Are bees invading your swimming pool?

What do bees and pools have in common – water.  Bees need water and your backyard swimming pool has plenty of it. That may explain why your pool is a bee magnet.

But why do bees need water in the first place?

Bees need water to keep their nest alive. Honeycombs are sensitive to the heat of summer and to keep the honeycombs from melting, bees use water to cool the honeycombs. They use their honeycombs to store food and raise their young.

When bees are looking for water, they don’t care where they get it from. They can gather water from a nearby puddle, a local stream or your swimming pool. Most of the time, people don’t notice bees gathering water. It is only when bees are in or around the pool that they become problem.

If you’re noticing bees around your pool, here are three tips to keep them away:

  • Mix ¼ cup of dish soap and one quart of water. Pour it into an empty spray bottle and spray any bees that you find near your pool. This liquid will quickly kill any bees, but doesn’t use any harmful pesticides
  • Spray bees whenever you see them – repeat when necessary
  • This spraying will kill the foragers (bees who go back and tell the colony where your pool is located). Once these foragers don’t return to the colony, the bees will move on to another water source

If you have other water sources around your home and property, here are some tips to help discourage bees from hanging around:

  • If you have an evaporative cooler, add a few ounces of pine-scented cleaner to the water
  • If you have a birdbath or pet water bowls, mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar per one gallon of water
  • Cover or drain any pools or hot tubs that are not in use
  • Repair any leaky garden hoses or faucets
  • Repair any broken or leaky irrigation systems

Including water, small holes also attract bees

Besides looking for water sources, bees are always looking for a new home to build a hive. To discourage bees from building a hive, walk around your home and garage and see if you notice any holes larger than ¼ inch in diameter (about the diameter size of a pencil). If you find any holes, caulk them up. This also goes for any sheds, storage structures and especially pool storage bins.

Bees can also squeeze through cracks and any holes 1/8 inch in diameter. Here are other preventative tips you can do around your home and property:

  • Caulk or fill with cement any cracks or holes on your property block walls
  • Caulk any cracks on your roof
  • If you have a chimney, caulk where your chimney meets the roof and make sure it is properly covered
  • Cover any attic vents, irrigation valve boxes and water meter box key holes with small-mesh screens (the same type that is used for window shade screens)
  • Make sure windows, window screens and doors fit properly and tightly close – any opening is an invitation to bees

If you come across a colony of bees, leave them alone!

  • Don’t shoo (or shoot) them away
  • Don’t throw rocks at them
  • Don’t burn or disturb the bees

There are some precautions you can take to minimize any encounters with bees

The last thing you want to do is make yourself attractive to bees, so here are some tips to keep bees away when you are outdoors:

  • Don’t use any type of scented product (perfume, scented deodorant, soaps, even chewing gum) – bees are highly sensitive to scents and odors
  • Be cautious when using any type of machinery (lawn mower, weed whackers, chain saws, etc.) – bees are highly sensitive to sound vibrations or loud noises
  • If you have a pet, be sure it doesn’t roam around brush where there may be a bee hive

How can you check for bee colonies on your property?

First of all, seeing one or a few bees may not mean you have a bee hive on your property.

  • Look for large numbers of bees hovering or entering and leaving an opening
  • Listen to see if you hear a “humming” sound
  • Bees can make a hive near ground level or high near your roof – so look up and down

If you think you may have a bee hive on your property, don’t try to remove it yourself. If you find bees near or in your pool, there may be a hive near (or on) your property. These are all good reasons to contact us to come out and treat your home against bees.

We are bee experts and can safely remove and prevent bees from nesting in your home and property. Bees can cause severe or even deadly stings, so any signs of bees on your property should be taken seriously. Call (or text) us at 480-593-7034 or email us at desertcastlepc@gmail.com to come and remove any bees from your property. We will evaluate any possible food, water or shelters for bees and make the necessary recommendations to keep you and your family safe from bees.