Help with swarm

bluebird144(Pinelands NJ)August 2, 2006

Hello. I am hoping this forum can help me. I am having trouble with a bee swarm that is attracted to my pool. There are thousands of them swarming to get water. It looks like something out of a killer bee movie. (They are regular honeybees.) I am afraid my kids are going to be stung and it makes using the pool miserable with bees flying everywhere.

There are no local hives, and they appear to come from the woods behind our house but I cannot find the hive. I have tried covering the pool, placing dishes of water closer to their hive in the flight path, and contacting bee keepers to see if they could help. One beekeeper told me there was nothing he or I could do. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am desperate. I will probably end up spraying insecticide if I can't find a solution, but I REALLY don't want to do so.

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

This is no easy task to locate the hive!...You could catch a few bees, preferably drone, male bees, they don't sting and glue with crazy glue a very light feather on there back so you can more easily track them when they return to there hive, it will slow them down!
It should work, is has been done.
Today, I have picked up some small owl feathers,...they would just work nicely.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 12:55AM
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bluebird144(Pinelands NJ)

Thanks for the idea! I breed birds and have many feathers to use. Once I locate the hive, what action should I take? I was told that no pest control people or beekeepers will take action since the beehive is not on my property.

Yesterday we had a traumatic experience when my 9 year old was stung while swimming. I am no longer feeling so favorable towards the bees. >:- (

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 10:51AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>Yesterday we had a traumatic experience when my 9 year old was stung while swimming.

Why?...Is your child allergic to bee venom?

It's a good thing, get used to bees in your early years!

As a child, I was stung X numbers of times, leaving 20 yards away from about 10 hives, these where not even our bees, someone else kept bees in our bee house. If you're not allergic, it's a good thing to have a few stings a year.
The more stings I have, the less allergic reaction I will have. I hardly swell up anymore, even with 3 or 4 stings at ones. Today I can only say, if I would have not been around bees in my early years, got used to them and not fear them, I would probably have no bee hives today.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 12:43AM
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hscsusiq(z7 VA)

Insecticide won't work and wil poison you and the pool.
Contact your extension agent to find the beekeeper's in your area. There may be several local hives using the pool as a source of water. If they belong to a local beekeeper he should be providing them with water closer to their hives. They have to have it to raise young and to cool their hive. You need to work with him and the bees natural instincts to solve the problem.
Bees like a water source that has a taste/smell.
Sometimes you can cover the pool (or drain it) and train the bees to another source of water nearby. It will take several weeks, two to six at minimum. Be sure the other source of water has floats (corks or wood) and is cleaned out regularly so mosquitoes donÂt breed. Start it right by the pool and gradually move it away (a few feet at a time), ending up as far away as possible, toward the area that most of the bees are coming from. Use a bit of vanilla flavoring to make it smell different from your pool's chlorine. Bees are readily trained to a smell.
You might also try putting corks in a ring of floating hose to see if they will stay in that area instead of buzzing the entire pool. The bees on my pond prefer the floating vegitation.
Have you had any stings? Honeybees rarely sting where they are collecting water, since there is nothing to defend. I know they can look intimidating, though.
Finding someone to take an established hive out of a tree that's high will be hard. ItÂs a very difficult job, and may not solve the problem of bees getting water from your pool Once the hive is gone there will be some older bees left who may be defensive. The best time to do this is in the depths of winter when the bees are in a tight ball in the hive. If you leave the hollow a swarm may take up residence and you'll have the problem continue.
Personally, I'd swim in the pool and see how they react, but I'm immune to stings. I suspect that unless you step on one or trap the bee someway that they wouldn't sting. I have them outside my front door all over some melon rinds and I move the rinds with no reaction from the foraging bees.

Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Country Life

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 9:30AM
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bluebird144(Pinelands NJ)

Thanks for all the advice. I'm afraid it has become an all out war, me against the bees. The swarm is from a wild hive in the woods behind our house. No beekeeper will attempt to remove it. One beekeeper even told me that bees, like rats and other creatures can become pests and must be treated as such. I have tried luring the bees with other water supplies closer to the hive, in addition I already have several ponds and birdbaths that the bees are uninterested in. As hscsusiq mentioned, I guess they really have zoned in on the scent of chlorine. They must love the taste of chlorine! :-O I had even tried upping the doseage in hopes of turning them off, but I guess I was only making it more attractive!

Draining the pool is impractical since we have well water and it is a strain on the pump to refill. Covering has not worked, I've tried that and the bees immediately come back as soon as the cover is removed.

The bees occasionally land in the water and when they try to take off, skim along the surface to the nearest object (usually a human) and promptly sting them. It is quite painful and upsetting, especially for the kids. No one wants to be stung or should have to tolerate it. (unless beekeeping of course!)
I work with many species of animals and occasionally get bites, but I would never subject someone else, especially children, to tolerate getting hurt. If anything, the kids are starting to get a phobia about bees, where before they had no reaction to them at all and always respected the philosophy of leaving bees alone and they will leave you alone.

Thanks again for the suggestions. I will try the vanilla flavoring as a last resort, but if that doesn't work, careful use of insecticides or foggers are the likely next step for me. It is a very upsetting situation for me since I really don't want to kill the bees, just direct them elsewhere.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Sometimes all the talk and best intentions will not solve the problem. You need to get rid of the bee colony in the tree. You need a beekeeper or exterminator, a pressure sprayer with a contact poison, and a bucket truck.

I did this 3 yrs ago. the bucket truck was 100.00 for1st hour, i charged 100.00. The job took 45 minutes, cost 200.00 and the owner was delighted.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 7:19AM
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I want to reclaim my pool too, it seems that this year has been the worst for bees in my pool. These don't look like honey bees, they look like the mud wasp type. (not that I'm a bee expert) They look like a 747 coming in for a landing. I see the beeline they make, up and over my fence, but then I lose sight of them. Our neighborhood is only 6 years old and I have never had this problem before.
I have to wait until night falls before I can safely go swimming, but sometimes I prefer to go during the sunny days.
Since I am the one making the payments on the pool, I want to use it when I want to use it. I don't give a crap about the bees. I wish they would all go somewhere else.
I might try one of those bee traps, that you fill with sweetened red colored water. They sell these at Home Depot, I'm told. They can get in but can't get out.
Now if they will go toward the red water instead of my pool...

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 8:24PM
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stan_gardener(cen ca)

-I don't give a crap about the bees. I wish they would all go somewhere else.

funny,that's how i feel about most people.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 4:23PM
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