Bees in the Hot Tub? How to Get Rid of Them So You Can Soak In Peace

July 5, 2012

An Olympic Hot Tub owner & Hot Tub Bliss reader asks: “what can I do about bees in and around my hot tub?”

Dear Bees in My Hot Tub:

There’s no easy answer. Bees are attracted to water especially during warmer months.  First make sure that the cover is on the hot tub during the daylight hours when the hot tub is not in use.

Also, there are some other things that attract bees such as certain flowering plants and fruit trees, foods, soft drinks etc. If possible remove flowering shrubs or fruit trees from the area around the hot tub. And, be sure to  remove empty soda cans or food plates, drinks, etc. right after use.

If the bees are a continual problem,  consider a gazebo type enclosure over the hot tub with screened windows. Unfortunately here in Puget Sound bees are a  problem from time to time and there are really no products on the market to help keep flying insects out of the tub.

Don’t feel bad. You are not alone. It’s surprising how many people have problems with bees in and around their hot tubs, and they all describe similar problems with smelly water and dead bees in their filters.

There are a couple of reasons for bees wanting to come to hot tubs or pools for water. The bees are after water to cool their hive. There’s one school of thought that says the “people smell” in hot tub water leads bees to stop by for a drink. If you put in fresh water, the bees may stop coming to the tub for a short time.
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This is an odd situation of cause and effect – because on many counts, dead bees lead to more funky smells, which lead to more bees. However, once the bees establish your hot tub as a steady supply of water, they know where to come back for more.

Believe it or not – if enough bees die in your hot tub in the spring, it has been said that you can even get poison oak/ivy from the oils they leave on the surface of the water. YIKES!

Here are some things you can do:

1)  A GOOD COVER WITH PERFECT FIT IS A MUST.  Make sure your cover has a good seal. If you see steam coming from any areas around the tub, you can use a layer of the puffy side of Velcro to provide a better seal, or use foam tape that can be found for sealing cracks around windows or air conditioners. Or, better yet, get a new cover.

2)  BEEKEEPER NEXT DOOR? If you know a neighbor keeps bees, make sure he has provided a water supply close to the hives, or if you know of a wild bee hive nearby, have it remove by a registered, licensed exterminator. This is not a DIY project no matter how easy it looks on TV!

3)  PROVIDE AN ALTERNATE WATER SOURCE. If you don’t know where the bees are coming from, consider providing them with an alternate water source. Fill a shallow pan or birdbath with some sand, and then add water just above the level of the sand. Bees will find this attractive because they can drink without falling in and drowning. Place this new source near your hot tub (in the shade if possible). After a day or two of hot weather, move it gradually away from the hot tub, a few feet at a time until it is as far as possible from your hot tub. Hopefully this will draw the bees away from he hot tub & you can soak in peace.

4)  CLEAN WATER ALWAYS.  Make sure your hot tub water’s always clean.  When you’re ready, drain your hot tub and start with a fresh supply of water. Make sure to flush your plumbing lines with a good jet line cleaner like CleanStart by SilkBalance before you drain it.  When you have it filled again, put in a good quality made in America shock even before you start using it.  Bacteria comes from the water in your hose, too, so you need to start sanitizing right away. If you don’t have an ozonator you may want to consider one – it will help sanitize your water and cut down on your chemical usage as well as funky smells that attract bees.

Good luck, and please let me know how it turns out!

RES EST SERVAS VOLUPTAS. Pleasure is serious business.


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