bees and swimming pools

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Callieslamb, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    Our new neighbors - we are new to the area, not them - have a swimming pool. Are my bees going to like that water enough to bother them? I have a little feeling that this is going to be a neighbor that will complain. I can give them water, but will that keep them away from the pool? Or will the chemicals in it keep them away?
     
  2. PoorLiLRichGirl

    PoorLiLRichGirl Well-Known Member

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    How close are they? When that first swarm runs up under their picnic table they may get a little queasy. :D
     

  3. beccachow

    beccachow Animal Addict Supporter

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    I have been dive bombed by numerous stinging critters in my FIL's pool; they actually sit on the water and drink. Now these are wild guys, but wanted to share my experience. (shudders). It has been enough to keep me out of the water on a hot summer day.
     
  4. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    but that's the problem....no matter who is doing the dive bombing, my bees will get the blame.

    My property is right next to his. I have 7 acres, and can put them where I want, but I would like them closer to the house so I can keep an eye on them more easily.

    I can easily put them 250 feet from his pool....but, I am sure they will go that far for water, if they like swimming pool water.

    If I put water closer than his pool, will the be more likely to use that than the water that is further away?
     
  5. indypartridge

    indypartridge Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Always.

    Maybe. Wish I could tell you there was a surefire method, but bees seem to like swimming pools. One thing I've learned is that bees like "scented" water. If you put water out, add a bit of clorox. Ideally, if you get your bees "trained" to go to your water source before your neighbor gets his pool going for the summer, it just might work out! Good Luck!
     
  6. NEfarmgirl

    NEfarmgirl Well-Known Member

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    This caught my attention since we have had an experience with bees and swimming pools. Our nieghbor had bees and they had the bees about 500 feet from our property. We had bees all of the time in our pool around our pool and we could hardly ever use it. He would put water out for them and they still came over. One time he let their water dry up and we had so many bees that we called them--they were thick in our back yard. They love pool water and would even get into it when the cover was on (there were small holes in the cover ) All we got done doing was straining dead bees out of the pool and dodging the live bees when we were in the pool.

    Could you try a little sugar in the water and place a few different containers around your property? Maybe that would keep them closer to home. I don't hate bees but for someone that does it would cause problems. Good luck!
     
  7. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    thanks, everyone. I guess all we can do is try and see what happens.

    I suspect if the bees were in your back yard, you had more than water to attract them. I had two hives in my vegetable garden and hardly ever noticed them being around - even when I was in the garden.
     
  8. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Don't know if it will keep your bees from the neighbours pool or not BUT. Use those rubber pans/tubs sold at farm stores full of stones and water. A cheap child wadeing pool might work too, if you want some thing big. Our bees at home like this arrangement so much we hardly ever see them by the creek any longer. Allow the pan/tubs to grow algae in them as they seem to like that over nice clean water.
    Now is a good time to train them before the pool gets opened too.

    :D Al
     
  9. PoorLiLRichGirl

    PoorLiLRichGirl Well-Known Member

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    In that situation, and with neighbors likely to complain, I'm worried that it's just adding a spark to a powder keg. I'd (with regret) buy my honey and keep the friendly neighbors.
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    :mad:Keep your bees and let your neighbour screen in their pool to keep a friendly neighbour.

    I haven't had any neighbours complain about my bees in their pool. Of course wouldn't do them any more good than me complaining about their dog running deer or the horses making a rackit.
    Michigan does have a right to farm act. The Michigan bee keepers were drawing up guide lines for it last fall. Check out the MBA web site. Dave Anthony should be able to give you more information.

    :D Al
     
  11. NEfarmgirl

    NEfarmgirl Well-Known Member

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    We did have a vegetable garden and the bees did visit. I did not mind them there--again I don't hate bees they are very important. It seems that they loved the pool for some reason and maybe it was the chemicals that attracted them. The neighbor that had them was notorious for not taking that great of care of his critters and eventually the town we were in banned the bees. I think that he didn't keep the water around that they needed. One spring my son left a pop sitting on the deck and we had so many bees around that we couldn't get into the house--the neighbor admitted it was his fault sinced they didn't have anything to eat and it was the first warm spring day.

    I think being honest with the neighbors and telling them that the bees might visit would be a good idea that way they know what type of bee they are dealing with and if to many go to visit they can let you know so you can try to change things to keep the bees closer to home.

    Good luck with the nieghbors--maybe they will like the bees since they do such a great job with flowers and veggies!
     
  12. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a pool and a nest of wild honey bees in a tree about, 800-900 feet away. They do come to visit the pool, but the honey bees are very docile. Its the hornets and wasps that sting everyone. The Honey bees and the Bubble Bees are the ones that polinate our fruit trees and veggies, so we are happy to have them. Hope your neighbors see the value of your honey bees and enjoy having them around. You could also share alittle honey with them.
     
  13. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    Can I grow algae in a pool in March in Michigan? Sounds like my kind of pool though! I was thinking of using my birdbath with pebbles in it, but I think a larger pool would be better in this situation.

    I really hope I am just borrowing trouble. He doesn't grow anything on his 4-5 acres. Just mows it constantly.
     
  14. Michael Bush

    Michael Bush Well-Known Member

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    The important things bees look for in a water supply:

    o Scent so they can recruit more water carriers.
    o Warm water so they don't get so chilled when they suck it up.
    o A reliable supply that never runs dry.

    A swimming pool provides all three. You have stiff competition for your supply.
     
  15. godsgapeach

    godsgapeach Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 hives of bees and a swimming pool--they're about 50 feet apart. The bees do visit regularly, but don't bother anybody. Mainly they hang out on the cord of the thermometer which siphons water up to them. Bees aren't able to float on the water so they will drown and collect in the skimmer. Or if a float is left in it, they'll gather there. Our pool is a saline one, not chlorine, but they still like it pretty well.

    The only stings we get there come from the wasps that keep nesting under the diving board.

    I've put water close to the hives, but they don't seem as interested in it. Hadn't thought of giving them rocks in a wading pool--I'll have to try that.
     
  16. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Don't know about growing algae in March but it will soon be April. The nights will warm so it may start growing then. Once they find your water source they seem to continue to use it till it drys up, so don't let it dry up.

    :D Al
     
  17. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I can do that! I have a wading pool already, the bees don't arrive until the end of April.
     
  18. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Found the dish picture I have in the back yard.

    [​IMG]

    I also noticed yesterday a pool of water in the woods with algae on it. The pool is from melted snow and the bit of rain we have had so far. This pool will dry up once the day time highs stay about 60F and up, unless we get a bunch more rain than we have been getting.

    :D Al