Nothing is better than a day in the pool, enjoying the sun. But for many people, spending a day outside comes along with the threat of encountering bees. Many people are simply phobic about bees, but many others are actually very allergic to their sting. Because of allergies or fears, bees near the pool can ruin a summer. Unfortunately, swimming pools can provide an attractive area for bees to hang out, or even build their hive. But, understanding a bit about why your swimming pool attracts bees can help you to deter them from the area, leaving your family to enjoy the pool in peace.
Why are bees attracted to swimming pools?
Anyone who has ever owned a pool knows that all kinds of creatures are attracted to them. All sorts of animals and pests can be found sneaking into a pool and getting them into danger. This includes bees. Though these creatures don’t often enter your swimming pool, they may choose to build a home nearby.
But why are bees so attracted to swimming pools? First, bees like to have a water source nearby. But more importantly, their hive needs to be a very specific temperature for them to successfully raise their young, and make enough honey to feed the hive. A swimming pool puts off a very cool temperature, and many bees find it to be the perfect spot to build their hive to avoid the high temperatures of summer. If you have a pool plus landscaping that is pollen-rich, you’ve created a perfect habitat for bees to build their home.
Sadly, though swimming pools seem like an attractive home for a prospective hive, it is actually a very dangerous place for bees to exist. Pool chemicals and human interference make it very unlikely that a hive built near a pool will survive.
How to keep bees away from your swimming pool
If you spend a lot of time in your backyard, you’ll likely encounter a bee or two. Because bees are endangered, that is actually a great sign for your local vegetation. But, if you’ve noticed a large number of bees regularly hanging around your swimming pool, you may have to take steps to encourage bees away from the area. If you have a fear of bees, it can be very daunting to try to handle a beehive by yourself. But luckily, you have a lot of options.
Get help from a professional beekeeper
Most people are afraid of bees, and those with allergies have good reason. But bees are absolutely essential to all of us. Sadly, bees are an endangered species, and become rapidly more endangered each year. This means that a beehive in your backyard is very valuable to a local beekeeper.
If you have bees in your backyard, contact a local bee professional. Many beekeepers are happy to come to trap a hive and find it a safe place to live on their farm.
This solution is much more humane and environmentally friendly than poisons, traps, or destroying a hive. Going this route also provides a boost for an existing beekeeper, and you’ll be doing your part to help a struggling species.
Provide a different source of water
Having a beehive in your backyard can actually be a great thing as long as you can find a way to coexist – especially if you’re an avid gardener. Bees are great pollinators and will give a boost to any plants you have growing for the summer. If you have found bees making a hive or hanging near your pool, it can be a great idea to provide an alternative source of water to encourage them to move away.
A fountain with running water or circulating pond will likely attract bees away from your swimming pool. This water source will offer all the benefits of your pool, without the problem of chlorine and human danger. If you place a water source in a shaded, bee-friendly area, they will likely never take a second look at your swimming pool. Because stagnant water also attracts mosquitoes and pests, we recommend a source of water that circulates, if possible.
Plan your landscaping strategically
Bees are attracted to all kinds of plants, and part of what makes a backyard attractive is access to pollen. But, there are some plants that bees will avoid, and will not build their nest around. Citronella and lemongrass strongly repel bees, and are luckily very easy to grow.
By planting these species, you’ll be able to naturally deter bees from building a hive or collecting in areas you want them to avoid. As a bonus, many other pests (such as mosquitos) are also repelled by the same plants. Conversely, if you plant flowers and plants that bees tend to enjoy in other parts of your backyard, you can receive the benefits of pollinating bees, without encountering them in and around the swimming pool
Creative bee repellents
Many swimming pool owners have found creative ways to repel bees around their swimming pool, and around their home. The most popular way to repel bees is by using dryer sheets to chase bees away. Placed in an area you’re hoping to keep clear of bees, dryer sheets repel bees without harming them.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that shows that bees are also averse to the smell of mint. Using mint essential oil or creating a water and mint based spray that you can use around your pool is an environmentally-friendly way of repelling bees.
Other options for repelling bees
If you have a serious bee invasion in your backyard, there are many poison and trap products that you can use to get rid of bees. But, because bees are such an essential and endangered species, we recommend avoiding these products if at all possible. In cases of severe allergies or extreme invasions, these products may seem like the only alternative that a pool owner has, but it is always best to try an alternative first.
Keeping your swimming pool free of bees
A bee sting or even the presence of bees is enough to put a damper on even the funnest day of swimming in the pool. If you’ve noticed bees hanging around the water, or starting to build a hive, don’t panic. Bees are not very aggressive, and it can be easier than you think to deter or remove them. We encourage you to use the environmentally-friendly solutions outlined above to encourage bees to move to a safer location, so both your families can enjoy the summer.