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Sarah

"Dirty" water really is the bees knees

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Hi everyone,
I'm currently researching into honey bee health at the Bio Protection Research Centre and have quite a strong focus on salt foraging in mineral-rich "dirty" water. It's quite a hot topic at the moment in the bee-research world, but I'd really like to know if anyone has seen this phenomenon first-hand! Whether you've seen bees drinking from pools, streams, the ocean, puddles, garden ornaments etc etc... I'd love to hear about it! 

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/118605431/honey-bees-need-better-nutrition-and-nz-scientists-think-they-can-help

 

Edited by Sarah

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Bees dying on surf beaches is a constant item of news all up and down the coast where we live, and google provides many examples.

It is a news media staple, every year or two.

I maintain they are foraging salt and are knocked over by waves.

Inland this may well come from cow pats or dirty water.

I have seen a surprising large number of dead bees in the high tide line for over a km of walking along the beach.

 

https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/83983-bees-on-beach-pose-problem.html

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/347165/whangamata-inundated-with-dying-bees

 

 

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its fairly common.

drinking out of spa pools, water dribbling out of a rocky bank, milking shed cow pads, edges of puddles.

heard of beeks putting out salt blocks for them, tho i have not seen it done personally.

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bees love something under the dog kennels im assuming its the urine they are after. 

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My bees love my fish  pond , which I often fill from my dam .

Also  bees hang out in seeps from banks .

Never any Interest in the chooks or cats water which is always clean .

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1 hour ago, Sarah said:

! Whether you've seen bees drinking from pools, streams, the ocean, puddles, garden ornaments etc etc... I'd love to hear about it!

i've seen bees drinking from all sorts of water sources, both clean and dirty...

i suspect that factors such as temperature, ease of access and fly away without getting stuck, thickness of water film etc come into play. Seen bees gathered at a dripping tap or hose left dripping for just that purpose plenty of times, and bees loving corrugated timber decking after it had been hosed down - just a couple of less dirty water situations :)

 

We've all heard hypotheses about bees collecting water from dirty sources being due to some sort of mineral deficiency, but I've never seen anything to support it. It's similar to the claim that stores from nectar produce stronger hives than stores from sugar syrup, all else being equal - i'd like to believe it, but I don't have any reason to. Would be interested in reading the link to the research supporting:

"Another strand of the research asks why bees prefer "dirty" water over fresh water. Bees have often been observed drinking from puddles, ponds and even swimming pools. It's now thought that bees prefer these water sources because of their mineral contents."

8 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

My bees love my fish  pond , which I often fill from my dam .

Also  bees hang out in seeps from banks .

Never any Interest in the chooks or cats water which is always clean .

is that clean chook and cat water somewhat deep and on surfaces that don't provide much traction for bees to stand and collect water from? in contrast to steeps and the fish pond?

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A workmates shed has a bucket of sand he uses in lieu of trapsing back to the house to pee.

Bees have been attracted to it since spring . Each Monday I get the 'Bee Pee " report.

I recently posted a photo of the bees mining damp potting mix.

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3 hours ago, Sarah said:

Hi everyone,
I'm currently researching into honey bee health at the Bio Protection Research Centre and have quite a strong focus on salt foraging in mineral-rich "dirty" water. It's quite a hot topic at the moment in the bee-research world, but I'd really like to know if anyone has seen this phenomenon first-hand! Whether you've seen bees drinking from pools, streams, the ocean, puddles, garden ornaments etc etc... I'd love to hear about it! 

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/118605431/honey-bees-need-better-nutrition-and-nz-scientists-think-they-can-help

 

Hi Sarah
This topic has been touched on before here.
Ive seen a good examples of this,
A farm with ample good clean troughs and also some non flowing catchments that are heavily contaminated with drystock runoff.

The shaded but very dirty pond would be at least 80m2 and a magnet for Bees, whereas the clean water attracts few obvious bees.
Similarly troughs on another block that are disconnected from a water supply and fill with rainwater only.
These troughs attract Bees also.

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