Are you experiencing a problem with bees gathering around your bird bath? Don’t worry, it’s a common issue. Bird baths are attractive to bees because they offer a convenient water source. However, this can be problematic for both birds and bees.
To find practical solutions, it is crucial to understand why bees are attracted to bird baths. These bodies of water provide a refreshing relief from the hot sun, which makes them irresistible to our buzzing friends. However, there is no need to worry!
If you’re tired of sharing your bird bath with bees or worried about getting stung while enjoying your outdoor space, don’t worry. We’ve covered you with simple and effective methods to say goodbye to these buzzing pests. Keep reading to learn more.
Why are bees around my bird bath?
Like other animals or insects, bees also need water to survive, and bees use water for cooling and regulating their bodies’ temperatures. Here are some reasons why bees are visiting your birdbath:
- Reliable Water Source: Bees require water to survive and keep their hives functioning. Without other water sources, they may choose to drink from your bird bath, which is easily accessible and convenient.
- Scent: Bees are attracted to floral fragrances and may be drawn to bird baths near scented items, including soaps, lotions, oils, and flowering plants.
- Reflection: Bees are naturally drawn to reflective surfaces. The shiny surface of the water in the bird bath may catch their attention and make it appear as a potential water source.
- Need for Minerals: To supplement their diet, bees need minerals and salts in water. If the water in your bird bath is rich in minerals, it may attract bees.
- Heat and Evaporation: During hot weather, bees may be attracted to the bird bath because of the cooling effect caused by water evaporation. This creates a refreshing environment for them to gather around.
- Navigation Landmark: If you have a bird bath located in an open area or has a unique appearance, it may serve as a recognizable landmark for bees during their food search.
How To Get Rid Of Bees In A Bird Bath?
Providing an alternative water source
It is important to provide honey bees with water sources tailored to their needs to avoid them gathering in unsuitable areas such as bird baths. Doing so benefits both birds and bees by preventing potential conflicts and supporting bee populations in our surroundings.
To create a water station that is friendly to bees, you can simply provide a shallow dish or basin with clean water. It’s important to include floating objects like corks or twigs so that bees can land and access the water without any risks. You can also add pebbles or rocks inside the container to give bees more places to perch and prevent them from accidental drowning.
Place the alternative Water Source Near Flowers
To attract bees to their dedicated water source, it helps to place it close to blooming flowers. The sight of flowers nearby will catch the attention of bees and encourage them to visit the water source rather than go to the bird bath.
Provide a Sweet Addition
Bees are attracted to sweet scents, so adding something sweet to the water can help attract them. Add a small amount of sugar or honey to the water, stirring it gently to dissolve. Alternatively, you can place overripe fruits near the bee water source to release their sweet aromas, such as sliced oranges or watermelon.
Locating bird baths away from beehives
If you want to avoid attracting honey bees to your bird bath, keeping it away from beehives is important. Bees are naturally attracted to water sources, particularly when they are close to their hives. Placing your birdbath far from beehives can greatly decrease the likelihood of attracting unwanted bees to the bath.
Avoid planting bee-attracting flowers nearby
To prevent bees from being drawn towards your bird bath, it’s a good idea to avoid planting flowers nearby that are known to attract bees due to the abundant nectar and pollen they produce. Opt for alternative plants that are not attractive to bees or select flower types that are less appealing to them. This will help keep bees away from your bird bath.
Dry out Bird Bath completely for a quick period
Honey bees tend to establish reliable water sources once they discover them. To deter bees from considering your bird bath as a dependable water supply, it is recommended to dry out the water for a couple of days. Doing so disrupts their routine, making it less likely for them to return repeatedly. In the interim, provide an alternate water supply for bees and promote their visitation to the fresh source.
Using essential oils
Some essential oils, like peppermint oil and lemongrass oil, have a strong scent that can ward off bees. Adding a few drops of either oil around the edges of your bird bath may help keep bees away. Try using natural repellents like diluted peppermint, eucalyptus, or citrus essential oils to prevent bees from approaching your birdbath. These scents are known to discourage bees.
Preventing Bee Drownings: Reasons and Solutions
Bees are vital pollinators for our ecosystem, playing a crucial role in the reproduction of plants. However, they can sometimes meet an unfortunate fate when they encounter bird baths or water sources that are not bee-friendly, as they can inadvertently become death traps for bees. These tiny creatures often struggle to escape from the water’s surface because their delicate wings become wet and heavy. As a result, they may tire quickly and eventually drown. To avoid this unnecessary loss of life, it is essential to consider water sources that provide more accessible escape routes for bees.
Using Pebbles to Help Bees Escape
Adding pebbles to your bird bath can help bees climb out if they accidentally fall in. The pebbles provide a safe pathway and texture for grip, allowing bees to regain their footing and escape harm. This also helps break up the surface tension of the water, making it easier for struggling bees to reach safety.
Shallow or Sloped Surfaces Offer Escape Routes
One solution to preventing bee drownings is opting for bird bath designs with shallow or sloped surfaces. By providing these features, you enable bees to land on the water without submerging themselves completely. This allows them to drink safely while also having a better chance of taking flight if needed.
Floating Objects Provide Support
Another effective way to address the issue is by placing objects that float on the surface of the bird bath. These objects can serve as a lifeline for bees that may accidentally fall into the water, providing them with something to hold onto. Simple items such as corks or twigs can make a significant impact in saving these small creatures.
Regular Monitoring and Cleaning
Regularly monitoring and maintaining the cleanliness of your bird bath is essential to ensure the safety of bees that may visit. It is important to remove any accumulated debris, such as leaves, dirt, or dead insects, as these can create obstacles that may trap or pose a threat to bees in the water. Keeping your bird bath clean and free from potential hazards creates a safer environment for both birds and bees.
Incorporating Wood in Bird Baths for Bee Safety
Add wood or cork floats to your birdbath to give bees a safe place to land and rest while drinking water. In addition, add wooden platforms or rafts to your bird bath for bees to land on and create dedicated safe zones for them within the bath. This ensures their safety while they drink water.
Adding wood to your water station is both beautiful and beneficial for bees. Choose durable wood like cedar or teak to ensure longevity and resistance to water damage.
How to make a bee watering station?
Building a bee watering station is an easy and fulfilling way to help bees by giving them a vital source of water while keeping them away from bird feeding stations. By doing so, you can contribute to their health and conservation. Here is an easy-to-follow guide:
- Step 1: Choose a Container
To provide a drinking spot for bees, choose a shallow, wide container that can hold water. Look for a bowl, saucer, or tray with a flat surface where bees can rest while they drink.
- Step 2: Add Pebbles or Stones
Place small pebbles, stones, or marbles in the container as landing pads to prevent bees from drowning. Arrange them in a way that allows easy access to the water.
- Step 3: Fill with Water
Provide bees with a shallow water source by filling a container with clean water, covering pebbles but avoiding submerging them.
- Step 4: Add Floating Objects (Optional)
Add floating objects like corks, wood or plastic lids for more landing spots for bees to access the water.
- Step 5: Place in a Suitable Location
Place the bee watering station in a quiet area near flowers to help bees find it easily.
- Step 6: Maintain and Refill
Check and refill the watering station regularly with fresh water to keep it clean and prevent bacteria growth. This is important for the bees’ health.
- Step 7: Avoid Chemicals
Keep water clean for bees. No chemicals, pesticides, or sweeteners. Contaminants harm them.
If you want a dedicated bee bath for your yard, you can look out at the Navaris Bee Watering Station.
Here is an excellent video you can watch:
In conclusion, dealing with bees in your bird bath can be a nuisance, but there are effective methods to keep them away and ensure the safety of both the bees and your bird bath.
By following these suggestions and implementing measures to keep bees away from your bird bath, you can create a peaceful and enjoyable environment for both birds and humans alike. Remember that it’s important to respect the role of bees in our ecosystem while ensuring they do not become a nuisance around your bird bath.
Will removing my birdbath completely solve the problem?
You might not need to remove the birdbath completely. By offering other water sources and taking preventative measures, you can effectively discourage bees from using it.
Can I use pesticides to get rid of bees in my bird bath?
To protect bees and other beneficial insects, avoiding pesticides is advisable. Instead, it is recommended to prioritize prevention and create a welcoming environment for bees. Try using essential oil or natural repellents, such as diluted peppermint or eucalyptus, to keep bees away.
How often should I change the water in my bird bath?
To avoid stagnant water and ensure cleanliness in the bird bath, it’s recommended to change the water every few days. Additionally, this practice also reduces the appeal of bees due to the presence of fresh water.
Are there any specific types of wood that are better for incorporating into a bird bath?
To provide safe landing spots for bees, it’s best to use untreated wood like cedar or redwood. Avoid using chemically treated or painted wood that may pose harm to these beneficial insects.
Will placing pebbles inside the bird bath really help bees escape if they fall in?
A helpful tip for bird bath owners is to place pebbles or stones inside. This provides a means for bees to climb out in case they accidentally fall in. By doing this simple addition, you can help save their lives.
Can I use artificial bee repellents to keep them away from my bird bath?
It is advised against using artificial bee repellents as they can harm bees and other beneficial insects. Instead, choosing natural alternatives is a safer and more eco-friendly approach.
What else can I do to make my outdoor space less attractive to bees?
In addition to the previously mentioned suggestions, minimizing open food containers, tightly sealing trash cans, and practicing good hygiene outdoors to avoid attracting bees is helpful.