It’s that time of year when emails start coming in from people asking if someone can come out and gather the swarm that comes to their swimming pool every day. Yeah, it’s not a swarm but arguing over definitions doesn’t get us anywhere closer to solving the problem.
Beekeepers, keep your current water sources for bees filled. You’ll notice the bees need more water than during the spring since they no longer have the moisture provided by nectar. They also need to gather more water now for hive cooling and to dilute honey for consumption.
Use multiple water sources around your apiary. You’ll find they have preferences. My bees usually like concrete bird baths best for some reason.
Another trick I’ve learned is to dilute any syrup fed at open feeding stations. The excess water provides more humidity in the hive and reduces their need for water gathering.
Yet another idea is to keep your potted plants well watered. My wife has an herb garden area with lots of potted plants. This time of year I take it on myself to keep the plants watered, usually to the point of the pans underneath having water in them. The bees seem to like the dirty water that comes out of the bottom of the plant pot.
And don’t forget those Boardman feeders. While not recommended for feeding during dearth, are great as water feeders.
Also, it’s very important to keep your water sources filled to keep the bees coming to your “approved” source. Bees exhibit the same fidelity to water sources that they do with nectar sources. Once established they tend to stay with a known water source. It’s much better to have them hardwired to your water source than to hardwire to your neighbor’s pool. Your neighbors have a legitimate complaint if they can’t use their pool and their kids are getting stung because of your bees.
Post your ideas below.
More information here: https://settlingforbees.com/20…/…/07/water-sources-for-bees/