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Providing water for bees


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I've noticed that despite the rubbish temperatures we're getting this summer, there are a number of bees making their way over to one of the dogs watering bowls (the one that catches some afternoon sun). They clearly prefer this to the pond water on the other side of the garden, which is in the shade at this time of day.

 

So my question is sort of split into two. What is the best way of providing water to the bees that

  • they will use in preference to the dog bowl
  • prevents them from drowning

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I've been reading other sites as well as here and one said a tap dripping into sand will give bees all the water they need. It also said they prefer fresh shallow water (Shallow being damp ground rather than pooling water). Probably why they go after the dogs bowl rather than green pond water.

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the bees love the water sitting in the middle of the cow pats in the paddock a bit disconcerting when you have honey supers on :eek:

Ooh er!

 

The modified bee pool and sauna seems to have gone down well

 

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Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

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Yep I have noticed the bees trying to locate loads of water, we have a cat litter tray (Unused) with stones in for them.

 

I have drilled holes in the side, so the stones don't get covered in water.

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Yep I have noticed the bees trying to locate loads of water, we have a cat litter tray (Unused) with stones in for them.

 

I have drilled holes in the side, so the stones don't get covered in water.

How far away have you needed to put it from the hives? Ideally I'd like to locate it a bit closer than where it is.

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Like the idea of stones Gary, I have used twigs and they get a bit mouldy. I just have a saucer with a plastic drinks bottle in it. At the base of the bottle is a 4mm hole that is about 6-8mm up from the bottom. Fill the bottle with water and screw the cap on. As the water is used /evaporates the level drops below the hole and some air is sucked into the bottle and some water is released. Need to clean the water every couple of weeks, although they are getting through it a bit faster at the moment.

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Like the idea of stones Gary, I have used twigs and they get a bit mouldy. I just have a saucer with a plastic drinks bottle in it. At the base of the bottle is a 4mm hole that is about 6-8mm up from the bottom. Fill the bottle with water and screw the cap on. As the water is used /evaporates the level drops below the hole and some air is sucked into the bottle and some water is released. Need to clean the water every couple of weeks, although they are getting through it a bit faster at the moment.

Here is the old we made ages ago, we found feeding the bees Southern Comfort caused them to lose their way home. And also lie about where they had been all night :) . But with Water it works pretty well.

 

sdc10542.jpg

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Our bees are drinking from our Aquaponics garden bed... During the day there are around a dozen or so bees drinking at one time as well as the odd wasp drinking.. The garden bed is flooded every 15 minutes and the bees have plenty of places to stand without drowning...

 

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My bees like the doorway to my bee shed. The ''door'' is one of those ubiquitous blue tarpaulines and it is a bit long. Water pools on the bit that lies on the the ground and there are always bees drinking there. They also like drinking from water on the flax leaves after a shower.

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the bees love the water sitting in the middle of the cow pats in the paddock a bit disconcerting when you have honey supers on :eek:

This is has been a real concern for medical honey producers

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