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Bees! All around the water tubs! Do not want!

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  • Bees! All around the water tubs! Do not want!

    Any ideas for getting rid of bees that are hanging out and sometimes swarming all around my poor horses' two water tubs? I don't know where they're coming from -- there's no hive on my small property, anyway, but they're -loitering- all around the water far too much for my comfort.

    One of my geldings got stung last week, and I can't even bring the hose out to refill the water without it attracting even more bees.

    Every time I think about going out there and spraying bee spray in the general area (but, of course, not in or near the water), there are bees still there, and I'm -not- about to wind up as the lady on the evening news who landed in the hospital with hundreds of bee stings because I sprayed them and made them angry!

    So far the only unhelpful tips I've found online regarding bees around water in general were draining the water source for a few days (can't) and adding vinegar to the water source (can't). Help?
    Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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  • #2
    Can you call a beekeeper or exterminator? I'd worry that they are Africanized bees, being in the SW.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      They probably are africanized, as that's what we have here. I was trying not to spend the money on an exterminator, and I also don't know what they can spray near the water that wouldn't hurt/poision the horses! But I also don't want to get myself stung multiple times, either!
      Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
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      • #4
        I'll second calling the bee expert. We had a HUGE network of ground-hives several years ago, called this bee removal guy, and, however he did it (I don't remember, I was probably 10 at the time) found and got rid of them all.

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        • #5
          Sounds like there may be nests underneath the troughs.

          Call a professional.
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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          • #6
            you certainly could put a couple of cups of vinegar in the water... Horses don't taste the way we do, and most LOVE vinegar, and we used to use it to mask 'new water' at shows! Worth trying a cup of cider vinegar (and then of course monitoring to be sure of drinking... ) but it might surprize you...
            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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            • #7
              You could make them something that works better for them - bees need a little landing platform so they can sit and use their proboscis to suck up water. A relatively shallow dish with gravel and sand (like a fake beach) at one end works well, DH used to float landscaping bark in a bucket, maybe a hummingbird feeder with plain water? Put a bunch out in areas where nobody will get bothered, if you have flat rooftops they work great, just remember to refill faithfully.

              They fly about four miles max away from the hive, if yours is the only source of water then having the bees removed will only help you a little. I'd recommend adding additional sources of water where the bees and the horses won't collide.
              Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
              Incredible Invisible

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                I do have shallow water dishes outside, for the wild rabbits (yes, I do actually have SUCKER stamped on my forehead -- I enjoy the bunnies), but the bees leave those water bowls alone. We have a swimming pool not far from the horses, but the bees don't hang out there aound that water. They've pretty much moved in around my water troughs. My neighbors right next-door have water tubs out for their horses, too; why can't the bees go next-door??

                I could try a "hummingbird"/bee-feeder with some water in it, too, as a distraction.

                Gah, I hope they're not ground bees under the troughs. But that might explain why they reappear so quickly the minute I bring the hose out to provide fresh water.

                Last summer, I had an issue with bees sleeping at night on the door to my tack room and all along the flourescent light under my mare motel roof. As soon as I'd turn the lights on in the early morning, the bees would wake up. That was solved by getting a tall ladder and a can of bee repellent during the day when there were no bees around. After a few days of spraying, no more bees. I don't know where those came from, either. I've never found a hive.

                Maybe I'll try a small amount of vinegar for starters, PP... It's getting to be our hot weather, so I was worried about changing anything that might prevent the horses from drinking enough water. but it would be a really small amount compared to the amount of water in the tubs, hopefully just enough to make the bees buzz off.
                Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
                Visit him on Facebook:
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                • #9
                  Yep, bet they are ground bees.

                  What do they look like? Honey bees are relatively small. "yellow" ground bees are relatively large.

                  Are they bees or wasps?
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                  • #10
                    I bet they are nesting under the trough, and when you fill it it disturbs them. Just don't lift up the trough to look!!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      They were gone for a few days because we had a relative "cold snap," but they're back again. I'm going to buy some vinegar today and try that.

                      Yesterday I noticed that the horses already aren't drinking as much because of the bees -- after I rode one horse, he went over to get a drink, stood there looking annoyed and sad with bees buzzing around him, then walked away without getting any water.

                      They're not wasps, just regular bees, maybe bigger than honey bees, or maybe our honey bees are just larger than others. I don't think they're actually under the troughs, either (but! note: I'm not checking!).

                      They usually do die off, or go wherever else they go, as soon as our really hot weather kicks in. As much as I'm enjoying our less hot weather, I'd welcome the furnace to make the bees go away!
                      Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
                      Visit him on Facebook:
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                      • #12
                        I'd move the trough and check for nest holes after dark
                        Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                        The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

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                        • #13
                          I'd call a pro and get them to spray. Can you provide the horses with water somewhere else for a few days? Hang buckets?

                          Or what about netting around the troughs? If you used fine enough net, they wouldn't be able to get through it.
                          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Last night I poured about 2 cups of apple cider vinegar into the big 75-gallon tub, and smaller amounts into my three other muck buckets filled with water that I have around for the horses. The 75-gallon tub is the one the bees mostly swarm around.

                            This morning, I started to fill the big tub as usual, and as usual the bees reappeared, buzzing around. I noticed that they seemed to have gone away shortly after that, when they're usually really active around the water. There were a few dead ones in the water, and a cluster of others on the edge of the tub, just sitting there. (Can bees look sad?) After I was done riding, I looked again. Still mostly just bees sitting on the edge, a few buzzing around, but not nearly the usual morning bee activity I've seen. So, it seems to have done *some*thing!

                            So I wonder, were the sitting there because they were dying or didn't like the vinegar-flavored water, or were they sitting there lapping it up, saying "nom nom vinegar nom"? Will the vinegar really make my bees go away now, or will the bees just have shinier yellow coats from apple cider viegar? I'll add more vinegar tonight to see.

                            I didn't have on appropriate footwear last night for checking under the big tub for a ground bee nest.
                            Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
                            Visit him on Facebook:
                            http://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyRanch-Horse

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't have on appropriate footwear last night for checking under the big tub for a ground bee nest.



                              you mean running shoes?
                              Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                              The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Exactly, LOL! "Running fast from bees" shoes.
                                Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
                                Visit him on Facebook:
                                http://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyRanch-Horse

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