I have offered my bees a fresh water source in the form of a bird bath. I placed it about 3 yards to the east of the south facing hive (I’m in the northern hemisphere) The pool is across the yard about 30 yards to the north of the hive. There is also a small natural pond about the same distance away as the pool. I keep finding drowned bees in the pool. Any suggestions on how to keep the bees away from the pool?
give them a water source just over 20’ away, As I understand 20’ is just far enough away so they will forage.
I live in a neighborhood with houses about 30’ apart, I never see bee’s in my pool, I see some bees getting water out of the plants water catcher bowl, but not many
I did put a little lemongrass oil around it on on these rocks
You could try filling a feeder with just water and placing it inside the hive. I’ve seens that done in hot climates and just hope they take the lazy option. Worth a try I guess.
You need to understand that bees are attracted to water because of several things:
Smell. They can recruit bees to a source that has odor. Chlorine has odor. So does sewage.
Warmth. Warm water can be taken on even moderately chilly days. Cold water cannot because when the bees get chilled they can’t fly home.
Reliability. Bees prefer a reliable source.
Accessibility. Bees need to be able to get to the water without falling in. A horse tank or bucket with no floats does not work well. A creek bank provides such access as they can land on the bank and walk up to the water. A barrel or bucket does not unless you provide ladders or floats or both. I use a bucket of water full of old sticks. The bees can land on the stick and climb down to the water.
Try to make a more attractive water source.
@Martydallas thanks for the tip, I moved my water to just over 20’ away, and boom, bees all over it. And here i thought i was helping by having it close to the hive…
LOL, I don’t know where I read it. When setting up my hive, there was only one good place for my water source and that then dictated where my hive needed to be. Glad to know it worked. A lot of what I do is only on what I read or on here. it is not from practice but I will fill this away as something that works
Thanks for the tips
I’ll try the rocks and lemon grass oil
And move it a little further away
here is my side yard set up with my water fountain for the girls
Very nice. I have 2 questions for you. Do you use a filter for the pump? Do you worry about mosquito larvae?
Yes I worry about mosquito larvae all the time.
What you don’t see below this fountain is a 10 gallon reservoir of water. The water is pumped up over the rocks and then flows slowly back down into the 10 gallon reservoir below. I do add chlorine occasionally to the water to help kill mosquitoes. If there’s anything else I can do it would be greatly appreciated to know. Thought about getting an ultraviolet water pump but not sure if that will help kill mosquitoes as well.
I have a tarp on the ground crumpled up that collects water and makes for lots of places for them to land and collect. it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing, but they love it. Only seen one drown.
Success. Thanks for the tips.