Swimming pool question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Duluth, GA
    Posts
    1

    Default Swimming pool question

    We've had a pool for years. I tore the old pool down two years ago with the agreement between the wife and I that we put up a new and larger pool. Today, because of my youngest daughter's upcoming graduation party, we ordered the new pool.

    I have two nucs coming around the end of May. They will be housed about 200 feet from the pool with the entrances facing away from the pool. How much trouble am I looking at here?

    I have some old metal chicken watering pans ready for the bees and a way to catch rainwater to give them. Will they prefer that to chlorinated pool water? We are also considering going saltwater for the pool. Would that help?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    killeen Tx
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    1st welcome to BS. 2nd last summer was dry in central Texas, like no rain from early june to late Aug. I have a 14000 gal water hole that dried up, I also have a salt water pool. My bees (10 hives) were watering on my AC drain. I put down a bowl with some floating corks and there were at least 200 bees there all the time. Now there would be a occasional bee in the pool but for the most part they all drank at the AC.

    The AC drain is about 50 feet closer to the hives then the pool and the hives are 200-400 yards away.

    joe

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,530

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    Get those chicken watering pans set up now so as to start to, um, ripen the water in them. Bees seem to prefer vintage water over fresh. Bees are funny that way. And keep those pans regularly refilled if rainwater doesn't supply them. Have them already in place when you install the nucs and hopefully the bees will find them so attractive that they won't go looking for other sources, such as your, or your neighbors' pools. Bees teach each other where the water is, and they are very faithful to those locations for as long as they live.

    It's not just your daughters' graduation party day you have to worry about; your bees will be close enough to your pool that you will want them to have found and always use an alternate source other than the pool all the time. People just don't like being nearly naked around bees. Humans are funny that way.

    You might consider giving them an artificial, shallow watering hole with a constantly recirculating "water fall" oozing over a large rock. Sort of their version of a built-in infinity pool. It needn't be very elaborate, but it is probably better than just chicken waterers which can run dry, or worse, need to be frequently refilled with fresh water which they might not like as well as your pool water. As long as you'll be digging up your lawn, anyway, a garden "water-feature" (aka bees' watering hole) might be a good idea. You could search for pics of that sort of thing here to get ideas, or ask another question specifically about BS users designs for such things, or let teh Google help you out. If your wife is a gardener, the offer of putting in a garden water feature will be very attractive, perhaps enough to distract her from the occasional bee cruising by while she is working on her tan by the pool. Just sayin'

    Nancy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA (But planning to move to NW Louisiana soon)
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanetav View Post
    We've had a pool for years. I tore the old pool down two years ago with the agreement between the wife and I that we put up a new and larger pool. Today, because of my youngest daughter's upcoming graduation party, we ordered the new pool.

    I have two nucs coming around the end of May. They will be housed about 200 feet from the pool with the entrances facing away from the pool. How much trouble am I looking at here?

    I have some old metal chicken watering pans ready for the bees and a way to catch rainwater to give them. Will they prefer that to chlorinated pool water? We are also considering going saltwater for the pool. Would that help?
    I have a neighbor with a 'water table', a play place for kids that ends up with a lot of water splashed on the concrete patio. My bees were coming around there to the splashed water and making the kids and their mom nervous. I set up a chicken waterer and a couple pans with rocks, and after the rocks got nice and green, the bees stopped visiting the water table. BUT, the pans required refilling just about daily during the heat of summer, and I forgot a few times, and the chicken waterer even ran dry a few times, and the bees went back to the water table. They would eventually transition back to my offerings, but it would take a few days. I finally got a large plastic planter pot that holds about 20 gallons of water, floated some wood chunks on top, and after it got a bit of algae in it, they faithfully use it and have for a couple years.
    The only other thing I ran into was mosquito larvae. I didn't want to use any of the stuff sold to treat water for mosquitoes, so I put a couple of .25 cent feeder goldfish in there. They immediately ate all the wigglies in the water and live all summer long. I don't know what they eat besides the wigglies, and I'm pretty amazed they do so well, but they seem to thrive through the summer. I just "restocked my pond" last week, getting ready for the mosquitoes.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,652

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    What makes water attractive:

    http://bushfarms.com/beeswater.htm

    Make sure you have some that is more attractive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,836

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    Just to reinforce enjambres' comments above ...

    Bees prefer "smelly" water. That swimming pool will have "smelly" water (from the treatments to keep the water "clean"). If you want the bees to NOT go to the pool, then you need to provide a "smelly" alternate water source that is equally attractive as the pool will be. And get the bees trained now to your "smelly" water to make it less likely for them to switch to the pool once it gets installed.

    Once you get "smelly" water, don't ever wash out with clean water. You want it to be yucky. A cheap way to start is to dump some leaves or hay/straw into water and allow them to rot. Add more periodically. The floating straw provides a handy series of floats so the bees don't drown. And as it rots, the desirable smell is maintained.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,752

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greeny View Post
    .
    The only other thing I ran into was mosquito larvae. I didn't want to use any of the stuff sold to treat water for mosquitoes, ...
    Mosquito Dunks are perfectly safe for the bees and butterflies using your water source. I've used them for years.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Murphy, TX
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanetav View Post
    We've had a pool for years. I tore the old pool down two years ago with the agreement between the wife and I that we put up a new and larger pool. Today, because of my youngest daughter's upcoming graduation party, we ordered the new pool.

    I have two nucs coming around the end of May. They will be housed about 200 feet from the pool with the entrances facing away from the pool. How much trouble am I looking at here?

    I have some old metal chicken watering pans ready for the bees and a way to catch rainwater to give them. Will they prefer that to chlorinated pool water? We are also considering going saltwater for the pool. Would that help?
    Yes, salt water will help. No, you can't control much other than provide several different water sources around 50-100 feet away in all directions. They decide which water source to use. Do NOT get coarse aggregate plaster for you pool or spa. Stick with a smooth plaster. Don't have "beach" area in pool. Basically you want to make it very hard for them to safely access water from pool And conversely, provide natural floats (wood, cork, grass, plants, etc) for the alternative water sources. Also bees like old flowing water with minerals (read dirt) and smell! So do everything you can to create alternative water sources with such features. By the way, once they decide to use a water source then you can't make them stop!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nassau County, New York, USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    I don't have experience with salt water pools, mine is chlorinated. I have tried everything in the book for the past 10 years, nothing seems to stop them coming to the pool. At any given time there are 100 dead ones and 100 live ones in the pool. If we have a party I have no choice other than to close them for the day.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Fayetteville, GA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    I have a salt water pool with an attached hot tub. The hot tub is finished with fieldstone where the waterfall goes into the pool. The bees absolutely love going to the fieldstone to drink. I’ve tried alternate sources in the bee yard to no avail. Two questions:
    1) what do you mean by “smelly” water? I have a large pan of pool water 2’ from the hives with a solar pump to keep it recirculating; should I take that out?
    2) has anyone tried ‘hone bandit’ or similar to help make this source unattractive?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,652

    Default Re: Swimming pool question

    > what do you mean by “smelly” water?

    Bees need to recruit other water foragers by using the smell. Any smell will do. Chlorine, urine, manure...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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