Bees at my pond

cruzer46August 10, 2008

I have bees at my pond and they keep me from working on it. I understand why they are there but I have been stung accidentally. They do not attack me but it is very disconcerting that I can't enjoy the pond or plants. I can't spray because of the fish and I don't know where the hive is. Does anyone have a serious solution to my problem?

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

The answer is in the reason they come to the pond in the first place. They are looking for water. Since bees follow the same pathways each day you need to observe them long enough to figure the direction they are coming from. Then you can place a birdbath or other container of water so they come to it before they get to the pond. Keep the water fresh and they will prefer it. Good luck. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:41AM
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Excellent advice from Sandy, as usual!

We're having a bee problem (lack of them), at least here in Cali, so maybe a sign pointing them west would help. :D


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:55AM
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We have bee's around our pond as well. But then again, my wife is a flower freak, and we have zinnia's, black eyed susans, daisys, assorted wildflowers.

We get bee's, hummingbirds, and yellow finchs.

They don't seem to be going to the water so much.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:29AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

If you can work on the pond very late in the day or right after sunrise, it might be better. Bees tend to go back to the hive in late afternoon, and are not early risers. There is usually a good beeless window in my garden an hour or two before sunset and a couple hours after sunrise.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 5:20PM
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I wake up every morning to the sound of bee's buzzing. Literally! I have a flower bush by my window where I sleep and I have to close it the minute I wake up because of the annoyance of the bee buzzing.

Call your local pest control and the will locate and remove the bees for you and if you're lucky they will give you the honey comb leftover.

Bees don't bother me though.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Another option would be to hang a hummingbird feeder a short distance away from your pond...that would attract both the bees and the hummingbirds...and give you some space to enjoy your pond....Dave :-D

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 6:53PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

And you would see a war erupt between the birds and bees. :( Sandy

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 6:59AM
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I see that war everyday in my backyard...those little hummers have a temper LOL

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:41PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

My husband has named ours "Attila the Hum".

I am allergic to bee stings, and I have hundreds of them visiting the far side of my 8' wide pond. They are very busy and leave me alone. I leave string algae over there for them to land on to drink so that they don't come to "my side".

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 2:39PM
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It is very hard to work on the pond with all the bees around. If you disturg them they think you want to harm them and they will sting. If an africanized bee stings you he releases pheramones that tlee the other bees to attack. I have been stung just trying to get close enough to feed the fish or to clean trash out of the water. I can't clean the filter on the fountain because they hover around it. I think I know where the hive is so I will have it exterminated. There are so many africanized hives in this area of the country that beekeepers will not remove them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 6:21PM
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chazparas(USDA zone 9 , San Jose, CA)

Are they bees or wasps? I've got tons of wasps around my pond here in MA, but very few bees they tend to go for the bird bath. Can't really help you out just curious.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:14PM
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johnkr(z5 PA)

I found a wasp nest in the electrical box near my pond this past weekend. The outlet is an outdoor rated aluminum box with rubber seals. I think the wasps are entering through a small hole at the bottom of the box which is intended for a padlock.

The outlet is too close to the pond for bug spray. I was able to get a plastic bag over the box and duck taped it to the wooden post the box is mounted on. The bag prevents the wasps from entering or leaving their nest. I'm hoping the lack of air will eliminate them. I don't mind them near the pond, but the nest is preventing me from unplugging my pumps at the outlet.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:28PM
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If you have put plastic all around the box, I wonder if you could mist some "bug bomb" into the airspace.

It wouldnt need a whole can but a good jet ought to do the trick.

Or contact the electric company and see what they would recommend for killing them. Certainly you aren't the first to suffer this problem.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:16PM
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johnkr(z5 PA)

My wasp problem is over (at least for now). I removed the plastic bag covering their nest and my electrical outlet. The box contained some dead wasps and their combed nest.

I think their inability to leave the nest area did them in, but it could have been a lack of oxygen as well. At any rate, if they return I would certainly use the plastic bag and duck tape again. It took several days, but I didn't have to use any bug killer near the pond.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:28PM
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chazparas(USDA zone 9 , San Jose, CA)

Cruzer, sorry I brought this away from your problem by mentioning wasps. John, if there was a heat build up in the bag, that's what probably got them!

Cruzer, I've had hundreds of different bees in my gardens this summer, bumbles, carpenters (which get huge!), small metallic green and blue beauties, honey bees, and a multitude of other types. Nothing seems particulary aggressive even at the bird bath. this is the first year I really didn't notice them drinking from the pond. Maybe the guppies I put in are to aggressive for them. Hope you're problem ends soon, I think something that would make the water unpalatable for them might do the trick. But you don't want to make it a problem for your fish too.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 6:42AM
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I have the same problem here in Henderson, just outside of Las Vegas. I discovered that my bees are not Africanized so are not aggresive at all. They are simply thirsty. I have walked among them and they are just interested in refuelling. They alight on the rocks that surround my koi pond, drink up and fly off as new ones come in for a cold tall one. So far none have left a tip in the tip jar I left º¿º . I leave them alone and they leave me alone. It is a visual distraction and I wish they would leave but come late fall, they will be gone until Spring of next year. If anyone has a solution please post a response. Obladi Oblada . . . life goes on bra'.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:26PM
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lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

We keep bees, and just set up a pond to give the girls a water source. Better our pond, than the neighbors' dogs' dishes, right?

Bees are in trouble. If you have a colony in your yard and don't want them, why not contact a beekeeper to take 'em away?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:53PM
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So I have read many of these postings and I am on the fence with what to do. We have had a small pond now for about 8 years and this is the first year bees have taken over our yard. While our fences are lined with roses and daisies we thought they grab some sweets from the flowers and the grab a drink for the flight back. BUT in all the postings I have not found a way to get them to go find a new water source. We have a storm drain creek full of water all year. Anyone who can share some tips to rid my pond of these lil' buzzers, I think they are cool but my son will not go in back yard and they are territorial of the water 24/7! I have some gold fish in there and the water is covered with hiyacinths. I do not have internet at home so if anyone has some tips, email me please! we appreciate tips.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:17PM
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I just came to the forum because I have the same problem. With 3 dogs that like to chase anything moving, I know I have to get rid of them. Wasps and yellow jackets and another type that looks like a hybrid of both. They don't bother me, but I'm worried about the dogs.

I did pour some white vinegar around the pond the other night and they left, but I hosed off the rocks today when I woke up to an empty pond from my dog knocking the diverter frog ;-) I put some RX bottles out there with white vinegar soaked in cotton balls to see if that helps keep them away. I do have a bird bath and a kiddie pool for the dogs, but the bees just showed up this week in force.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

dogs don't seem to mind bee stings like we do. my shepherd went uo the hill looking like a shepherd but when he came down again, his face looked like it belonged on a boxer dog.
my vet said to just give him half an aspirin if he seemed to be in pain but he showed no signs of noticing.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:06AM
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I am in Salt Lake Valley UT and have had my pond now for about a month.

The first three years we had the house before the yard was landscaped we had wasps and yellow jackets everywhere. We hung those yellow thingies and it helped to put them in check. I sadly never noticed bees, they are dieing off in UT for no reason. We need bees, can't survive without them pollinating our food. They are not aggressive like wasp, and yellow jackets (except the Africanized).

Since I put the pond in I have happily noticed a huge amount of bees coming to the pond and almost no wasps or yellow jackets in the yard.

I am so happy to see them. I have even rescued several who attempted to drown themselves in the pond.

I work around the pond up close and personal with the bees, but they don't seem to pay me any attention. Word may have spread that I am a bee rescuer ;). We have two small dogs (under 10 lbs) and the bees don't seem to bother them either.

I am ecstatic that my wasp and yellow jacket population has been replaced with honey bees.

Let the honey bees live in peace, they need all the help they can get.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:42PM
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THis is a rather old thread, but I'll give it a go anyway...
I have a small pond i built in the backyard here in tucson, az. as other people in this thread, I have a bee problem. ..well actually a WASP problem.
I have already been stung just by standing nearby. There will be about 50 wasps in the pond at one time. I tried an alternate water source to distract them but they were not interested at all. i even tried adding sugar luck.
I tried the old inversed lid soda bottle trap..all i caught were ants.
The most effective attack was simply spraying them into the water with hose and letting drown. who knows how many are in the nest though and how quickly they reproduce.
I tried to follow them back to their nest but they go over fences and into other people's yards.

my next step is to put some arowanas and archer fish in the pond who will eat the bees. i'm sure that wont stop them from coming though
really want these wasps gone!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:37PM
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watson(4 maybe 2)

Hi Frogger

Just scoop those wasps right out of the air so you can enjoy your yard immediately.

Swatting bare handed is tough and you gotta crush them before they sting.

Mostly I use a dip net and it works well.

My net was made with a four foot handle (bamboo garden stake), a ten inch wire loop (coat hanger), and a two foot long tapered net stitched from bridal veil mesh (fabric shop).

The caught bugs can be kept in the long netting by folding over. This is handy for collecting wasps as they show up during a picnic, or chasing down flies and mosquitos that sneak into the cottage.

The bugs can be drowned by dipping in water and feeding to the pond fish/ Or lightly crushed in the net (I hate cleaning up smooshed bug guts).

A neighbour made a nicer version using a cheap badminton racket frame.

Some koi nets might be usable.

I have seen dip nets in toy stores and dollar stores that are designed for kids to catch butterflies and creek critters. If the netting is too short it is easy to replace with longer netting.

Battery operated bug zapper stunners that look like small tennis rackets are sold in some of the larger Asian grocery marts/stores.

For me the net is enough to deal with wasps that show up while I am in the yard.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:56PM
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You might try getting a cheap plastic drop cloth, cover the pond or the area where you think they are at nighfall and trap them - and use a fogger to spray under the plastic - just a thought. or cvoer the pond after they fly out in the morning and maybe they'll relocate to a more loveable landlord

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:44PM
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QUOTE: I tried to follow them back to their nest but they go over fences and into other people's yards.

Me? I'd be tromping through my neighbors' yards on a witch/wasp hunt with or without advance notice. 'Course I've known them all for years so not suggesting this is wise for everyone, lol. Failing that, try calling your county extension agent for direction. CSA's are a highly UNDERutilized resource & the keepers of a wealth of information specific to your locale. You might just be surprised at what you learn.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:56PM
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Amein, digger - It is amazing the wealth of information they have available

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:19PM
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I live in northern California and this year ,after 10 years, my pond has been covered in mostly wasps with some bees. so, I covered the pond completely with shade cloth I purchased at the hardware store. I secured it all around so they can't sneek in for a drink. The cloth allows air and filters some uv.There were literally up to 100 of the critters all day every day making the yard un-usable. Sure hope this bees were harmed! I will repost in 2 weeks with a update.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Mike Lachance

OK...I like bees as much as the next gardener...but I do NOT like them building a hive in the hollows of my waterfall rocks!
I obviously cannot spray anything since it will poison the pond.
I tried last evening to pour boiling water into the opening , got attacked and managed to trip and break a garden gnome's solar lamp almost into the water.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:44AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Approach a hive only after dark. The bees will be in for the night then. However I think it is a horrible solution. Surely you can get rid of them some way not so ugly. Try setting up an impulse sprinkler and running it for a couple of hours a day, aimed directly at the hive. After a while they may move.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 5:18AM
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ernie85017, zn 9, phx

I have a small pond and the bees and wasps loved it. When I got a water hyacinth, I noted they were using it exclusively as a ladder to get down to the water to drink. I got a heavy duty rubbermaid tub and put the hyacinth there with a couple mosquito fish to keep the eggs eaten. They now exclusively use that tub and leave my pond alone.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:47PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Very good! Observation is really important. We really need the bees and wasps are good insect controls. If at all possible try to co-exist with them. I had a large greenhouse and a wasp colony lived inside there for years. They stopped any insect from getting into my plants. I did get stung once, it was on the handle of a lawn cart and I grabbed the handle without looking. The greenhouse had a temperature controlled vent and if it didn't go up early enough for them they would come looking for me to open up.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 10:55AM
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