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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Modesto, California
    Posts
    64

    Sad Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Hi...I've been an urban beekeeper for 13 years....Never had any problems with bees going elsewhere for water until this year. They've decided they like the neighbor's spa and pool better than what I am offering. NOT GOOD . The neighbors like to entertain a lot and 5 kids got stung last week going in the spa......How can I get the bees to drink out of water in their own bee yard???? Neighbors are bitterly complaining and if a solution isn't found ASAP, the bees will have to go......I'm just heartbroke about this. Anybody have any ideas that might work? THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Besides improving your water source with lemon grass oil and placing the water source between the hives and the pool, I don't think you can do much else. Once they're on to a water source, you can't do much about it.

    It's nice having your hives where you live but I bet you could probably find a farmer or someone with a big garden that would love to host your bees for a little honey. I have hives all over the Bay Area just from farmers and gardeners who just want bees on their property.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    What are you using now to provide water? Maybe you will have to consider setting up your own spa and pool.

    This is just a suggestion because I have no experience with problems with neighbors and providing water for the bees. My hives are in the country, far away from the house and neighbors.

    They have drip tubes and sprinklers or misters for bird baths. It wouldn't have to be a bird bath. Maybe a small child's pool with floats, where the sprinkler might attract the bees. A bird bath set on the ground surrounded by stones or blocks/bricks where the sprinkler would wet the stones ocassionally. The sprinkler could be on a timer so it wouldn't be running all the time. Some of these sprinklers recycle the water in bird baths. Something that would enlarge the area of water without the need for a whole pool.

    It must be more of a problem in dryer climates like California.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Have you considered setting up a water source with similar chemicals to the neighbours pools/spa?
    Maybe a higher concentration of the chemicals would attract them away from the pools etc.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Modesto, California
    Posts
    64

    Sad Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Gord View Post
    Have you considered setting up a water source with similar chemicals to the neighbours pools/spa?
    Maybe a higher concentration of the chemicals would attract them away from the pools etc.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Thanks for your reply......I'm already leary about eating honey with the bees getting water with chemicals from a pool....Won't they end up in the honey? My next attack will be to just add water to feeders in the hive. I have the type that sits on the top of the hive with 2 chambers and screen in the middle. I'm also installing a Pro Feeder which takes up the space of a large hive body frame and instead of sugar water in that, use just water. Pretty much my last ditch efforts!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,083

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Could also bee what they are using in the spa, maybe they switched from chlorine to bromine or something else.
    You might want to put some of that spa water in you're bee yard.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Billerica, MA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I live on a corner and all three neighbors have pools. I haven't had an issue, yet, but I've heard salts, like horse or deer lick salt will help attract them. I've also hear a handful of chicken manure thrown in your water source will help. Make sure your water source is warm too, I use a black cement mixing tub that's in sun most of the day. Good luck, be prepared to give your neighbor lots of honey when you harvest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    for some reason, bees like dirty or treated water over a nice clean water source. Some beekepers take an old cooler 48 qt type,, put leaves in it,, fill it with water,, the leaves offer a source for landing and not drowning, and then as they decay, it "dirties" the water,, so to speak as Stripstrike, suggested,, some manure,,

    I also like the idea of making a similar concoction that your neighbor uses in their spa,, and putting that in a cooler as well,, with some screen that allows the bees to climb down and get out without drowning,,,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Go to Wal-mart and buy a small blue pool fill it half way up and throw 3 of those big sponges like you use to wash your car with and the problem will solve it self. Land on sponge and draw water from it. Minimal investment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    It would be a definite good practice to try to collaborate with the neighbors. The only real way to force a reboot is to prevent access to the hot tub long enough for them to forget it, and to provide a better source close by for them to choose instead. Figuring a way to seal the hot tub involves finding what gaps they're entering through in the cover and trying to block that somehow. It might be as simple as draping some mesh or cheesecloth over the corner. Or it might not . Lots of good advice on the alternative source... they do definitely orient to strongly-scented water sources, which is likely why spas are frequent neighbor-conflict sources. Ideas include scenting in-hive feed with something identifiable (essential oils as mentioned etc) and then similarly scenting a dripper/plank setup, chicken waterer, bucket w/ float or straw or whatever, or however you offer water. Once they've been blocked from the offending spa, and reoriented to the new water source, you MIGHT be able to wean off the scent. But if the barrier on the spa is abandoned, they may decide to hit it again so cooperation with the spa neighbor will be well-advised. Some honey helps. Good luck!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wheaton, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Try using an entrance feeder filled with just water. It is right there in the hive and they will probably use it. Of course in hot weather you'll be refilling it often but maybe that's better than having to move the bees.

    --Sherman

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Modesto, California
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I am using 2 internal water feeders which I just started yesterday, the top type that looks like a short bee box on the outside and has an inner plastic liner with 2 chambers and a screen down the middle. I'm also trying the Pro Feeder from Mann Lake that takes up the space of one brood frame in the hive body and filled with water. Maybe I should try a little lemon grass oil too. I also filled a big metal tub with water right in front of them on a table. I filled it with corks but I think they are too rolly-polly....The large sponge idea sounds better over corks. I'm gonna try that next. I used to use a system that attached to your hose and it was a mini-type bird waterer that would drip at any rate you chose and had a little bowl space for the water to collect. The hose didn't last more than a few seasons in the heat here in the San Joaquin Valley in California. Thanks for EVERYBODY'S HELP. I really appreciate it!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    Put out a water source that has about a half-teaspoon of rock salt per gallon of water. My bees love this stuff. They pretty much ignore plain water. They are after the minerals. That is why they drink from streams, ponds and dirty water sources.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chicago,Ill.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I use the swimming pool tablets for kids pools, and break into a smaller pc. Smells just like the pool next door but closer. Or you can use a very small amount of chlorin, one tesp. per gal. It does take a while to turn them around to a new water source. Never met a bee that was'nt stubborn to the end.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Modesto, California
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I tried a big tub of water with sponges, right to the side of the bee yard.....NO GO. Not one bee even mildly interested. About 20 feet away, I placed a 5 gallon bucket with small logs sticking out of the water.....A couple of bees are interested in that after I sprayed Lemon Pledge at the base of the bucket. Then I took a Rubbermaid large tub lid and laid it on the ground and put lots of river rocks that were slightly muddy and filled with water. Sprayed the whole outside base of this with Lemon Pledge also. After a few hours, had about 8 bees drinking and returning. Hopeful!! I do believe the Lemon Pledge got their attention to at least take note of the new water being offered.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,701

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    You need to add minerals/salt, that's what really attracts them. It's not just the water they're looking for. Get some salt licks and place those around the hive, it might solve the problem altogether as well.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Modesto, California
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I have the granulated mineral salts that I got to make the grease patties. I dissolved some of it in water and no reaction. Seems like the lemon scent in the air was what really drew them. Hopefully I can get enough of them to go to the new water source that they will leave the neighbor's spa alone.......Sure am hoping!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clarkson, KY. USA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I live on a lake and have a pool. The neighbors on either side of me just put in pools as well. Even though the lake is there the bees, at least a portion are in the pool as well. I have installed a bird bath with gravel in it. In a 1 gallon jug I mix 3 teaspoons of salt with water and refill as neccesary. The bees love it. I am convinced it's the salt they are after. That's why they lick your arms in the yard when your sweating.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    I'm with Gord, set up a source that is similar in chemicals to the spa. Maybe even the entrance or internal feeder with the same as noted above

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,701

    Default Re: Need help to get bees to go to different water source!!! ASAP

    What's in your mineral mix? Just try straight up salt or salt licks. Spraying lemon pledge seems funny to me but if its working for you, go for it.

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