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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Springdale, Arkansas
    Posts
    20

    Default Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    I want to become a beek in Spring of 2015 for the first time. I'll be a hobbyist, not in the business. Been reading here about bees and hives and I have a couple of concerns.

    I have 4 acres in town and it is zoned agricultural. I live on the front 2 acres and own 2 acres behind me that is currently occupied by 3 of the neighbor's horses. I have a swimming pool on the front 2 acres. there is a subdivision on the South side of my property and one of the houses in the subdivision that butts up against my property also has a swimming pool in his back yard. There is a 6ft wooden privacy fence roughly 200yds long between me and the neighbors in the adjacent subdivision.

    Also, I have purple martin housing up in the back yard and I have 50 - 60 pair of martins here each year. Purple Martins eat flying insects exclusively and I've read they eat honey bees. They eat only while flying and typically feed at high altitude. They very seldom go after a dragonfly flying low near the ground.

    I've read on this site that bees and swimming pools don't go together. I'm not sure the problem......do bees drown in the pool and neighbors complain about the mess? or are neighbors stung because bees are drawn to the pool? or what? Will bees constantly buzz around my wife and three girls when they try to use our pool?

    I previously had horses on the back two acres and I still have large water troughs back there. One trough is beside my shop and runoff from the roof keeps it filled year round. If I located the bees near this water trough, will the bees still be drawn to the 2 swimming pools less than 50 yards away?

    What are your thoughts? Should I be concerned about the nearby pools or the purple martins near the bee hives?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lebanon,TN
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    I also have 4acs swimming pool, Neighbors with pool, I have found if you dont give the bees any thing to land on in the water they are not that much of a problem. some times when we are in the pool and have splashed a lot of water out on the concret the bees will come and visit. My ladder to exit the pool was right at water lvl I had to cut it off and lower it where the step was under water... I say go for it....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greene, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    I have seen bees search out pools, hot tubs, and fountains as they seem to like the chlorine in the water; especially when no other water was established near the hive to begin with. However, if a hive is placed originally next to a suitable water source, it seems that the bees get used to using it, and they aren't so apt to be interested in the other water sources; except for an occasional bee of course.
    Our neighbors used to have so many bees in their hot tub that it would plug up their filter. They were from a previous apiary. However, when I moved a hive within 60 feet of the tub, and we gave the bees their own water source right off the bat, the problem appeared to be non-existent. That was three years ago and still no problems have surfaced.
    Also, horses are within three feet of the hives, on the other side of a fence, and they see to be getting along just fine. Of course the water for the horses is 200 yards from where the bees are, but the water supply for the bees is also visited by all the squirrels and birds too.
    As for the Martins, I don't know much about them. I wonder how many bees they can eat in a day? Do you think they can really make a dent in the bee population? It seems a Queen's mating flight would be dangerous in that situation though.
    No one famous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hornbeak,Tn,USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    I have 40 gourds on 3 racks for purple martins. There was 36 pairs that raised young. This was my 2nd year keeping bees. They raised 3 out of 3 queens from splits and supersedur. The hives are maybe 300 ft from martin gourds. I'm also way out in the country too. We have a above ground pool and they come around for water in their own spot we give them. When the kids are in pool the splashing drives them off temporarily till they finish. They haven't been stung yet except for walking barefoot in clover. I was worried too but it turned out ok.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Springdale, Arkansas
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Seems promising.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    Many martin landlords have bees. I am sure they grab a few bees but like you mentioned their paths don't typically cross at the altitudes the martins feed at. I did have some photos published in one of the bee magazines of some tree swallows. They were feeding their young a constant supply of bees. This was before I was keeping bees so I didn't bother to try to see where they were going to get the bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Springdale, Arkansas
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    Hi w OK needed about tree swallows. I didn't have a pair nesting last year but did the three prior years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Gainesville, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Purple Martins and Swimming Pools

    Thanks for the post - I have the same question as am hoping to start some bees but have pools and horses nearby.

    Here is another thread that might be of interest: Attracting-bees-to-a-new-water-source

    Here they mention adding lemon grass oil can attract bees as well. Has anyone tried this and does it work?

    Erik

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