Bees and Our Swimming Pool
We have three neighbors who keep numerous hives. We live on one acre lots. The bees are driving us crazy at our salt water swimming pool.
I feel like there may be too many hives in a residential area. The bees land at the edge of the pool where our small children step and try to hold onto the sides.
Is there anything I can spray or put on the edges that bees don't like? Any other ideas to get them to stay away.
This is becoming a big deal. My little boy had a friend over to swim who was allergic and they decided to leave rather than take the risk. We can't enjoy our own backyard and it is very upsetting.
I do hear this complaint fairly frequently. It is annoying to have bees getting into your pool.
Bees collect water to take back to their hive to help regulate the internal temperature. I'm assuming the weather is quite dry and warm, but there aren't many flowers blooming yet.
I really don't think it's necessarily to do directly with the number of hives in the neighborhood. Bees will fly several miles from their hive to forage and collect water. Even if all your neighbors' hives were removed I would bet money that you would still get some bees in your pool.
You might try talking to your neighbors and asking them if they can do anything to mitigate the problem. It's a good idea for the beekeeper to provide a water source, perhaps a small very shallow pond with gravel for the bees to land on while they're drinking. You could do the same in a part of the garden which wouldn't cause a problem for you. Try setting up a small sprinkler to wet a patch of gravel away from the pool, near the hives if possible. If the beekeepers provide extra shade and ventilation for the hive that might also help.
It does seem sometimes that bees will be attracted to water with chlorine or salt, perhaps the smell helps them locate it so you could try experimenting with some water from your pool.
Screening the hives can also help. If the bees encounter an obstacle when they leave the hive, such as a high hedge, they'll often fly the other way.
You may also find that as the summer progresses the problem will go away as more flowers bloom. When bees are collecting large amounts of nectar, which is 80% water, the bees will not need to collect water. They evaporate the water to turn the nectar into honey which also helps to do the job of cooling the hive.
The Bee Guy
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