How to Keep Bees Away From the Pool

Keeping bees away from your pool area can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem during the summer months. With some simple tips and tricks, you can deter bees and create a safe swimming environment for your family and guests.

Use Physical Barriers

One of the most effective ways to keep bees away is to set up physical barriers that prevent them from reaching the pool water. Here are some options:

Install Screen Enclosures

Screened patio enclosures are a great way to keep all types of insects out of your pool area. Aluminum framed screens can be custom built to enclose your entire pool and seating areas. This allows you to enjoy an insect-free zone while swimming or relaxing outdoors. The screens still allow sunlight and fresh air to pass through.

Use Pool Covers

When not in use, tightly sealing your pool with a fitted cover denies bees access to the water. Most covers attach to the pool decking with grommets or hooks to create a tight seal. Solar covers that float on the surface also create a protective barrier.

Hang Bee Exclusion Netting

Fine exclusion netting can be installed around the perimeter of your pool deck to keep bees from entering the area. The netting has small openings that allow breeze and light through but exclude bees and other flying insects. It’s an affordable option for safeguarding your pool from bees.

Employ Natural Repellents

Certain plants, herbs, and oils act as natural bee repellents without the use of harsh chemicals. Use these natural options around your pool:


Mint is easy to grow and serves as an excellent bee repellent. Plant mint in pots around the pool or rub crushed mint leaves on furniture and deck rails. The strong scent deters bees from landing.


Oils extracted from citronella plants have a pleasant aroma for humans but repel bees. Use citronella essential oils in torches, candles, or diffusers around your pool.


Whole clove buds or clove essential oil repels bees due to its potent aroma. Scatter cloves around potted plants or apply clove oil to cotton balls. Place near pool chairs or tables to keep bees away.


The scent of lavender repels bees but attracts people! Plant lavender bushes around your pool or apply lavender oil to your skin. Dried lavender bundles also help repel bees when placed on tables.

Maintain Your Pool

Keeping your pool water clean and balanced deters bees from congregating. Follow these tips:

Clean Regularly

Regularly skim debris off the pool surface and vacuum the bottom. Debris attracts bees looking for food sources.

Balance Chemicals

Test and adjust pool chemicals weekly to keep the water pH and sanitizer levels balanced. Bees are often attracted to mineral deposits or algae in unbalanced water.

Check for Leaks

Repair any pool leaks that cause standing water to collect on the surrounding deck or lawn. Bees drink from and are drawn to small pools of water.

Reduce Sweet Smells

Avoid using sweet smelling lotions or perfume before swimming. The sugary fragrances can lure bees to the pool area.

Use Deterrents Cautiously

Some common bee deterrents are harmful to bees or people when used improperly:

  • Only use insecticides labeled for water use around pools. Never mix chemicals together.
  • Smoke from fire pits may deter bees but can irritate lungs. Avoid prolonged exposure.
  • Ultrasonic repellents may disturb neighbors or harm pets. Place them judicially.

When Bees Persist Near Your Pool

If you’ve tried these tips and still have persistent bees, call a bee removal specialist rather than attempting removal yourself. They have the proper protective gear and knowledge to relocate the hive humanely. With some diligence, your pool can soon become a bee-free summer oasis!

Frequently Asked Questions About Keeping Bees Away From Your Pool

How far should I plant mint or other repellents from my pool?

Plant natural repellents like mint 5-10 feet away from pool water. This allows the scent to permeate the area without having leaves and debris fall directly into the water.

What kind of netting works best for excluding bees?

Very fine netting with holes smaller than 1/10th of an inch excludes all flying insects. Stainless steel or polyester netting holds up well outdoors. Make sure it’s installed tightly with no gaps.

Why do bees swarm my pool – are they attracted to something?

Bees need water to cool their hives and are often attracted to pool chemicals like chlorine. Stagnant pool water, sweet lotions, or fallen food can also attract bee swarms searching for nourishment.

Are ultrasonic repellents safe for children and pets?

Ultrasonic devices may disturb infants, dogs, cats and other animals that have sensitive hearing. Carefully read product guidelines before use and place them judicially around your pool.

Will citronella oil repel bees but allow humans to use the pool?

Yes, citronella deters bees but the aroma is quite pleasant to humans. Apply citronella oil around the perimeter of the pool area, not directly in the water. The bees will be repelled before they reach the pool.

How often should I have a bee removal service inspect my property?

If you’ve had bee issues near your pool in the past, have a bee specialist inspect your property each spring to identify and remove any new hives before pool season starts.

What should I do if a bee hive has already settled near my pool?

Do not try removing an established hive yourself. Call a professional bee removal service to safely relocate the colony. Until it’s removed, keep swimmers away from the area of the hive to prevent stings.


A backyard pool can quickly transform from a relaxing oasis into a frustrating bee zone during the summer. Deterring bees requires diligently employing barriers, natural repellents, and smart maintenance practices. Screens, covers, and netting deny bees access to the water, while plants like mint and citronella repel them with aromas they find unpleasant. Keeping your pool water clean and balanced also discourages bee swarms from congregating. With some consistent effort, you can outwit bees and keep your swimmers happy and safe all season long. If an established hive develops near your pool, never try removing bees yourself and promptly call in an expert bee removal service.