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Thread: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

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    Larryh86GT's Avatar
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    Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    This summer has been very dry. We have been in a severe drought most of it. The honey bees have been visiting my pool all day long and there are more and more of them coming every day. Today I was stung twice. I believe in live and let live but this is not fun anymore. My granddaughter is afraid of the bees and I cannot blame her. So I did a search online about the bees and found this link from the US Department of Agriculture which gives some advise about this issue:

    Honey Bee Research : Bee Stings / Safety

    Honey bees and your swimming pool: not a good mix
    Honey bees are one of the most beneficial insects to humans. They help pollinate our crops (like apples, melons and almonds), produce the sweet honey and make beeswax, which is important in the cosmetic and candle industries.

    Because they are a social insect, living in colonies of up to 60,000 individuals, they need lots of food and water to keep the nest alive. The queen lays all the eggs in the colony and the worker bees do all the work. Worker bees normally forage on flowers for nectar and pollen. Nectar is the sweet flower sap that bees make into honey by evaporating off the excess water. Pollen is the protein resource bees feed their young larvae.

    Bees store their food and raise their young in the honeycomb nest. Honeycomb is made from beeswax, which is secreted by young worker bees, and fashioned into the familiar honeycomb hexagonal shape. Because bees live in these wax combs, though, they have to keep the nest at a constant temperature, not only to keep the colony from overheating, but also to prevent the wax from melting. In hot weather, bees cool the colony much like your swamp or evaporative cooler does - by evaporating off drops of water. Bees collect water and spread it throughout the colony in droplets. Then they fan the air to creat an air stream over the water drops, causing the water to evaporate and thus lowering the nest temperatures.

    When bees forage for water, they are not too fussy about where they collect it. It could be from a small, muddy puddle, a stream or your swimming pool, irrigation system, swamp cooler or birdbath. It is when bees come in contact with people, especially at swimming pools, that people notice them. Then they are considered not only a nuisance, but also a hazard.

    Here are some tips on how to keep bees away from your pools.

    When you first notice bees around your pool, mix a 1/4 cub of dish soap to a quart of water, and fill an empty sprayer bottle with it. Using the soapy mixture, spray any bees that are at your pool.
    This soapy mixture will kill the bees quickly and without harmful pesticide residues.
    Do this every time you see bees at a water source you want to keep bee-free.
    This will kill those foragers who are telling others in the colony where your swimming pool is located. Eventually, all those foragers who are not returning to the colony, will have died. Other foragers will find a different source of water, so do not worry that you are harming the colony. Your are only eliminating a few individuals.


    In addition, you should monitor other water sources and discourage bees from frequent visits. Here are some tips.

    Evaporative coolers: add a few ounces of pine-scented cleaner to the water.
    Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to birdbaths or pet waterers.
    Cover or drain pools or tubs when not in use.
    Repair leaky faucets and faulty irrigation systems.
    Coleman 16' x 48" power steel pool.

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    interesting, I use a half bottle of dawn soap in my pool to keep bugs out, I wonder if it would help with this...
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    Quote Originally Posted by Larryh86GT View Post
    Here are some tips on how to keep bees away from your pools.

    When you first notice bees around your pool, mix a 1/4 cub of dish soap to a quart of water, and fill an empty sprayer bottle with it. Using the soapy mixture, spray any bees that are at your pool.
    This soapy mixture will kill the bees quickly and without harmful pesticide residues.
    Do this every time you see bees at a water source you want to keep bee-free.
    This will kill those foragers who are telling others in the colony where your swimming pool is located. Eventually, all those foragers who are not returning to the colony, will have died. Other foragers will find a different source of water, so do not worry that you are harming the colony. Your are only eliminating a few individuals.


    In addition, you should monitor other water sources and discourage bees from frequent visits. Here are some tips.

    Evaporative coolers: add a few ounces of pine-scented cleaner to the water.
    Mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar per gallon of water to birdbaths or pet waterers.
    Cover or drain pools or tubs when not in use.
    Repair leaky faucets and faulty irrigation systems.
    I think you would need to bee there all day spraying otherwise many will make it back to report the location. I have a hive about 50' from my pool and have very few bees coming in, it is covered all day so that prob helps, also there is another water source nearby that I see them using. When I do see one in the pool i lift them out, usually on my hand and have only been stung once in about 100 rescues over the past 5 years. Yellow jackets are another story and i won't touch those.
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    Larryh86GT's Avatar
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby1017 View Post
    I think you would need to bee there all day
    Now that's funny.............
    Coleman 16' x 48" power steel pool.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    I think setting up an alternate water source, as far from the pool as possible and using a fountain to help make the pool an unattractive place to land will help keep them away.
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    Interesting post.

    2 weeks ago there was an EXTREMELY aggressive bee that kept coming back every 2 minutes.

    It wasn't trying to get water either, just buzz around me and my guests heads. We splashed
    out to get it to go away but that thing was determined.

    It finally got caught in the pool and I pushed it into the skimmer...it looked different and matched
    the description of Africanized honey bees. These things are VERY aggressive and I hope I don't
    see any more.

    There's a few very large water sheds within 2 blocks of my house so I hope they go there from now on.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Larryh86GT's Avatar
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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    Bees are all gone now. This was good advice from the USDA that worked.
    Coleman 16' x 48" power steel pool.

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    Re: Honey Bees - Stung Twice Today - What the USDA Advises

    Isn't adding vinegar or dish soap going to mess with your water balance? I ordered a fountain but while waiting I'm going to keep trying things just in case something works. So tired of being stuck inside

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