I am in Phoenix area and have a very small backyard pond. The last two years I have only had only occasional visits by bees. This year they seem to have happily claimed the pond as their water source.
They seem friendly enough; I can work around them and have not been stung, but I am ignorant about bees and do not know if I might accidentally make them angry, so I cannot allow my daughter to play near the pond. I do not know where their hive is.
Could someone please advise me as to the general nature of wild bees. Do they claim territory and live there forever? Will there be more and more every year or will the numbers be stable. Could I expect them to migrate away?
I really don't mind having some bees as part of my whole backyard pond ecosystem, I just don't want the numbers to become out of hand (it is about at that point). Would covering the pond and preventing their access to the water get them to "move on"? How long would I have to cover it?
I thank you for your advice in helping me deal with these little friends...and their friends.
Generally honey bees only try to defend a few feet around their nest. If you walk quietly up to a wild bee nest you can usually walk right up, look inside and if the hole is small enough reach in and never be accosted. Some are more defensive and will sting or try to chase you away when you get within 10 feet or so. Unless they have been distrubed nightly by a skunk or some other preditor I've never seen them more defensive than that.
I'd say the only danger of getting stung is if you swat the bee when it lands on you (which if it does usually is just to taste some sweat or rest for a minute) or if you step on one barefoot.
bees use alot of water when it is hot,they often will use the most convenient source.the find where the bees live watch one fill up with water and then try to follow their patch,the bee,once it gets oriented,will make a "beeline" back to the hive,if you can follow the bee's path,you might be able to find the hive.one solution to your problem,may be making a watering hole for them a little closer to their hive,put some sugar in the water at first the get them used to the idea.but in general these bees around your pond shouldn't be at all aggressive.