Bees are great. They pollinate more than three quarters of the flowers found in the US, help other crops grow, and produce honey. We can’t live without them! That doesn’t mean you can’t live without their nests on your property, however. As temperatures start to drop, the habits of your typical bee change. Not all bees are the same, but most bees, like the honey bee, work to create their own source of sustainable heat. To do that, they’ll need to ramp up honey production.

Unfortunately for them, bees often can’t generate as much honey as they need to keep themselves warm all winter. Unfortunately for you, when that happens they’ll try to find their heat in other places–like your building. Bees are often drawn to buildings during the fall and early winter. Keep bees off your property with the following five prevention tips.

Practice proactive garbage control.

If bees can’t get the pollen they need to make extra winter honey, they’ll go to the next best thing. To them, that means sweets. They’re looking for sweet drinks, rotting food, or anything that has a little sucrose to spare.

Completely rinse out and clean outside dumpsters once per week so no sweet build-up can occur. Make sure you’re on a schedule for pick up so nothing is left to sit longer than absolutely necessary.

Limit food access.

Does your commercial property have a large garden with lots of flowers or controlled shrubbery? If you have consistent bee problems, consider limiting the amount of plants that draw them in. Instead, you could focus on planting greenery they’re not interested in.

As a general rule, plants bees don’t love include marigolds, lemongrass, eucalyptus, evergreen, ferns, and mosses. In winter this won’t be as relevant, but it does matter as bees prepare for the temperature change.

Seal up the gaps.

Many pests, bees included, are instinctual. They will seek out the warmth they crave blindly by pressing against the perimeter of your home. They’ll look for holes in bricks, loose seals around doors and windows, and other similar breaches.

Increase inspections of these areas. Make sure there aren’t any easy ways for bees to make their way in. If you find any gaps, cracks, or crevices, seal them up with caulk.

Treat outdoor wood.

We’ve spoken generally about bees so far, but this tip is species specific. Carpenter bees enjoy burrowing into untreated wood to make their homes. Keep them off your property by making sure all wood that’s accessible is painted, treated, or lacquered.

If you find a hive, call the pros.

A hibernating bee hive can be especially volatile if disturbed. If you find one, call a company like Assured Environments. We have the training and technology to remove it safely and securely.

Winter doesn’t have to wear you out. These tips will help you keep any unwelcome visitors away so you can enjoy the snowiest time of year.