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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    486

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

    You are certain they are your bees in the spa? If not, you could be trying to solve an issue that is not solvable.

    Dan

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

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

    Just a thought because I did a lot of watering and bees went crazy after the water on the pavement.....double look and most of them were yellow jackets! The bees were in the grass and the yellow jackets were on the cement. So just make sure they are your bees and not yellow jackets.... I hope you find a solution...what a drag!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    McNairy, TN USA
    Posts
    12

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

    I have heard salt licks or adding salt to water feeders will help keep them away from pools and people. I am still new to all this but I am a voracious reader/watcher of bee related material.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    709

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

    Had similar problem last year, luckily my neighbors are pretty ok w/them, but I felt bad. Had a bird bath that they visited but apparently it wasn't enough. Along the lines of everyone's thoughts on the minerals is that last year we had a tub of old potting soil that got rained on. The soil was very moist for a while and there were bees all over it. So over the winter I bought a big trough and put a pond liner in it. I put it about 75 ft from the hives, and filled it with a mix of compost, top soil, and peat, (all store bought from HomeD) then flooded that mix with the garden hose. Bees were already visiting it on the few warm days we've had so far. Got rained on today really well so it's good and wet, and no drowning bees. My wife has a green thumb and she's going to plant it with bog plants. Flooded potting soil in a bucket will really draw them in.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,349

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

    I'm gonna say, that once foragers learn of a water source, they will likely only abandon it when it goes away. Otherwise, they will quite certainly keep collecting water there until they expire, though they may recruit others to continue exploiting that same source. I have a 300 gallon Koi pond, several buckets of water with floats, extensive micro-irrigation systems, and an evaporative cooler whose pads I keep wet 24/7/365. All of these sources are maintained in a continuous manner to provide water availability. They are all utilized by bees whenever the weather is warm enough for them to fly.

    Despite this generous availability, it hasn't kept bees (mine or others), from also harvesting water from all other sources available to them in their forage range. Neighbors pet water dishes, pools, ponds, fountains, evaporative coolers, irrigation systems, leaky hoses, etc.

    Bees are not domestic animals. They are as ubiquitous and likely to do whatever they choose, as, for instance, birds, bears, coyotes, wild rabbits, etc.

    Good luck.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Washington, Knox
    Posts
    10

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

    I own both bees and a pool. The pool is a saltwater pool that the bees would visit. The family never got stung.

    Once or twice a week, i would fill a 5 gallon bucket with the pool water. I placed the bucket about 10 feet in front of the hive entrance with a towel draped over the ege as a landing pad for the bees. After ablut a week, mos tof the bees would fly to the bucket which was closer than the pool which is about 150' away. Still occasionally got visitors to the pool but there was a whole lot less bees in the pool.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Butler County, PA, USA
    Posts
    79

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottinMaine View Post
    I own both bees and a pool. The pool is a saltwater pool that the bees would visit. The family never got stung.

    Once or twice a week, i would fill a 5 gallon bucket with the pool water. I placed the bucket about 10 feet in front of the hive entrance with a towel draped over the ege as a landing pad for the bees. After ablut a week, mos tof the bees would fly to the bucket which was closer than the pool which is about 150' away. Still occasionally got visitors to the pool but there was a whole lot less bees in the pool.
    I like the 5 gallon bucket/towel idea... I use 1 gallon quail feeders with a few drops of lemongrass oil, once they find it they forget about the pool. In the middle of the Summer the quail feeders dry out in a day or two, I might try a 5 gallon bucket this year.


    Larry

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    21

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I'm gonna say, that once foragers learn of a water source, they will likely only abandon it when it goes away. Otherwise, they will quite certainly keep collecting water there until they expire, though they may recruit others to continue exploiting that same source. Bees are not domestic animals. They are as ubiquitous and likely to do whatever they choose, as, for instance, birds, bears, coyotes, wild rabbits, etc.
    Good luck.
    I hate to be the second on this but Joseph is 100% spot on. The only thing you can do is eliminate the bees that go to that water in hopes of getting them all, you will not succeed. I was lucky my neighbor only had an above ground pool. I provided them with a small pond. I put out a salt lick. There is a lake within 400 yards of my house. I used a vacuum cleaner to suck up bees that went to the pool. We covered the pool for days. Nothing worked. I explained to her that they are just bugs and that I have no control over what they do. In my case she didn't want to do without the bees most of the neighborhood was on the side of the bees. She took down her pool. The bugs won. I sincerely hope this works out for you. I was at the point that I felt I had no choice but to move the bees.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Stafford, VA
    Posts
    74

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

    I had this exact scenario - neighbors with a pool getting fussy over the bees.

    Here's how I solved it:

    First, I created a water source inside the hive itself. I used this internal feeder:
    Then imageMain_5_241.jpg

    I used some nails to attach that feeder to a medium hive body. Then I drilled a small hole in the front of the hive, and bent a wire hanger around a ping-pong ball, and had a bit of the wire sticking through the hole and bent to give me a gauge so I could see what level the water was at inside the hive without having to take the top off. I attached a "gutter" to the side of the hive body that the rain would run off on, and used a bit of tubing to run the water from the gutter into the hive body to dump the water into the feeder. Finally, I drilled a small hole in the feed and through the hive body (at an angle) and inserted and sealed (with food grade silicone) a small piece of pipe into the feeder as an overflow valve to keep the rain water from overflowing INTO the hive itself. All said and done, the rainwater would be channeled into the feeder, and any excess would run out through the tube. (I really should take pictures at some point.) Throughout the entire summer, I never had to manually fill the water once, as the rain we get here in Virginia was sufficient to keep the water levels high enough for the bees. To combat the excess moisture, I added a "lip" to the bottom with some screening on all 4 sides to allow for ventilation. I would also sprinkle a little bit of rock-salt into the feeder on occasion, though I don't know if it made any difference.

    With the water now inside the hive, the bees would have no reason to seek out an external water source... So then there's the next part.

    I told the neighbors to kill them.

    The neighbor kids set up a series of sugar traps (simple sugar-water traps made out of plastic bottles with the top inverted) to catch the bees. I realize that it's unlikely that it would have caught the bees going for the water, but a small handful of dead bees was worth it because it allowed the neighbors to feel like they were "doing something." (My neighbors are from NYC, and a bit... off... They love flowers, and plant them all over, but hate bees. They have actually stated that they wish there was a way to "keep [my] bees away from [their] flowers". Yeah, they're morons like that...)

    Finally, I had to outright lie to keep the peace.

    When the bees would drown in their pools, they would become dark and swollen. So I took some of these dark and swollen bees with me, and brought the neighbors over to look at my hives. I showed them that the "big, dark bees aren't anything like my little tan bees." I felt terrible doing it, but actually convinced them that these were some feral bees from the surrounding area, or some other bee keeper's bees, since mine were a special small tan kind... In fact, they should do whatever they could to kill these "feral" bees since it was the only way to keep them out of their pool. I also pointed out that my bees had water inside their hive, so would have no reason to mess with their pool. I know, I'm horrible...

    But that was enough to calm them down, and once they managed to kill off the bees that were attracted to their pool, they quit having trouble. No additional bees found their way to the pool, and they seemed content to get their water from the internal water source. This will be the second year I have the waterer inside the hive. I'll let you know if the bees show any interest in their pool again this year. I'm hopeful they won't.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

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

    I do a lot of bee-removals. Last summer I had a call from a Dr. with a bee problem similar to your's. Bees were using his swimming pool as a water source and stinging pool-party guests. The house and pool were in the middle of a large (many acres) forested area and he had no idea from where the bees were coming. I bee-lined the bees and located a very large tree with a colony high up. Coincidentally, the Dr. happened to have a garden fountain about 50 feet from his pool and more or less in line with the water gathering bee's flight path. We replaced the fountain's water with his pool water. Then I caught (using a small wire cage) every bee I could in his pool area for a couple of hours (about 50-100 bees). I fed the bees some sugar syrup and wrapped a dark cloth around the cage and carried to to the fountain. Next I soaked the cloth and lightly sprayed the bees with some of the fountain water. After about 30 minutes or so I let the bees go one-at-a-time. Maybe I was lucky, but the bees switched to using the fountain as their water source and the Dr. agreed to periodically add some of his pool water to the fountain.
    Triangle Bees

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

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

    You need to understand that bees are attracted to water because of several things:
    • Smell. They can recruit bees to a source that has odor. Chlorine has odor. So does sewage.
    • Warmth. Warm water can be taken on even moderately chilly days. Cold water cannot because when the bees get chilled they can’t fly home.
    • Reliability. Bees prefer a reliable source.
    • Accessibility. Bees need to be able to get to the water without falling in. A horse tank or bucket with no floats does not work well. A creek bank provides such access as they can land on the bank and walk up to the water. A barrel or bucket does not unless you provide ladders or floats or both. I use a bucket of water full of old sticks. The bees can land on the stick and climb down to the water.

    So your mission is to make a water source that is more attractive...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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