How do I weather proof and keep bees away from sand box?


Hello! We are wanting to put this cedar sandbox we had custom made for us on our back deck. I’m wondering if there’s a way to treat this so it lasts a long time and not attract carpenter bees? We have plenty of those around...

q how do i weather proof and keep bees away from sand box
  13 answers
  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 10, 2020

    Hi Lisa, you really do want to protect the cedar from carpenter insects and from the elements, you may want to put a coat of UV blocking stain on it, buy it in the color you like, and get the transparent to maintain the beauty of the cedar. I have also attached a link of some repellents you can use to keep the carpenter bees away, hope this helps you out!

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Apr 10, 2020

    Lisa: Why not let the cedar age naturally... and use this for bees:

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 10, 2020

    Keep the Sandbox Covered

    Churn the Sand regularly turning the sand will keep it fresh and disturb any bugs that have decided to burrow down beneath the surface.

    Mix in Cinnamon cinnamon is a natural bug repellent that’s safe to use around kids. Sprinkle a whole lot of cinnamon into the sand and mix it very well.

    Refresh the Sand you’ll want to regularly toss the old sand and replace it with some that’s fresh. If you’ve already got a sandbox bug infestation removing the old sand is definitely something you want to do.

    No Food Rule Make it a strict rule that there is never to be any food in the sandbox. Dropping delicious crumbs into the sand is the quickest way to attract bugs.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Apr 10, 2020

    BEAUTIFUL sandbox - lucky kids lol! Foremost, make sure you and the kids are not using anything scented. No perfume, scented deodorants/soaps/shampoos/conditioners/dryer sheets/lotions

    Bees aren't "attracted" to humans - it's the added smells!

    DO USE care items with these scents: Natural repellents use citrus, mint, and eucalyptus oils. Don't place the sandbox anywhere near your food, BBQ, etc.! TONS of info/solutions:

    "planting flowers such as Mexican marigolds (Tagetes lucida) and chrysanthemums will not attract bees and can also detour other insect pests. Bees are not attracted to many types of trees, such as elm, birch and oak, or to conifers, ground covers or shrubs. Ornamental grasses are an excellent choice if you do not want to attract bees to your yard, as bees are not attracted to them and they add beauty to the landscape. Sedges (Carex spp.) make striking additions to water gardens, rock gardens, and as borders while producing insignificant flowers that are not attractive to bees." sfgate

    This site has types of info and natural DIY solutions

    DO seal the cedar it will also help keep the bees away. Yes, use UV filtering seal and stain. There are organic additives that repel bees but I would use the ongoing natural alternatives instead.

    About 3/4 down the page are DIY natural solutions that are FACT (wiki won't publish otherwise)

    I am not certain if this is fact or not: "...paint all exposed surfaces with a primer and two coats of exterior paint. Stains and varnishes also offer some protection but are less effective than paint."

    I agree that you MUST keep the sandbox covered! Otherwise neighborhood kitties will use it along with bugs nesting, etc. Correct, keep all food and drink out of the sand.

    Long term you can plant things that bees actually do not like! You'll add to your curb appeal and keep them out of an area. You could even plant some now in pots surrounding the sandbox. Make SURE you're choosing from the repellant list, not attractant one!

  • Marine varnish should seal it.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 10, 2020

    They are very sensitive to smell. You can spray WD-40, but that can get very expensive. We use termite control Hi-Yield 38Plus, mixed to termite ratio, in a garden sprayer. Spray the area well and they will stop drilling in your wood. We do it twice a year and has been very effective for us.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 10, 2020

    Here's some natural bee repellents:

    For the box, an exterior marine based varnish.

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Apr 11, 2020

    Hi Lisa, you can use tea tree oil to protect your sandbox. It's a great furniture polish and it repels carpenter bees too.

  • I would seal it with an exterior varnish.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Apr 11, 2020

    Hello I would consider stain sealing the cedar wood —as you would any outdoor wood furniture.

    Several options are open to you such as clear coat—semi transparent stains and solid wood stains.

    It can be finished to your own aesthetic. Sealing the wood will make it last longer with outdoor exposure. The shelf label indicate how long the optimal service life of the different stains are —they vary product to product

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Apr 11, 2020

    Hi! Exterior stain and sealer to protect the wood. Keep them dry and covered when the sand isn't in use. Good luck and stay well!

  • I would keep it covered when you're not using it, since the kids playing in it would keep them away during the day. The sealer suggestions are also good ones. Good luck!

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Apr 16, 2020

    Warnish it underneath and on top get all the wood that should do it