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Water supply ideas


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Hive entrance design - morning sun
The Birds and Bees?




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It is simple until they take over your neighbor’s swimming pool or a city drinking fountain. When bees are kept in a suburban or city setting water should be provided to be a good neighbor. All it takes is one bad police report to set off those neighbors with a fear of bees. Unfortunately, the general public lumps hornets, wasps, and bees into the same catagory. :frowning:


I was curious about this too. My neighbor has a pool. There’s a solid wood, 7’ tall privacy fence between us so maybe the bees are going up and spreading out. Don’t want to alarm anyone either though so I thought about maybe setting up a water supply for them. If the next door neighbor didn’t have a pool I would be less concerned.


I have an aquaponic system for my backyard pond which is essentially water goes into a pebble filled pool, drains out, fills up back again. This process basically grows garden plants super well and offers a safe place for bees to drink.


I’ve heard bees don’t like chlorinated water but that seems to conflict with their like of swimming pools.

do they prefer hard or soft water? i can give them rainwater or chlorinated groundwater.


In one of my other bee groups on Facebook a member stated that bees are drawn to chlorine as they are to salt blocks after a rain. I will see if I can find that conversation again.


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They don’t seem to mind either and love saltwater pools too. I was feeding mine chlorinated water via a spray bottle over the entrance once a day to help with a chalkbrood issue I was having.


I can say that I find bees mostly in the changed daily (or every other) water of our animals and then a few (but far less) in the horse tanks that are always full and don’t get fresh water very often.
These are just local “wild” bee’s. I will be interested to see what mine do when I start my hive.


@DextersShed what salt blocks do you use? Animal feed ones? Do the bees take salt straight from them or do you need to dissolve them in water?


I’ve found this blog with interesting comments, including one by Michael Bush. Seems to be a consistent theme of bees liking to take water from mud/mulch/compost etc…


My bees love the brown “tea” water in my basins of moss and carnivorous plants. The pitcher plants are planted in nothing but peat moss and tons of water. The wrens like it too. Once I saw a wren land among the bees to get a drink. I thought here’s trouble coming. But they ignored each other and went ino their own ways. I expected total war over territory but was pleasantly surprised. I think I will experiment with filling a non-draining pot with peat and water to see what happens. The moss will just show up on its own.


Excellent link @Dunc!


Apparently bees can sense/taste with their feet and seem to be able to identify salt before actually landing, but according to this article, they can’t sense the bitter chemicals of poison.


Unfortunately in the US there have been reports that bees are actually drawn to pestcide products that are poisonous to them. I chose not to list the company name but it has been banned in other parts of the world. What no one understands yet is why they are drawn to it.


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So, you are OK having your bees drink all the chemicals that are in your neighbor’s pool water? Chlorine is probably the worst thing for bees. I suggest creating a purer form of water, like a rain barrel with sticks floating in it so they can land safely.