Bees use their wings to escape water when caught in it. Although they don’t swim, they have their way of getting to safety. Bees will propel themselves out of the water by using their wings as a hydrofoil. Many are capable of saving themselves, but sometimes they may need a helping hand.
Can Bees Swim?
Bees are unable to swim because their wings offer limited movement. Although they can hold their breath for about five minutes, getting stuck in water is not an ideal situation for a bee. This can happen when bees are trying to cool off or have a drink.
What Happens When a Bee Lands on Water?
When a bee lands on water, the water will stick to its wings. This makes it impossible to fly right away.
Bees’ wings move incredibly fast, so a bee in water will use its wings to create ripples. Their wings won’t beat at the same speed and degree as when they’re dry, but it’s enough to create small waves. The bee will then ride the ripples it created to surf forward in the water. They will do this until they reach a surface.
The way bees can create waves that propel them is called hydrofoiling. However, a bee cannot keep hydrofoiling for more than ten minutes as it will get fatigued.
Why Can’t Bees Fly Away When They Land on Water?
The water drags and pulls a bee’s wings down when it lands on it. Bee wings are covered in tiny hair follicles and are extremely lightweight and thin.
The zero weight of wings are not strong enough to shuck water off of them. Additionally, hair on wings makes them stickier, just like how the hair on bees’ bodies makes pollen stick to them.
How Long Can A Bee Survive On The Water Before It Drowns?
A bee that is hydrofoiling its way to safety may be able to do so for around ten minutes. If their attempts to fly out of the water fail, it is most likely because their wings are weighed down. As a result of this, they can end up drowning which could take five minutes.
Do Bees Need Water to Survive?
Bees have hydration needs in addition to food. They also use it to cool down in hot weather.
Can Bees Breathe Underwater?
Bees cannot breathe underwater, but they can be submerged for up to five minutes.
Bees don’t breathe through mouthparts like humans. They have air holes all over their body to breathe. These holes are known as spiracles, and they connect to air sacs within a bee’s body.
Spiracles have valve-like muscles that can open and close them. This ability allows bees to close their spiracles underwater. Additionally, they are able to use the oxygen in their air sacs for a short amount of time.
How Do Bees Breathe?
Bees have a tracheal respiratory system. This means that there are multiple tracheae and tracheoles bees use to breathe. There are no lungs in a bee’s body.
Tracheoles are little branches that fulfil a bee’s need for oxygen. The air travels through tracheae and tracheoles and throughout the bee’s system. The bee equivalent of blood is hemolymph. Hemolymph circulates around the bee’s internal organs to spread the necessary nutrients and oxygen. This anatomical makeup is called an open circulatory system.
Between air holes (spiracles) and tracheoles are air sacs. These little sacs are surrounded by muscles that squeeze air in and out of the tracheae and tracheoles.
Why Are Bees Attracted to Swimming Pools?
Although getting stuck in water can be dangerous, bodies of water are vital for bees’ and hives’ survival. Worker bees will bring water back to the hive to give to larvae and other hive mates. Nectar has water in it, but it’s not enough to sustain bees. Honey is dehydrated nectar, and bees don’t get hydrated from it.
Swimming pools are large and available in many neighbourhoods. They may be the closest thing to a pond or a lake for a bee colony. They drink the water, bring it back to others, and regulate the hive’s temperature.
Additionally, the smell of chlorine is attractive to bees and wasps.
What Should You Do if You Find a Bee in a Swimming Pool?
A bee in your swimming pool can cause alarm, especially if there are kids around. However, bees are not interested in propelling towards you to sting. They’re using all of their energy to get out of the water.
When you see a bee struggling in a pool, gently use an object to scoop it out. The surface you put them on should not have a big puddle, as it will stay stuck to the water.
You can also help revive the bee by offering pure water or sugar water. Sugar water should be made with granulated cane sugar or refined white sugar crystals. Other kinds of sugar, syrup, or honey can be harmful. You can place drops under its mouth and see if it will drink some.
Ways to Keep Bees Out of Your Pool
There are easy ways to keep bees out of your pool without hurting them. One way is to place water in a bowl or bird feeder and keep it in a spot where bees won’t bother anybody. Bees are likely to gravitate to alternative water sources. Don’t put out sugar water because you will attract other insects, like ants.
You can use plants to keep bees away. Eucalyptus is unpleasant to bees and placing a eucalyptus tree will keep them out. You can even use lemongrass or wormwood.
Using these tactics will ward off wasps as well, which are much more likely to sting than bees.