Keeping bees away from your swimming pool without harsh chemicals can be tricky, but it is possible.
Keeping honeybees away from your swimming pool without chemicals can become a huge problem through the Spring and Summer months and can even render a pool unusable in some cases. There are several options to try and make sure you and your loved ones stay cool all summer long.
How To Keep Bees Out Of Your Pool
Phoenix can reach temperatures up to 120 degrees in the Summer. The Central Valley, in general, can reach some of the hottest in Arizona. The bees around the valley just like the people need a place to get water from to survive the heat and keep the colony growing and healthy. Unfortunately for us swimming pools make a great place for bees to get water from and most people are not comfortable with bees flying around where they are swimming or relaxing by the pool which is understandable. It is however not advised to let a pest control company spray dangerous chemicals in, on, or around your pool. Not only is this huge health risk but is also illegal and in most cases does not solve the problem and puts people in danger of being exposed to pesticides.
There are several tricks to dealing with bees foraging from a pool and since we are in central Arizona it becomes a little bit more of a challenge to teach them to find water elsewhere.
Soap In A Spray Bottle Trick
- Add a 1/8 cup of ordinary dish soap to a normal size (16 oz) spray bottle with a jet/stream spray.
- Fill the spray bottle up with water and twist sprayer lid on.
- Spray any foraging bees with the soapy mixture from a distance and this will kill them and keep them from telling the colony where your pool is. (killing a few foraging bees is not going to hurt the hive they came from, there are thousands more to take their place)
- You must continue spraying the bees for at least a week for the colony to get the message that your swimming pool is not a safe place to forage water.
- The soapy water is a safe mixture to use around pools and there are no dangerous repercussions to you or the environment.
Giving the bees a separate source to forage water can greatly improve your chances of keeping them away from your pool and is also a great way to help the environment and keep the bee colony pollinating. Bees are a huge benefit to our eco-system and feral bee colonies need all the help they can get to ensure survival. By providing a separate water source for bees to forage from will make a huge difference to thousands of little lives and only takes a couple minutes a week during the spring and summer months.
Provide a Separate Source of Water
- Start off by using the spray bottle trick above and start teaching the bees they have a new source of water.
- Fill A shallow dish full of water, the bees need an area to land on to be able to gather water from.
- Add some twigs or pine needles to the dish so the bees have something to land on and are able to pull themselves from the water in case they fall in.
- Start with the new water source close to the pool, moving it a little further away each night until you have it in a low traffic area of the yard away from the pool.
- Keep the new water source in a remote part of the yard to keep the bees away from kids and pets
- A foraging bee would rather gather water from a nice quiet spot as opposed to a swimming pool, so teaching them to use the new water source is a lot easier than it sounds.
- Make sure you check the water dish every evening until you get the hang of it and fill it as needed.
- Do not attempt to move the water source or fill the water source during daylight hours while the bees are foraging as they can see this as a threat and could result in a sting or two. Only handle the water source at nighttime
- You have to keep this up all spring and summer and is free, safe and beneficial. It's also a small price to pay to have a bee free pool to enjoy all summer long.
This is a bigger problem in outlining areas like North Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, Desert Mountain, Rio Verde, Cave Creek, Carefree as these places are on the edge of the hills and have some of the biggest and most extravagant pools in the valley. The water sources in these areas are much more scarce, so getting the bees to cooperate in these outlining areas takes a little more work but is very possible.