Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bees Need Water, Too!

It's not officially spring yet. So although my weather has been warm enough to see bees flying, it hasn't been what I would deem objectively warm. However, I still spotted this fuzzy little girl yesterday searching for water. Just as much as nectar or pollen, bees need water to live. In fact, they'll even mark good watering spots with pheromones so that other bees can find them. I've also heard that feral bees like to build their hives near a water source, too.

Thirsty girl

In a suburban neighborhood like mine, it's a good idea to put out a watering hole for the bees. That helps keep them out of the neighbors' swimming pools and dog dishes.

Making a bee watering station is super easy. Any container full of rocks, sticks or corks (to give the bees something to land on so they don't drown) will work.

Large clay saucer filled with rocks

Some people use a chicken waterer or pet waterer with sponges or pebbles filling the trough/bowl to prevent the bees from drowning.

Five-gallon buckets make good waterers, too. If you search YouTube, you'll see all kinds of styles like wicking systems (which I like because mosquitoes can't get in the bucket to lay eggs) or open buckets filled with styrofoam peanuts or corks. Other people use five-gallon buckets for open-feeding syrup, but they could be used to provide water, too.

Once you've made a watering station, you just have to figure out where to put it. Obviously, it helps if it's somewhere along their flight path. Also, ideally, a bee watering station should be at least 15'-20' from the beehives because bees don't communicate distances shorter than that very well. You might also want to put it somewhere easy for you to reach -- particularly if you need to fill it frequently.

Anyway, seeing the bees searching for moisture yesterday prompted me to fill up the bee waterers yesterday. Although it wasn't necessary, I also added a couple drops of anise oil to help the girls find them faster. Within moments, there were quite a lot of ladies landing for a drink.


  1. The automatic pet water bowl is a great idea!

  2. I switched my blog over to WordPress. The new address is

    1. Thanks for letting me know about your address change. The new site looks really nice!


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