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We have had several days of 100+ weather in Arkansas. Any tips from the SW on keeping the bees cool. My neighbor just installed an above ground pool that my bees have locked in on. I have placed 2 chick feeders in front of our 5 hives to try to keep bees at home. Any advice on keeping our bees away from a pool? I am sure a nice rain would help but it is not in the immediate forecast.
 

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It was 110F here today. My hives have SBB's and upper entrances. I keep all my nucs in the shade of a large mesquite tree. I surround my main apiary in shadecloth. It reduces the amount of solar radiation that reaches the outer wood of the hives. For the first time, this season I topped some of my full-size colonies with an over-cap of 2" thick white construction insulation styrofoam.

I have a polyethylene water line running next to my main apiary. I put a tiny puncture in the line so that a fine mist keeps a 2' x 3' area constantly moist, many bees drink here. I have a 350 gallon koi pond a few dozen yards away in my back yard. I have many plantings on our acre that are irrigated by micro sprinklers on timers. We cool our home mostly with evaporative cooling and keep the cooler full of water and the pump wetting the pads year-'round.

Despite all these efforts, (bees are almost constantly drinking from all these sources that I provide in-house). My bees, or possibly wild bees, or bees from other beekeepers, still drink from all my neighbors pools, evaporative coolers, pet water dishes, etc.

My experience is that hot, or not, thirsty bees will drink not just from anywhere, but everywhere they find water that is drinkable.
 

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Put them in the shade... My dad reported seeing bees in Arizona where they had simply placed a plain old pallet on top of the pallet of bees. It afforded some shade, absorbed the heat above the hive while allowing some airspace between the surface the sun shone upon and the top of the hive.

As for bees in the swimming pool, the little buggers are scent oriented, their livelihood is derived from flowers, much of what goes on in their lives both in and out of the beehive is affected and /or effected by pheromones. The chlorine in the swimming pool attracts them, the only way you will get them to stop is to move them away from the pool. Speaking from experience!
 

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Use an entrance feeder for water. If started early in the spring the bees will not look for other sources. Now that they are using the pool, you will need to start with sugar syrup and slowly reduce the sugar until all you use is water.
 

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I have placed 2 chick feeders in front of our 5 hives to try to keep bees at home. Any advice on keeping our bees away from a pool? I am sure a nice rain would help but it is not in the immediate forecast.
Add a little salt to the water NOT sugar. They like brackish water.
 

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Any advice on keeping our bees away from a pool? I am sure a nice rain would help but it is not in the immediate forecast.
I have a pool about 30 yards from my five hives, as does a nieghbor. What I do is take a bucket of pool water and pour it into a a large pot with floating pads on it two yards from the hives every couple of days. Seems to keep the out of the pool for the most part.
 

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Check out the July issue of ABJ. It's about keeping bees away from swimming pools by a guy from Kentucky State University.:)
 
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