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Bees congregating by hot tub

2164 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
Recently I have had about a dozen bees hanging out by the fold in my hot tub cover, trying to squeeze in. Do I just have cool bees? How can I discourage this behavior?
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· Premium Member
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Those bees may be attracted to the hot tub by smell - probably of the 'chlorine' or whatever your water treatment is.

You can try giving them a different 'scented' water source. I'd try one that is between the hot tub and the hives. Make sure it has an odor, and also has some kind of floats so bees don't drown.

Bees have different standards for desirable water than humans do. Smelly water (compost water, chlorinated water, cattle urine, etc) may be attractive because bees can communicate the location to other bees better if the water has a distinct odor.

· Registered
180 Posts
We recently had a couple of 80 degree days that sent my bee's looking for water. Went into the backyard in late afternoon and was surprised how many were in place's I'd never seen them before including my hot tub. Same deal, heads in at the I took a dish towel and just hung it over the edge and it kind of discouraged them but they still keep nosing around. I've set up some different watering holes nearer the hive and different locations in the yard and it's helping, a little.

I also found this occurring in one of our yard composting buckets. Laurie has a picture just like it. She thinks they are going after electrolytes in the decay.

We just don't use it during the day and keep it covered....(the hot tub, that is).

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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To have water more attractive than your pool 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.

If the source you provide gives them more of those things they will probably quit using the pool.
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