Bees In The Skylight Or Skylantern

Bees keep getting trapped in the skylight / sky lantern, what can I do about it?

Below I describe a method to create a simple temporary barrier to prevent this happening.

How to prevent bees getting trapped in a skylight or sky lantern

I received this query from Liz in the UK:


I love wildlife and have lots of bee friendly plants in my garden.

In 2019 I had a sky lantern fitted in my kitchen 1m x 3m so its lovely and light – but it doesn’t open.

In the hot weather I always keep the back door to the garden open. This means the pesky house flies come in and if they don’t go back out I find them dead the next day.

But since having the sky lantern I am finding bumble bees are coming in and just continually buzz around the sky light to try and get out. One or two have landed alive on the worktop and I carry them outside to a plant.

But its breaking my heart that this year I’ve found 3 dead ones in the house already. I assume they die of exhaustion?

I can’t understand why they don’t fly back out of the nearby open door – especially as they must see and smell the flowers? I’ve googled what to do with little success – but desperately don’t want bees to die! Is the only way to keep the back door closed? Do you think the skylight attracts them in as I don’t recall having bees in the house before.

Hoping you can help??


If you have a similar situation, then yes, upon entering the the house, they realize there is nothing in the house for them!  The bees then search for an exit, and the skylight attracts them.  Unfortunately, they find there is no escape, and they die of exhaustion because they cannot get out.

red tailed bumble bee on yellow bird's foot trefoil flower

The solution?

As a temporary measure, you could use cling film, and if you have a wide enough roll, it may serve your purposes absolutely fine for the duration of the summer.  Create a barrier using the cling film to stop the bumble bees going in to the 'hollow' created by the sky lantern in the first place, and getting stuck there.

Doing this will ensure you benefit from the light coming through, whilst preventing the occassional bumble bee from entering the lantern area and getting trapped.

I think this is the most cost effective solution, and temporary too, as well as being quick.  

Alternatively, you could pin or tape a piece of net curtaining if you have anything you feel is nice enough, or even transparent plastic wrapping of the type you see in floristry shops for wrapping cut flowers.

If bumble bees are attracted to entering your home, they may be seeking nest sites. Some of them may be queen bumble bees (although by no means all).  

Queens typically search out shaded spots, and from the outside, to a bumble bee the interior of a home can look promising.  It's the reason queens fly into windows so often.  To prevent them entering your home whilst enabling you to keep the door open, you could try a simple solution, again using net curtaining or a pretty fly curtain or screen - there are actually some attractive ones out there these days. (They may still enter via open windows, but hopefully not so many). 

I hope this helps!