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I have two composting bins on the terrace beside my terrace garden (TG). A couple of days back I saw a swarm of honey bees near my TG, and from yesterday or so I am seeing that there are a couple of bees sitting all around the compost bin. I suspect they have started creating the hive inside the bin. I have utilized old earthen pots (generally used here as jars to store cool water on humid/hot days); to have good airflow I have drilled a couple of holes of approx. 1/4 inch diameter. I believe bees might have used these drilled holes to go inside. Although I thought I have secured the main opening of the pots, I suspect it also has left enough space for honey bees to get in.

My compost is almost ready and in 1-2 weeks, I would be harvesting it. So, I need to make bees leave the compost bin without hurting them, for the most part. And of course, without hurting myself too.

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  • What is a TG? (I'm in the UK, I never heard that abbreviation). Do people keep bees in hives to make honey in your country? If they do, there will probably be a bee-keeper's organization. Contact them and they will move the bees safely. They will probably do it free, because the bees are valuable.
    – alephzero
    Jan 26 at 12:55
  • Oh, Terrace garden is often abbreviated as TG in India; My bad, I have edited the question now. I will have to check if there's any beekeeper's organization around me. But any thoughts on doing it out by myself, I am unwilling to wait for long.
    – lsbmsb
    Jan 26 at 15:23
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    Honey bees are not likely to be aggressive unless you disturb them. If there really is a nest in your compost heap, to be safe you need to wear protective clothing (like this - beeprouk.co.uk) and use smoke to pacify them. But if you just destroy the nest, you will kill the queen bee and probably all the other bees will die as well. A beekeeper will remove the bees including the queen and take them to a new hive where they can build another nest.
    – alephzero
    Jan 26 at 17:57
  • If you can't find a beekeeper, there are probably companies that deal with insect pests (wasps, spiders, etc) who can get rid of the bees safely, but they probably just poison them.
    – alephzero
    Jan 26 at 18:11
  • I just applied the garlic tea yesterday and I do not see any bees inside the compost bin. I don't see any dead either, so I think they relocated to some other place. They did start to build the hive after the bees were gone while opening the bin it was destroyed. But I hope it did not kill any bee, I mean I don't see any, but still.
    – lsbmsb
    Jan 28 at 6:58
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After looking more, I found there are multiple ways to deter the honeybees. The one that was feasible for me to do was to create the Garlic tea. I took some garlic bulbs, crushed them, and boiled the paste in tap water. Allowed it to cool to room temperature, strained the liquid, and filled it in a sprayer. Sprayed the liquid all around the bin. Checked the bin the next day, it worked like charm.

It has been advised to be cautious while applying the garlic tea/powder; do not directly apply it on the bees, which could be lethal. I did not see any dead bees in and around the bin, so I think they relocated to some other place.

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