Because honey bees are are a social insect -- living in colonies of up to 60,000 individuals -- they need lots of food and water to keep the nest alive. The queen lays all the eggs in the colony and the worker bees do all the work. Worker bees normally forage on flowers for nectar and pollen. Nectar is the sweet flower sap that bees make into honey by evaporating off the excess water. Pollen is the protein resource bees feed their young larvae.
Bees store their food and raise their young in the honeycomb nest. Honeycomb is made from beeswax, which is secreted by young worker bees, and fashioned into the familiar honeycomb hexagonal shape. Because bees live in these wax combs, though, they have to keep the nest at a constant temperature, not only to keep the colony from overheating, but also to prevent the wax from melting.
In hot weather, bees cool the colony much like a swamp or evaporative cooler does -- by evaporating off drops of water. Bees collect water and spread it throughout the colony in droplets. Then they fan the air to creat an air stream over the water drops, causing the water to evaporate and thus lowering the nest temperatures.
When bees forage for water, they are not too fussy about where they collect it.
It could be from a small, muddy puddle, a stream, or your swimming pool, irrigation system, swamp cooler or birdbath. It is when bees come in contact with people, especially at swimming pools, that people notice them. Then they are considered not only a nuisance, but also a hazard.
Here are some tips on how to keep bees away from your pools.
When you first notice bees around your pool, mix a 1/4 cup of dish soap to a quart of water, and fill an empty sprayer bottle with it. Using the soapy mixture, spray any bees that are at your pool.
This soapy mixture will kill the bees quickly and without harmful pesticide residues.
Do this every time you see bees at a water source you want to keep bee-free.
This will kill those foragers who are telling others in the colony where your swimming pool is located. Eventually, all those foragers who are not returning to the colony, will have died. Other foragers will find a different source of water, so do not worry that you are harming the colony. Your are only eliminating a few individuals. In addition, you should monitor other water sources and discourage bees from frequent visits. Here are some tips.
Evaporative coolers: add a few ounces of pine-scented cleaner to the water.
Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to birdbaths or pet waterers.
Cover or drain pools or tubs when not in use.
Repair leaky faucets and faulty irrigation systems. If you notice bees nosing around your shed, house or other small hole in your wall or foundation, these are probably scout bees looking for a new home site for a swarm. Make sure all holes larger than 1/4-inch in diameter (about the size of a pencil), is caulked up.
I tried this remedy last summer and it worked. However, you have to be very diligent about it, and start well before it gets hot out.
Prior to a children's birthday party I spent 3 hours patrolling the pool and killing bees. It worked, and by party time I had killed about 40 bees.
At first you need to be outside full time, and when they finally dwindle, make a "pool patrol" every 10 or 15 minutes to be sure the bees aren't rediscovering your source.
Also, if I missed killing a bee, it occasionally would come back and head straight for me. I only got stung once but you really need to be on your toes.
My family thought I was nuts but it was worth it.
We had hundreds of sweat bees in our pool. I have a perennial garden close to our pool and the sweat bees were attracted to the flowers. We changed the jets to create turbulence on the surface of the water. The sweat bees stopped landing in the pool almost completely - only a couple left that move along the surface of the water quickly to the filter.
My kids hate these bees that come around and put me on a mission to fix it! Im new to pool ownership, so I went to every "pool school" available. I atttended a presentation by Bioguard Chemicals bioguard.com and found a neat little trick. They sell a pretty good product but they discovered that their Step 3 "Backup" for algae control addressed the bee issue. Simply, the product made for algae control was found to "release" the tension of the water top. When those critters come around they cant sit atop the water and drown. I was pulling bees out left and right. Eventually they didnt come around again. Try it, you'll be amazed plus you will be using a great product. It does have the tendency to create foam (especially if you have a waterfall), but they sell an additional product that kills the foam. The product is called Back Up and the company is Bioguard. Good luck.
=> or get a salt water pool, therfore less tension with less maitenance.>: :) why kill the bees? We are killing off the pollinators of the food supply. Without bees and other pollinators we wouldn't have many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy. The bee population is declining at an alarming rate. To start with try placing some birdbaths in the yard or other shallow containers with some stones in them for the bees and butterflies to drink from. Even better are hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water placed a good distance from the pool. The bees will be drawn away from the pool. Once you get in the pool and start splashing around, the bees go away anyway. You can run the sprinkler system to shoo away the bees before you get in the pool. To keep the bees from drowning themselves i put a leaf catcher net over the pool when not in use. It keeps a lot of bugs and debris from clogging up the skimmer too. I have a saltwater pool and the bees are still attracted to it. But since i put out the hummingbird feeders, i have NO PROBLEMS with BEES or wasps.ANSWER
You could try diverting the bees. Place a container of water away from the pool and drop a piece of peppermint candy in it. The candy attracts the bees. I've seen it work and there's no harm to the bees.
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