Why Honey Bees Gather Around Hot Tubs

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Bees are attracted to the water vapor and smell from hot tubs.
Bees are attracted to the water vapor and smell from hot tubs. (Image: Bees image by Lochinvar Sturdy from Fotolia.com)

Without a doubt, bees are attracted to hot tubs. The combination of water vapor, chemicals and smells draws bees right into one of the places where you least want them. Getting rid of the bees without using noxious chemicals to kill them involves staging a two-pronged attack.

The Hot Tub as a Water Source for Bees

During the spring, your hot tub offers a tempting source of warm water for bees emerging from the hive after a long winter. The heat of the tub spreads water vapor into the air, attracting the attention of any bees in the area. Once they become habituated to using the hot tub as a water source, they will continue to do so out of habit during the summer, carrying the water back and using it to cool their hive.

The Hot Tub as a Chemical Lure for Bees

Your hot tub offers more to bees than just a water source. The water vapor wafting through the air contains an alluring hint of salt and chemicals. Bees need minerals, just like all animals. Before the flowers start to bloom, a local hot tub looks like lunch to a bee. Bees are also attracted to the human pheromones floating around a hot tub, especially one that hasn't been thoroughly cleaned recently.

Luring Bees Away from the Hot Tub

Once bees have homed in on your hot tub, you'll have to make them a better offer somewhere nearby in order to make them change their habits. Offer bees a shallow pan with sand in the bottom and enough water to barely cover it. That way, they can stand on the sand and drink without risking drowning. Move the pan further away from the hot tub each day. A second pan with sea salt dissolved in the water will supply needed minerals.

Making the Hot Tub Less Attractive to Bees

Even if you think your hot tub is fairly clean, take the time to drain it and clean it thoroughly, then refill it. Make sure to remove any dead bees in the area at the same time. Finally, keep the hot tub covered at all times when it's not in use. In addition to acting as a physical barrier, the cover will keep the water vapor and attractive smells from spreading far and wide on the wind.

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