill them.
This recipe is for a popular home-made bee repellent:
- Fill a spray bottle with water
- Put 30 drops of pure peppermint extract or some peppermint essential oil in the water
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and another pinch of cinnamon
- Shake until combined
Spray this bee repellent around the areas where there are bees. It should get rid of wasps as well, though wasps eat many pests and are good to have around.
Here’s a video showing how to make a bee killer and repellent, and how to spray it around the area you want to keep bees away from. If you spray it on bees the Dawn dish soap will kill them:
Again, do not use this spray in your dog’s water! Peppermint is not safe for your pets, but it will help to keep bees away.
Alternatively, fill a spray bottle with water and pop in some crushed garlic. Leave to soak for a few days, then spray it around the area where you find a lot of bees. This spray also isn’t safe for your dog to lick or drink because garlic is toxic to dogs.
Buy bee repellent
You can also try a commercial bee repellent to repel bees from the area.
Here are some bee repellents that are available on Amazon (affiliate links):
Grow plants that bees hate
Bees love some flowers a lot, such as lavender, blue borage, sunflowers, and roses. If you have any of these growing in your backyard, move the water bowl far away from these plants.
Just as bees love some flowers, there are plants that bees stay away from. Plant these plants around the area where your dog’s water bowl sits, to keep away bees.
Here’s a list of plants that bees stay away from:
- Geraniums – especially red geraniums
- Marigolds – red (click here to find out how marigolds keep away many pests)
- Pitcher plants
Hang thyme socks in the area
Bees don’t like the smell of thyme oil, which you can use to keep them away from your dog’s bowl.
Soak some old socks in thyme oil. Socks work well because they are so absorbent.
Squeeze out any excess oil and hang the socks on branches that are close to your dog’s water bowl.
Many people say they’ve had very good results with this technique.
Attract birds to your yard
If you have a lot of bees and you want to keep the population under control in a natural way, you can try attracting birds to your backyard.
There are many birds that love eating bees, and if birds are near your dog’s water bowl then bees will probably stay far away from it (or risk being eaten).
To attract more birds to your yard, hang a bird’s nest in a tree and get a bird feeder.
The following birds love eating bees:
- Purple Martins
- Scarlet Tanagers
- Summer Tanagers
Don’t give bees a place to make a hive
You don’t want bees to come into your yard and make a home, so take a walk around the yard and remove anything where bees can build a hive.
If you’ve had a beehive before, clean the area well so that other bees don’t smell the honey from the first hive and come to make a new hive there.
If you suddenly see a lot of bees, it might be time to walk around your house and yard to see if you can find a bee hive.
If you do find one, the kindest thing to do is leave it. The bees will be out within 7 weeks and then you can break down the hive.
Move your dog’s water bowl far away from the hive until the bees are no longer active there.
And there you have it – 10 easy ways to keep bees out of your dog’s water bowl.