Nothing like a summer-time dip, am I right? While you immerse yourself in the cool water, your body gets a little help keeping you cool.
There are lots of other creatures seeking the same relief. Though they may appear to pester you with their presence and potential stinging threat, bees and wasps need that water as much you do.
Bees use it to dilute the honey they give to the brood. They also use it as their air conditioning system.
They collect water, take it back to the hive, fan it with their wings until it evaporates, and that takes away the heat from the hive.
Wasps also need water for survival and, for some, construction. Some wasps, such as the Mud dauber need water in order to construct their nests.
Though the threat of a wasp sting is real, the wasps aren’t really out to get you. Neither are the bees.
The best way to keep bees away from your pool is to provide a distraction.
We’ll explore what options you have to deter the bees and wasps from your swimming pool without killing them. Even though complete extermination is rarely necessary, we shall see how to go about that safely.
How to Keep Bees Away From Your Pool
It’s no secret that bees need all the human help they can get.
In fairness, we have caused most of their problems so we owe them one.
Let’s keep this in mind as we look for solutions.
1. Provide an Alternative Source of Water
Bees gain nothing from coming after you and your children. In fact, they lose everything because they don’t survive that experience.
So they come to your pool for the water. If you can work out what direction they are coming from, you can provide a small body of water for them.
There are several options you can go with: A barrel pond or a birdbath/hummingbird feeder/bucket.
A Barrel Pond
If you have the creativity and energy for it, have at it. There are plenty of options available like this beautiful pond with bamboo accents. Bees really like murky water a lot more than they do the pristine clear liquid in your pool.
It’s a lot closer to what they would go for in the wild. Murky water has all sorts of debris floating on it, making it easier for them to perch and enjoy a drink of water.
It’s also full of nutrients from the various organisms living in the water. It would really add to the beauty of your backyard as well and isn’t difficult to maintain.
Birdbath/ hummingbird feeder/ bucket
Basically, anything that can hold water. A birdbath like this works wonderfully because it’s wide and the water isn’t very deep.
This means you don’t need to provide any floating perches for the bees. They’ll just line up around the watering hole and quench their thirst.
Hummingbird feeders are notoriously attractive to bees and wasps so they should work like a charm. Hang them away from the pool and the sweetened water is likely to drag their attention away from the pool. Just ensure you haven’t bee-proofed it.
Any other container will do. A bucket with a sponge that allows the bees to perch and drink should do the trick.
If you have an old towel, have one end in the water, and drape the towel over the side of the bucket. The water will move up the towel by capillary action and the bees can suck the water from the towel.
In each instance, the bees get water, remain unharmed, and stay away from your pool.
2. Repel the Bees
Over time, people have observed that bees may not share our taste in odors. Peppermint, for instance, is known to repel bees.
You can surround your pool with potted mint plants, or emulsify a few drops of the oil and pour it into your pool.
You need very little and the bees can’t stand it. It doesn’t hurt them, and the diluted quantities won’t hurt you either.
There are also those who use dryer sheets like these. I don’t know if anyone has studied the repelling qualities of the dryer sheets so we don’t know what it is about them that repel the bees.
All we know is that it works so put a few sheets around the pool and enjoy your summer splash.
How to Keep Wasps Out of Your Pool
I’m going to be honest here. I appreciate that wasps are an important part of nature, but their plight is quickly forgotten by the pain caused by their sting.
However, as a gardener, wasps are very important in pest control so it is in the environment’s best interest to keep them alive.
So how can we do that and enjoy a stingless swim?
3. Put Up a Decoy Wasp Nest
In the wasp universe, boundaries are very important. No one ever comes without calling first.
Well, they actually won’t come at all. As a pool owner, you can use this to your advantage. The wasps don’t have to see the wasp to perceive a threat. Just the sight of the nest is enough to keep visiting wasps at bay.
You can make one from some old brown paper bags or get one premade and hang it near the pool. It takes about a minute.
4. Buffet of Raw Meat
For the vegans among us, this option may not be for you, despite how effective it is. Wasps are carnivorous and feed on caterpillars and other insects.
They love raw meat. Just get a few scraps and hang them away from the pool. Don’t go hanging a three-pound steak because you’ll just add the smell of rotting meat to your problems.
If you feel that the numbers are threatening, place some container of soapy water underneath the meat which would drown the offenders.
5. Remove the Nest
You may need help with this one. This is an activity best carried out at night when all the wasps have returned and destroying the nest would then be effective.
You have to be very careful and ensure you have the right insecticide to get the job done. As mentioned earlier, this is the last resort if the wasps cause a serious safety threat.
Bees and wasps are necessary for our survival. Sure their sting packs a punch, but everything has its negative side.
Lots of solutions out there call for use of insecticides and exterminators, but let’s not rush to those.
Your garden is better off with both these creatures in them and keeping bees away from your pool is made easy with these five simple solutions, so use these tips to set out some boundaries that allow you to have fun while they go about their business.