|Bee Stings / Safety|
1 - Stung by a bee
2 - Attacked by a group of honey bees
3 - Avoiding a stinging incident
4 - Bee proofing your property
5 - Outdoor recreation safety tips
6 - Protecting pets and livestock
7 - Bees at your swimming pool
8 - Why do bees sting?
Honey bees and your swimming pool: not a good mix
Honey bees are one of the most beneficial insects to humans. They help pollinate our crops (like apples, melons and almonds), produce the sweet honey and make beeswax, which is important in the cosmetic and candle industries.
Because they are a social insect, living in colonies of up to 60,000 individuals, they need lots of food and water to keep the nest alive. The queen lays all the eggs in the colony and the worker bees do all the work. Worker bees normally forage on flowers for nectar and pollen. Nectar is the sweet flower sap that bees make into honey by evaporating off the excess water. Pollen is the protein resource bees feed their young larvae.
Bees store their food and raise their young in the honeycomb nest. Honeycomb is made from beeswax, which is secreted by young worker bees, and fashioned into the familiar honeycomb hexagonal shape. Because bees live in these wax combs, though, they have to keep the nest at a constant temperature, not only to keep the colony from overheating, but also to prevent the wax from melting. In hot weather, bees cool the colony much like your swamp or evaporative cooler does - by evaporating off drops of water. Bees collect water and spread it throughout the colony in droplets. Then they fan the air to creat an air stream over the water drops, causing the water to evaporate and thus lowering the nest temperatures.
When bees forage for water, they are not too fussy about where they collect it. It could be from a small, muddy puddle, a stream or your swimming pool, irrigation system, swamp cooler or birdbath. It is when bees come in contact with people, especially at swimming pools, that people notice them. Then they are considered not only a nuisance, but also a hazard.
Here are some tips on how to keep bees away from your pools.
In addition, you should monitor other water sources and discourage bees from frequent visits. Here are some tips.
If you notice bees nosing around your shed, house or other small hole in your wall or foundation, these are probably scout bees looking for a new home site for a swarm. Make sure every hole larger than 1/4-inch in diameter (about the size of a pencil), is caulked up.
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