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How to Keep Bees Away From Your Pool

Picture this: you're peacefully lounging on your favorite pool float, with the warm sun overhead and the cool water splashing your feet. It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon, until you hear, buzz. In an instant, your relaxing float turns into a flurry of flailing arms and splashing as you swat at the pesky, flying intruder. We've all been there. Unfortunately, bees and wasps are drawn to our pools almost as much as we are. So, the question is, how do you keep bees away from your pool?

Why Do Bees Like Your Pool So Much?

Your beloved backyard oasis is just as inviting to you as it is to bothersome bees and wasps. From the bright blue water to the surrounding vegetation, there are numerous enticing features that bees find irresistible. Typically, bees pay your pool a visit to rehydrate on a hot day, collect water to bring back to their hive, or gather pollen from nearby flowers and plants. And of course, they can't leave without making a pit stop at whatever sugary beverage you have on the patio.

While the occasional bee visitor may not seem like much of a concern, the more bee-friendly your pool and backyard are, the more likely you'll end up with a bigger problem on your hands. Plus, nothing puts a damper on a fun pool party like a bee sting!

How to Keep Bees Out of Your Pool

There are quite a few methods to choose from when it comes to keeping your pool bee-free. And thankfully, all the methods listed in this article are completely humane and cause no harm to the bees. Because even though bees can be a nuisance, it's important to recognize how vital they are to our ecosystem.

Now, let's dive into the ways you can tell the bees in your pool to buzz off!

1. Provide an Alternate Water Source

Provide an alternate water source to keep bees away from the pool

Encourage the little creatures to leave your pool alone by creating a bee-friendly watering hole for them. Grab a shallow container and fill it with a thin layer of sand or pebbles, so the bees have something to land on. Then fill it up until the water is just below the top of the pebbles. Place the water bowl as far away from your pool as possible, and refill the water as needed to ensure the bees don't have a reason to visit your pool again.

Bees can be stubborn, so it's much easier to train them right off the bat than to try and break their established routine. It's best to set out an alternate water supply before opening your pool or before the summer starts, so the bees get used to drinking from the bowl, rather than your pool.

2. Keep Your Pool Water Moving

Consistent water circulation is not only key to the overall health of your pool, it is also a great way to deter wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Bees are not good swimmers and will likely avoid moving water as much as possible. So keep your pool pump running for at least 8–10 hours a day to scare bees away, and maintain healthy pool water.

3. Adjust Your Backyard Landscape

adjust your landscape to keep bees away from the pool

Nothing complements a beautiful swimming pool like vibrant flowers and lush backyard landscaping. And unfortunately, bees and other insects agree and will likely show up to your outdoor paradise in droves to indulge in the vegetation. But don't fret, there's no need to rip up your luscious lawn to avoid a bee barrage.

If possible, relocate any bee-attracting plants to another area away from your pool, and replace them with bee-repelling plants. Herbs like mint, thyme, and spearmint might smell wonderful to people, but bees can't stand their fragrance. Consider planting an herb garden near your pool to create a natural barrier against the buzzy bugs. Just ensure there's enough distance between the garden and your pool, so you don't contaminate the water with soil and debris.

PRO TIP: Looking for an easier way to naturally repel bees? Try essential oils! Lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella oils are a few aromas bees find highly distasteful. Add a few drops of oil to a spray bottle, dilute with water, and spritz the mixture around your pool or even on your towel.

4. Avoid Bright Colors Around the Pool

Beige bikinis? Tan trunks? While you don't have to go to that extreme, we do recommend limiting the amount of bright colors you have around your pool area. Bees might take one look at a bright yellow towel or a hot pink bathing suit, and assume it's a big, beautiful flower. So, if you absolutely have to buy that hot pink suit this summer, consider pairing it with a simple, neutral-colored towel to tone it down and keep bees away.

5. Use Dryer Sheets

One of the easiest ways to keep bees away from your pool is to use dryer sheets. Yes, dryer sheets! Just like certain essential oils and plants, bees strongly dislike the smell, so they're likely to avoid buzzing around them. Before you jump in the pool, tuck some sheets into your towel, stick them underneath pool chairs, or even tie them to a stick and place around your pool.

6. Keep Food and Drinks Covered

cover drinks and food to keep bees away from the pool

If you've ever left your soda can unattended outside, chances are you've experienced the horror of realizing there's a buzzy intruder splashing around inside when you take a sip. Just like people, bees love the delicious, sugary taste of soda, tea, and other sweet drinks, especially on a hot day. Therefore, it's best to leave those types of drinks inside if your pool area is prone to bees, and bring water or sugar-free drinks out to the pool instead.

The same applies to food, particularly fruits and desserts. Keep food inside as much as possible, and promptly throw away any empty or unattended plates left outside. And if you have an outside trash bin, ensure it's far away from the pool.

What About Wasps?

how to keep wasps away from the pool

Tackling a backyard bee problem is one thing, but going to war against wasps is an entirely different scenario. Unlike their small, docile counterparts, wasps are very territorial and can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If you have a few rogue wasps hanging out by your pool, try implementing a few of the methods listed above. Just like bees, wasps tend to avoid moving water and certain strong smells.

Another option is to purchase and hang a decoy nest by your pool. Because wasps are so territorial, they'll likely hit the road if they think another group has settled by your pool.

However, if you are struggling with a serious wasp infestation, we strongly encourage you to call the professionals. Wasps are much more resilient than bees and harder to eliminate once they've established a hive. Contact your local exterminator to safely remove the wasps before they cause too much damage.

Bees are an extremely important part of our ecosystem, but that doesn't mean they belong in your pool. By using the methods listed above, you can keep bees away from your pool and enjoy your summer to the fullest! And remember, in addition to bee-prevention methods, In The Swim has everything you need to keep your pool and equipment in tip-top shape the whole year.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.