The Best Ways to Avoid Pool Bees: Natural and Effective Methods

If you want to avoid pool bees the natural way, here are a few tips and solutions to keep your pool safe from unwanted guests.

It isn’t very pleasant when you’re trying to enjoy a lovely sunny day by going for a dip, and you can’t help but notice the bee buzzing around you, trying to get in the pool. If there’s one thing that can pivot a peaceful swim into a stressful one, it’s bees. And if you’re opening your pool this season, there’s a huge chance that they’re going to be spending time there too.

You don’t want to get stung, and you don’t wish to have bees coming back near your home either! Unfortunately, swimming activities as simple as cannonballing can prompt a bee to feel threatened, causing them to fly over you and sting. Stings can be dangerous and can happen to your pets, friends, and family at any time. Fortunately, there are myriad steps on how you can keep pool bees out of your pool this season. 

But before we dive into what keeps bees away, let’s first discuss what attracts bees to your swimming pool anyway?

Here’s everything that you’ll learn in this article. 

  • Why are bees attracted to water?
  • Why do bees go to your pool water?
  • How do you know if bees are already a problem?
  • Bees and saltwater pools
  • How to Keep Bees Away From Your Swimming Pool?
  • Some home remedies that’s effective against stinging insects

Why Are Bees Attracted to Water?

Pool bees are naturally attracted to water. They find it soothing, and many bee experts believe that pool bees are drawn to water sources to relieve their dry throats or quench their thirst. But there’s a little more to it than that.

Pool Bees

Pool bees aren’t only using the pool’s water to satisfy their thirst; they’re also using it as a kind of air conditioning for their hive. This may help prevent the waxy combs from melting in the summer heat. Pool bees bring water to the hive. And as it evaporates, it cools the hive, preventing the colony from dehydration.

One more reason is that pool bees use water to dilute the honey they utilize to feed their larvae. This job is critical for the colony’s existence.

Why Do Bees Go to Your Pool’s Water?

Apart from its huge size and seeming availability, swimming pool water is often attractive to bees and particularly wasps because of the strong smell. That’s correct; the chemicals you use to keep your pool clean and free from undesirable bugs may actually attract more stinging insects to hang by. This is true for chlorinated as well as saltwater pools.

Pool Bees Near Water

How Do You Know If Pool Bees Are Already a Problem?

There are a few ways that you can tell when bees have become a problem in your pool.

  • If you’re noticing bees or wasps around your pool frequently, especially swarming around the edges and jumping into the water to drink, then this is a sign that they are becoming a problem and may need to be dealt with.
  • If you notice honeycombs on the ground near your pool after bees looking for shelter have brought them in, this is also an indicator that something needs to be done, and there’s potential for them to build their hive over time. 
  • If someone suffers from bee stings while swimming in your pool, it’s important to get them medical attention immediately after getting out of the water because they may have inhaled water or ingested something due to the pool bees’ presence.

Bees and Saltwater Pools

The smell of chlorinated water is particularly appealing to honeybees. Moreover, people who have a saltwater pool are often shocked to discover that they have more rather than fewer bee visits. Thus, although saltwater pools do not contain chlorine, salty water is very appealing to insects.

Because bees have taste receptors found in their feet, they can recognize water sources rich in salt, making them natural pool bees. So, how can you enjoy a swim without the constant buzz of pool bees around? Of course, if we’re talking about a spa or a hot tub, it’s a good idea to cover it when not in use. But for salt swimming pools or the usual swimming pool, addressing the pool bees situation requires a bit more creativity when trying to keep the bees at bay.

How to Keep Bees Away From Your Swimming Pool?

Bees have a similar concept of pools as we do. They view swimming pools as a place to chill in hot weather, and they also bring the water back to hydrate their young and regulate the temperature in their hive. Unfortunately, this survival mechanism can cause a dozen bees to flock to your pool for a water source.

Pool Bees Floating

Pool treatments are pretty expensive, so the last one you want to be is servicing this entire bee colony. Pool owners can take these precautions to avoid sharing their pool with unwanted party crashers, keep reading.

Remove Food and Water Sources

If you want to keep bees away from your pool, the first thing you need to do is clear out any leftover food or plants that might attract them. For example, make sure outdoor fruit trees and bushes are well-trimmed so that bees are not tempted. Also, bees enjoy sugar content, so make sure there are no food bits on your table. And since bees can immediately smell sweets, be sure to put a cap on your bottle of juice.

Try Using Essential Oils

Second, read up on how essential oils can deter insects and prevent bee swarms from forming. To combat this problem, citronella oil features prominently as one of the best options because it smells great for humans but terrible for bugs like bees and mosquitoes, and they fly away within seconds when it’s sprayed near them.

citronella oil

Look For Openings and Seal Them

The first thing you must do is to find out why bees might want to come near your pool. If there are food sources or pet water sources nearby, this may be the reason for the bees’ presence in your pool. Another thing that will help keep them away is sealing openings within and around your pool so that they can’t get close enough for an attack.

Make Sure That You’re Covering Your Trash Properly

Additionally, ensure that your garbage and recycling bins are as well shut as possible. You do not want bees in your garbage can.

Lure the Bees Elsewhere

One way to deter pool bees from your swimming area is to provide them with an alternative water source. Bees, especially pool bees, are primarily in search of water. As long as they have a sufficient supply, they generally don’t care about its origin and will typically opt for the water source nearest to their queen. If you’re able to locate their hive, simply provide a nearby water source, and the pool bees will likely shift their attention away from your pool.

Should you spot a bee, indicative of pool bees, buzzing around your vicinity, it would be beneficial to locate their hive. Afterward, offer them a reliable water source. There are numerous methods to establish an alternative water source. You might consider setting up a birdbath, constructing a fountain, or even creating a pond in your yard.

Flowers are also magnets for pool bees. By offering them what they’re naturally drawn to and maintaining a safe distance, you can redirect their attention. Not only will flowers entice them, but the added distance might also persuade the pool bees to seek other water sources. There are countless choices when it comes to elements that attract pool bees.

Avoid Bright Colors

Bees are attracted to bright colors. This means that bees will be drawn to a brightly colored object such as a piece of clothing or even your swimming pool if it’s not sealed correctly and has bright colors. To ensure that you keep bees away from your pool, avoid putting colorful clothing, towels, decorations, or snacks in the water by keeping them anywhere else but near the pool.

Turn on Pool Jets

Bees can’t literally swim and might find a hard time flying off the water once they got soaked. Pool owners can take advantage of this weakness. Turbulent water signals are threatening for the bees, thus discouraging the bees from landing near your pool. Also, turning on your pool jets cause a ripple in the surface of the water, causing them to get away out there.

Water Jets

Put Some Mothballs

Bees are repelled or scared to even get near your pool when you add mothballs. You can do this by putting the mothball in a decorative bag and hanging it near the pool. Based on scientific studies, the smell of mothballs is awful for these bees, and they usually fly away within seconds when it’s near them.

Some Home Remedies That Are Effective to Repel Stinging Insects

Wasp Nest Paper Bag Decoy

You don’t need to buy an expensive decoy wasp nest. Just find two regular brown lunch bags. Crumple the first bag as much as possible and insert it inside the second one. Then, crumple that as well, and hang it somewhere near your pool. Bees will think this is a wasp nest and stir clear away from it. 

brown lunch bags

Paper Bag Trap

To trap a bee, you can use a paper bag. Poke a little hole in the top of the bag and fill it with sugar. Add an attractive color to it, such as red or yellow, and tie it up tightly. The bee will get attracted to the sugar and enter this trap. After that, just place this food-filled opening near your pool using something like a stick or post, so bees don’t fly away with your bait. Once the bees are inside, free them away from your pool area.

Mixed Dishwasher Spray

In a spray bottle, combine a tiny amount of dish soap with water. Then, directly spray it on the bees. This causes the bees to get waterlogged if they attempt to land in your pool.  But be careful: spraying them in this manner will not kill them, and it may, in fact, make these stinging insects angrier.

Beekeeper’s More Info to a Buzz-Free Pool

Partner with Beekeepers for Pool Bees

Discover a bee swarm near your pool? These might be pool bees looking for a drink. Skip the pesticides and reach out to a local beekeeper. They can remove the pool bees humanely. And for those who balance being pool owners and beekeepers, remember to designate an alternative water source for your colony.

Pool Bees and Their Aromatic Allure

The sense of smell of pool bees is impeccable. Pools, whether treated with chlorine or salt, emit a distinctive scent. This can be an irresistible call for pool bees, signaling a refreshing water source nearby.

Distinguish Pool Bees for Effective Control

Before action, identify. Many pests, including pool bees, could be buzzing around your pool. Ensure no nests of pool bees are lurking around your home. When it comes to pest control, a pragmatic approach often serves best.

The Bird Bath Deterrent Against Pool Bees

Consider introducing bird baths near plants and flowers. These act as simpler hydration spots, deterring pool bees from taking a detour to your pool.

Pools: The Summer Magnet for Pool Bees

Pools are not just for human enjoyment. On a hot summer day, pool bees view them as a haven for hydration and cooling. Recognizing this behavior can guide pool owners in crafting bee-deterring strategies.

Realistic Goals for Controlling Pool Bees

Aiming for total eradication of pool bees from your pool might be ambitious. Instead, focus on realistic pest control strategies that blend preventive and corrective actions against pool bees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can bees sting me in the water?

It’s rare, but bees can sting if they feel threatened. Being in water doesn’t necessarily protect you from stings.

Are certain pools more prone to attracting bees?

Pools with more floral surroundings or those in dry areas may attract more bees due to the scarcity of other water sources.

Will pool covers help keep bees away?

Yes, covering your pool when not in use can deter bees from accessing the water.

Can bees establish hives near pools?

It’s possible, especially in quieter, undisturbed areas near water sources.

Can a professional beekeeper help with a bee problem?

Absolutely. Beekeepers can safely relocate bees without harming them.


Bees are necessary for our survival. Sure, they have safety mechanisms, and their sting packs a punch. But harming them has a negative side.

Lots of solutions out there offer the use of insecticides and exterminators, but we’re better off not rushing to those.

These insects are beneficial for your backyard, and keeping bees away from your pool is made easy for you with these natural solutions, so use these tips wisely to set out the boundaries that allow you to have fun while they go about on their own thing.

The following articles will help you improve your pool’s maintenance and swimming without worrying.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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