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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Schuyler,NE
    Posts
    116

    Default What do bees need water for?

    I know that they use it to cool the hive but anything else? I have one of my bee hives in my backyard and fortunately they have found the bird bath about 50 feet away and there are roughly 20 bees there during the day. Here are a few pictures I took of them at the bird bath.

    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b3.../facebook1.jpg

    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b3.../Facebook2.jpg
    LJC...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Crystal Falls, Mi.
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Awesome pics!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.
    T.G.
    When I grow up, I want to be like John K.......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    They also need it to maintain the humidity of the colony, not just the temp. They use water to dilute and utilize honey. They need it in the digestion and metabolising of their food, as do most organisms. Larval diet can contain 60% water.

    We have bees around the bird bath all summer, it is a pleasure to watch them, they do no harm at all.
    Sheri
    Very nice pics, btw.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Nice pics. I love how clear they are for being so close up.
    Big T

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    Great pics. I have a water feeder about 20 ft from my hive, but the bees prefer to get their water from about 150 ft away where the water seeps from a bank from the snow melt. Snow melt must taste better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,637

    Smile Bees need water;

    http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/in...ed-water.shtml

    http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/apis88/apmar88.htm
    WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE, BUT NOR A DROP TO DRINK?
    I was reminded of the quotation above from "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" when reading the latest issue of The Newsletter on Beekeeping, written by Dr. Elbert Jaycox, 5775 Jornada Rd. No., Las Cruces, NM 8001 [Editor's note: No longer published]. It is a constant concern of the ocean sailor that although the sea is water, it isn't fit to drink and so fresh water must be available. If this is so for sailors, what about bees? Consider the words of Dr. Jaycox:
    "If you have a dog or cat, it is a safe bet that the animal has a water dish within your home or close to it. If you enjoy wild birds, what is the first thing you do to see more of them? You put out a bird waterer or bird bath. With livestock, whether penned or on the range, you make sure that good water is always available within a reasonable distance. But with bees, we usually put them out in the city or the country without a permanent source of water, often without a second thought about where they can get the water they need.

    The topic of water for bees is an important one right now when brood rearing is increasing rapidly, and it does not become passe until, in temperate climates, the bees are clustered within their hive for winter. I was going to say that readily-available water is less important during a nectar flow, but we are learning that this is not always the case, at least during hot weather in arid climates.

    Let's look at the reasons why beekeepers should provide water for bees rather than forcing them to find it wherever they can. Right now, the bees in normal, strong colonies are rearing brood--the amount increases every week. Brood food is primarily water, close to 80 percent the first day of larval growth and about 55 percent on the sixth day. No problem, you say, the bees produce larval food from the glands in their bodies. But the bees are eating stored honey with a moisture content of only 15 to 20 percent, which doesn't give them much to draw on for larval food. However, there is water produced from the bees' metabolism, and some of it may condense within the hive. But as soon as the bees can fly, they are out collecting water to dilute stored honey and to provide moisture in food for larvae and the queen. Without sufficient water, colonies do not develop.

    Long ago, Dr. Eva Crane reported that small colonies given only water developed more rapidly than those given syrup or those not receiving either water or syrup. In the F.A.O. book, Tropical and Sub-tropical Apiculture, Crane lists the failure to provide water as one of three serious management errors, and relates the lack of water to inadequate brood rearing and colony development. Not surprising because without 90 to 95 percent relative humidity in the cells, eggs will not hatch.

    In warm weather, bees need water also for cooling the hive. W.R. Sheesley and E.L. Atkins reported in 1986 that in-field water increased bee visits to alfalfa flowers and, subsequently, the set of seed. The close source of water freed extra bees for nectar collecting. Not as many bees were required to search for and collect water.

    Atkins reported in 1987 that in-hive waterers improved the 'welfare' of colonies equipped with them. Earlier, Moffett, Stoner and Wardecker recorded an increase in honey production from colonies with in-hive waterers. Such results are to be expected when you consider that the bees of one colony collected at least one-half gallon of water in 24 hours in experiments by A.W. Woodrow at Tucson, Arizona.

    There are other important reasons for providing water to bees. With a nearby source of clean water, bees are less liable to collect dirty and contaminated water. They have been known to collect arsenic and insecticides in the only water available to them. Colonies provided with nearby or in-hive water have survived better with more brood and honey production during intensive insecticide applications around them.

    Regards,
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    thanks for the excellent info Ernie.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default

    I've noticed that honeybees in my area seem to be going after water wherever it may be found. They are drinking wherever my micro-sprinklers irrigate, from the drain holes in the pots of potted plants, from the pads of my evaporative cooler, but especially from the lily pads in my Koi Pond. Yesterday afternoon, I stood on a chair near the Koi Pond so I could more easily see above the fence line in order to observe the directions bees were traveling as they came and went from my Koi Pond. I was a little surprised that moment-by-moment, scores of bees were not only coming and going in the direction of my two apiary locations nearby, but from almost every other direction of the compass also. No wonder more than 100 gallons of water disappear from the Koi Pond each day, which I replace each night by use of a hose. I suppose for the convenience of the Koi, Honeybees, and myself, I should connect a water line and float valve to the Koi Pond soon.

    They certainly seem to use an extremely large amount of water, especially through the hottest part of our season.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Schuyler,NE
    Posts
    116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/in...ed-water.shtml

    http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/apis88/apmar88.htm
    WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE, BUT NOR A DROP TO DRINK?
    I was reminded of the quotation above from "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" when reading the latest issue of The Newsletter on Beekeeping, written by Dr. Elbert Jaycox, 5775 Jornada Rd. No., Las Cruces, NM 8001 [Editor's note: No longer published]. It is a constant concern of the ocean sailor that although the sea is water, it isn't fit to drink and so fresh water must be available. If this is so for sailors, what about bees? Consider the words of Dr. Jaycox:
    "If you have a dog or cat, it is a safe bet that the animal has a water dish within your home or close to it. If you enjoy wild birds, what is the first thing you do to see more of them? You put out a bird waterer or bird bath. With livestock, whether penned or on the range, you make sure that good water is always available within a reasonable distance. But with bees, we usually put them out in the city or the country without a permanent source of water, often without a second thought about where they can get the water they need.

    The topic of water for bees is an important one right now when brood rearing is increasing rapidly, and it does not become passe until, in temperate climates, the bees are clustered within their hive for winter. I was going to say that readily-available water is less important during a nectar flow, but we are learning that this is not always the case, at least during hot weather in arid climates.

    Let's look at the reasons why beekeepers should provide water for bees rather than forcing them to find it wherever they can. Right now, the bees in normal, strong colonies are rearing brood--the amount increases every week. Brood food is primarily water, close to 80 percent the first day of larval growth and about 55 percent on the sixth day. No problem, you say, the bees produce larval food from the glands in their bodies. But the bees are eating stored honey with a moisture content of only 15 to 20 percent, which doesn't give them much to draw on for larval food. However, there is water produced from the bees' metabolism, and some of it may condense within the hive. But as soon as the bees can fly, they are out collecting water to dilute stored honey and to provide moisture in food for larvae and the queen. Without sufficient water, colonies do not develop.

    Long ago, Dr. Eva Crane reported that small colonies given only water developed more rapidly than those given syrup or those not receiving either water or syrup. In the F.A.O. book, Tropical and Sub-tropical Apiculture, Crane lists the failure to provide water as one of three serious management errors, and relates the lack of water to inadequate brood rearing and colony development. Not surprising because without 90 to 95 percent relative humidity in the cells, eggs will not hatch.

    In warm weather, bees need water also for cooling the hive. W.R. Sheesley and E.L. Atkins reported in 1986 that in-field water increased bee visits to alfalfa flowers and, subsequently, the set of seed. The close source of water freed extra bees for nectar collecting. Not as many bees were required to search for and collect water.

    Atkins reported in 1987 that in-hive waterers improved the 'welfare' of colonies equipped with them. Earlier, Moffett, Stoner and Wardecker recorded an increase in honey production from colonies with in-hive waterers. Such results are to be expected when you consider that the bees of one colony collected at least one-half gallon of water in 24 hours in experiments by A.W. Woodrow at Tucson, Arizona.

    There are other important reasons for providing water to bees. With a nearby source of clean water, bees are less liable to collect dirty and contaminated water. They have been known to collect arsenic and insecticides in the only water available to them. Colonies provided with nearby or in-hive water have survived better with more brood and honey production during intensive insecticide applications around them.

    Regards,
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries
    Wow! I didn't realize how important water is. My bird bath is about 30 or so feet away from the hive, we put clean water in it everyday for them. I hope that is close enough. Question, i have a hive in the country and not sure how far they go for water, should I put a water feeder for them?
    LJC...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Erie, NY, USA
    Posts
    28

    Default

    I wonder just what would be the BEST way to get water to the bees. I'm wondering if filling the entrance feeder jar with just water would be a good way?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,637

    Smile Watering methods.

    Thank you for reading my post.
    When we drove in to feed bees in Almond pollination this year I noticed that 5 gallon plastic buckets were placed near each bee drop. The ranch had filled the buckets with clean water, draped a burlap sack over and down into the bucket 1/2 way, and tied plastic string around the top to hold the burlap in place. The bees were drinking the water like a syrup feeding frenzy.
    You can make a slow dripper on the side of a bucket and let the water drip onto a piece of concrete. I use a gray cement block.

    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Default

    Every animal needs water to live. Bees included.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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