Build a Simple Bee Trap to Catch Those Backyard Wasps and Hornets

A simple and surprisingly effective bee-trap to reduce the number of pesky wasps, hornets and yellow jackets at your next outdoor picnic or barbecue.

August is nearly over, summer comes to an end in about a week. There are still end-of-summer barbecues, get-together and patio cookout parties.

Having a picnic, backyard cookout or barbecue is an excellent way to enjoy the company of friends and family. As anyone can attest, the smell of cooking meats will attract annoying bees, namely, wasps and hornets. Yellow jackets are the worst!

Attracted to the smell of your food, wasps unlike other bees are meat-eaters. Normally, these meat-eating bees would leave humans alone in their hunt for insects but they are very much attracted to your cooked meats. Often, annoyingly so!

A few days ago while sitting in a play park watching my son splash around in the wading pool, several yellow jacket bees continually harassed me. They were clearly attracted to my open bottle of Coca Cola.

I poured a little puddle of my Coke onto the ground to see how interested they were in it and within a few minutes the first bee found it. I removed one of my sandals and dutifully swatted the bee dead. That one will not b other me anymore.

A minute later, another bee came to investigate the Coca-Cola spill on the grass. I swatted that bee too. Then, yet another. Wasps really are attracted to the smell and flavor of Coca-Cola, - no doubt about it!

This got we wondering how bad these yellow jacket wasps would be if I were trying to eat a plate of barbecue and it was at this moment that I noticed that my partially drunk bottle of Coke sitting next to me on the park bench had several bees walking on the rim. One bee had entered the clear plastic bottle and was buzzing around, trying to get out which after several seconds, succeeded in doing so. This gave me a wicked idea...

Build a Cheap Bee Trap

First, you will need an empty 2-liter Coca Cola or other soft drink bottle.

2-liter Coca-Cola bottle

When the bottle is empty, cut around circumference just to create a funnel. Place about a half-cup of Coca Cola into the bottle. It will not matter if this 'goes flat' because the bees are going to be attracted to the smell no matter what.

Coca-Cola bottle with the top end cut off, forming a funnel

Next, invert the funnel cone and insert into the bottle as shown below. A few pieces of freezer or cellophane tape will hold the funnel from dropping entirely inside of the bottle. Set a few of these simple bee catcher traps around the perimeter of your campground or backyard at the start of your barbecue.

The bees that find this will be engaged with the bottle, leaving you and your guests alone. The bees that enter the bottle will either fall into the drink and cannot get out, or will become entrapped in the headspace of the bottle and still, cannot escape. Eventually the bee will succumb and fall into the drink and drown.

While this simple trap will not rid your immediate picnic area of all the pesky bees, but it can reduce the number and frequency of those repeat offenders from bothering you and your guests for the several hours while you and family enjoy your picnic.

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