It's summertime and everyone's ready for pooltime - except bees and other beneficial insects. Pollinators get hot and thirsty, just like us, and ultimately, they are attracted to backyard pools of all types. Since they're not good swimmers, bees, wasps, and other insects usually end up drowning or worse - stinging a guest in your pool.
We came up with some ways to keep pollinators out of the pool and even some creative ways to keep them happy and hydrated! An important fact: Bees need water not only to drink, but they take some back to the hive for other bees, larva, and even mixing with honey to keep it properly diluted. That means, a busy hive can use over a quart of water everyday with over 800 bees making 50 trips to their favorite water source!
One of our favorite creative water concepts which serves several needs, is a birdbath featuring a solar-powered water pump that not only visually attracts the little pollinators, but also provides a beautiful addition to your yard. We suggest observing which direction bees are flying in from and towards your pool area. Place the water feature at least 12 feet from the pool along the flight path to provide a safe alternative. Adding rocks to the basin will also provide landing areas above the water line for bees to safely land on and catch a drink.
Besides birdbaths, you can use half barrels with water lillies and floating leaves to give them watering options. We also love the bamboo water pump you can add to most any water container. Water pumps keep water fresh and free of mosquitos looking for still and shallow water to lay eggs. The sounds from these fountains add to the ambience and "chill factor" of any outdoor setting. You can also plant blooming plants and flowers to provide them with nectar and pollen while they're nearby. Like, a Buc-ee's er.. Buc-bee's!
Read more about our ideas and other gardening and bee experts in this new article from Homes & Gardens Magazine. Okay! Grab and drink and let's go play Marco Polo! Arkearth is a 501(c)3 and we rely on your financial support through donations and shopping in our online store where you can create your own Pollination Accelerator project!