Water Source

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Water Source

Unread post by Bryan » June 1st, 2015, 10:04 am

When looking at locations, I have noticed some have great access to water, others do not. How much water is necessary (ie: a pond or slough, or is dew and condensation enough?), and is it worth getting a feeder of some sort (a pail with rocks, or a chicken waterer with rocks in the tray?

Or...am I just trying to over-complicate things?

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Re: Water Source

Unread post by karen » June 2nd, 2015, 10:38 am

There is nothing complicated, you just need a wet spot, dripping hose or bucket with rags draped into it and out over the side to wick water, it doesn't need to be fancy.
There is a stream behind my house in a deep gorge but I still make sure there is water in my yard because there are swimming pools and hot tubs in my neighborhood. In my other yards there is either ponds on the farm or some type of irrigation so the bees get water. The dew is gone when the day gets hot and that is when they want water for cooling the hive so have water available in the heat of the day. On hot days I have seen a 5 or 6 hives of bees empty a bird bath a few times during the day.
I once went to use a hose that was about 100 feet long and I swear bees where in it all the way up to the facet after water. They where coming out in droves. If you have neighbors you really don't want their hose to end up filled with bees or their swimming pool.
Dew is not enough.

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Re: Water Source

Unread post by Charlie » June 2nd, 2015, 5:09 pm

I Totally agree with Karen. Bees need a water source all day long. I would also add they may need more than one source of water to keep them out of the neighbors yard. I have the following:

An artificial rock birdbath; there is so many bees on this birdbath that the birds can't actually take a bath.
A wide shallow container with potting soil that I keep wet
A wheelbarrow with a bunch of wood in the bottom of it.
And I sometimes leave a dripping hose.

On a hot day I see the bees everywhere drinking water, freshwater, old water I can tell you they seem to like at all with one notable exception. I have a plastic birdbath right beside the hives and they don't seem to be very keen on it. Despite all the water that I give them; my neighbor sent me a picture on the weekend where they were at his hose end drinking water.

I believe bees need more water during a dearth than when the flow was on.

For my rookie point of view you cannot give bees too much water (as long as you're not letting them drown) but you can run into problems by not giving them enough.

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Re: Water Source

Unread post by Countryboy » June 2nd, 2015, 7:44 pm

When I was a teenager, my uncle bought a 1000 hive commercial bee operation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. If I remember right, my Aunt said they tried to keep their bee yards within a mile of one of the rivers. They lived in Rapid City, but would drive by Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse on their way to the bee yards.

Here in Central Ohio, I have never worried about water sources for bees. There is always a pond or stream nearby. A lot of livestock farmers don't have to water livestock, because there are so many streams and ponds around. The way I see it, if there is enough water sources for lots of wild mammals, (like coons and deer and rabbits and possums and turkeys and groundhogs and squirrels) then there is enough water nearby for the bees.
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

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Re: Water Source

Unread post by Biermann » September 13th, 2015, 6:27 pm

Ha, found this and have to get my two pennies in. My hive is in irrigation country and I thought water is around us in good numbers until I noticed bees cramming around the water supply for the cats and dogs.

So, I made a second water source for the bees from a unused flower pot catch pan, but it is brown and the animal waterer is white. Guess were the bees are, right, on the white one and will not move. Now bees, cats and dogs drink together in questionable harmonie.

Next year is the plan for a self leveling bee watering gizmo.


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