Bees and kiddie pool
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
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    73

    Default Bees and kiddie pool

    "Bees are fine in your yard" they said.
    "Just give them a bird bath for water" they said.

    Well my one year old just got stung when half a dozen bees became very curious about the kiddie pool in our yard. Yes, it's his fault because he grabbed the bee. He was fine, he didn't even cry -- but to my wife it is still "strike one" for the bees. Not good news.

    This can't keep happening -- we need to be able to use our yard "regularly" without bee trouble or the bees may have to say goodbye! I need to avoid this. My one year old will learn, but we have plenty of young nieces and nephews that come over and if coming to our yard to play in the water includes a baptism-by-stinging, that's no good!

    Facts:
    - The bees have 2 small bird baths they use regularly for water, they love them. They've been using the bee baths for a couple weeks. I keep them filled.
    - It's going to be hot for a while
    - Our yard is not tiny, but not huge. Typical suburban lot I guess.

    I need tips. The situation as I understand it is that the bee baths are close enough to the hives (12 yards or so) so that they go on a "general nearby search" for water when they need it, rather than a long specifically directed flight. This is why when there is water in the yard, they just go to wherever it is, instead of ONLY using the bee baths. I can move the bee baths farther, but it won't be that much farther -- and it would be closer to the kiddie pool.

    The only solution I can think of is to remove the bee baths alltogether so they don't think of the yard as a water source. This makes it harder on the girls, but it may just have to be. Maybe I can just wait and see if it happens again -- risking a "strike two"...or not. Sorry for the long text -- thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
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    1,119

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    If you take out the birdbath and leave the kiddy pool, you'll only have the kiddy pool water in your yard. You would have to remove all water sources in the yard to force the bees to find another source outside your yard. fill the pool only when the kids will be using it. And unless you live in a desert (IL is no desert), there will be water near by. No hardship on the bees.

    It is a false assumption that bees must have water nearby in your yard. They fly for pollen and for nectar, they can fly for water, too. Won't hurt their feelings a-tall.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Small yard with a pool and young children? I'd say forget about bees until the kids get older.

    Sorry!

    JMHO
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Thanks for replies. I should have added that it is a temporary inflatable pool, and it's no problem to empty it and fill it again whenever.

    I may just leave the yard "dry" for a couple days and see when happens next time we bring the pool out.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    from your tone I would suggest finding someplace else to put your bees. Not as fun not having them to watch but a larger yard or farm will let you continue your hobby.
    You will not be able to guarantee this won't happen again and sounds like you're already on the losing side of the battle. just not worth the fight when lots of people would love to host your bees on their property. Every new forager all year will look for good sources and this will happen again.
    Terrence

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    drain the pool once your done.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Well, wish this advice was given to me beforehand. Everywhere I looked during my extensive research before getting bees, I was given the "green light". Bees and small kids are no problem. Bees and pools are fine if they have water and you get them going on that first. You can have bees in small yards, large yards, and even apartment balconies. Never... in all the articles I read, blogs I followed, and beekeepers I talked to...was there ever a hint or hesitation that there would be any conflicts as long as they were properly provided for and queenright.

    I understand beekeepers may be "pro-beekeeping" and want to encourage a new guy, but this is important info! Ha!

    Right now they aren't a terrible nusciance -- so I will see what happens if we keep the yard free of water except for the couple hours every few days when we fill the little pool. I'll put my mind to it and do whatever I have to to make the situation work out.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    2,661

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Don't feel bad . . . there are people who will tell you the Earth is flat, too.

    https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/


    Unfortunately, 1) bees, 2) a pool, 3) small children, 4) all in close proximity, is the little-mentioned "quad-fecta" of beekeeping pitfalls for which beekeepers haven't yet found a solution save for eliminating one of the four elements. Throw in the fifth element of an understandably concerned mom, and you have the dreaded "penta-fecta" of beekeeping from which no beekeeper has ever returned from alive.

    :-)




    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 06-14-2017 at 10:57 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Jonestown, Colunbia County,PA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Concerned mom has the trump card in this whole discussion. All other elements are irrelevant.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    We are in the desert here and had issues with bees in our swimming pool during summer, to solve it we took a small plastic kiddie pool added bee boards, some Honeybee Healthy, and a half cup chlorine (they like it for some reason) to the kiddie pool and within one day they were ignoring our large pool and still do. The smell I think is what got them to the kiddie pool because at first it was ignored....
    Cheers Bill
    zone 9b

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    I've had bees and small children in my yard for 43 years. In this case the issue is not children it's water.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswater.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I've had bees and small children in my yard for 43 years. In this case the issue is not children it's water.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswater.htm
    Smell! You are a genius. I've been using the same water in the bee baths and the pool. I'm going back to the drawing board.

    Thanks Mr. Bush. Love your site as a resource.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Mercer county pa. Usa
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Even if you got rid of your bee's, there is no guarantee that your child will never get stung again. When I was growing up I was stung by honeybees, yellowjackets, wasps,sweatbees and horse fly's and there was no beekeepers for miles. But I know as soon as people know you keep bee's, you and your bee's will take the blame for anything that bites or stings. Happy to hear your little one was okay. Good luck.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
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    1,026

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    1- Educate your child, a two year old is old enough to hear the lesson. Mostly, don't squeeze a bee, she'll sting you. If one lands on you don't worry, after a while she will find out that you are not a flower and move on.

    2- Screen house for the pool. Also prevents mosquitoes, black flies, and whatever else you have from accessing your child and provides some shielding from UV light as well.

    3- A backup site to keep your bees at if this doesn't work out.

    Good luck-
    Bill

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Almost posted earlier that I had the same situation and had not had any trouble. Then I got home and found out that today of all days that the bees were chasing my wife and kids around. I drained the kiddie pool and thought I must have cursed myself even thinking about posting that I had not had the problem. It is pretty dry here in central mo. Hoping for rain. That would make everyone a little happier.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    One year old doesn't know anything about bees yet. Keep a fence around the bee yard so that curious kid and
    nieces will not wander near it. Consider requeen with more gentle stocks.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    And actually beeks, and family should be stung once and a while...although I do not wish this on a curious child.

    https://youtu.be/P0QB96RrGdM

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Just as an update, the little pool was used fine yesterday. For my hive, it is behind a fence and I have absolutely no problem with a sting happening here and there. I myself have never been stung in my life, and I am actually curious and kind of looking forward to it in a strange way.

    But I digress...I made some special "bee water" using spring water, a tsp of bleach, and a dash of lime juice. This will go in the bee baths, and will smell quite different to the bees than the pool water which is filled using the hose. I'll train them on the bee water and let you all know how it goes. It will be rainy for the next few days so it may take some time for this experiment to bear fruit.
    Last edited by g2knee; 06-15-2017 at 09:02 AM.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,119

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskers View Post

    2- Screen house for the pool. Also prevents mosquitoes, black flies, and whatever else you have from accessing your child and provides some shielding from UV light as well.

    Good luck-
    Bill

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Milton FL
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Bees and kiddie pool

    Hi g2knee,

    Mr. Bush is correct it's the smell the bees are attracted to but instead of using chlorine bleach as an attractant, put a little DIY Honey-B-Healthy in the water. The bees will overwhelmingly prefer that over chlorine bleach and its "Honey-B-Healthy" better for the bees than chlorine bleach. There is a ton of info on You-Tube to make it yourself, it is super easy to make plus a lot cheaper. I make it by the 1/2 gallon all the time and here is a good place to buy the essential oils, this is where I get all mine. http://www.bulkapothecary.com

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