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
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
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
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
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
Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to birdbaths or
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
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
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
: :) 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.
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