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Author Topic: Humanely deterring bees from my back yard  (Read 1658 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 2

Location: Hopelessly Lost

« on: August 16, 2012, 01:35:46 PM »

Hi all, looking for some expert advice on how to deter bees from invading my Los Angeles backyard without hurting them if possible.

There's apparently a hive nearby but I have no idea where, since it's a residential area and I can't go looking around for it. I have a large area of flat faux-rocks that water runs over whenever the pump's running, between the Jacuzzi and the pool (it's an ozone pool, thus barely chlorinated), and on sunny days I get a lot of bees hanging out where they can land and, I assume, drink the water right by the pool. As you can imagine, this is somewhat disconcerting to guests when there are 50-100 bees zooming around the yard constantly. I've only been stung once when I accidentally stepped on one,  but I'd really like to keep them away.

Is there anything I can hang up, put in bowls, slather on the rocks, whatever? I'm open to anything at this point.

I really appreciate any suggestions.

Universal Bee
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Posts: 15279

Location: boring, oregon

« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 02:00:48 PM »

at this time of the year water is a big deal for the bees.  you have kindly provided them with sources! 

if you have a flat pan, like a garden drip pan and can set it in a place away from traffic, you might be able to put rocks and water in it and bait them away from your living area.  mix a WEAK sugar water solution for the first couple of days to get them interested.  it would also help if, during this time, you can shut off the other sources.

once they have found the source you provide and IF you keep it filled, you may be able to keep the majority out of your stuff.

the bees are only interested in getting water and getting back to the hive.  they will not bother you unless you do something like step on them  grin, but i do understand that for non-bee people, they can be a little scary!

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
New Bee
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Location: Hopelessly Lost

« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 02:38:04 PM »

Great idea, thanks. By weak sugar solution, do you mean, say, 2 tablespoons of sugar per gallon?
The Swarm King
Universal Bee
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!

« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 03:52:49 PM »

Unless they find a more desirable water source, they likely are going to continue their habits. Sometimes people have to drain pools etc... to cause them to seek water elsewhere. This of course may be a temporary fix.  Wink

You may need to find someone who can locate the hive/hives. If they are feral perhaps they can be removed and relocated.



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Queen Bee
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Location: Big bend of the Tennessee River

« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 01:23:57 AM »

Chlorine in the water seems to draw bees quicker than "pure" water does. 
A small recirculating bird bath type water source may draw them away.  A little salt in the water helps.  Say 0.1% or less. 

As you say, I find that bees prefer water that is some what in motion if they have a choice, and they seem to perfer drinking from a wet rock that has water dripping on it, than say landing on a dry rock and drinking from a deep still pool.  Maybe the dry rock gives them the old hot foot.

Good luck!
Field Bee
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Location: Washougal, WA

« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 08:04:34 AM »

My bees have a choice of chlorinated and pond water.  They prefer the pond water.

Weak mix of sugar would be 1/2 cup in a gallon.  When we feed bees we use mixtures of 2:1, 3:2, etc  so 1/2:1 is weak.  They want water so if you put too much sugar in, that is nectar to them and doesn't fit their needs.  The old dripping faucet into a pan of rocks after a week or so will smell great to them.  And yes it may take several days, even weeks to get them to stop using what they consider their water source.

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan
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