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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    I am an avid Water Gardener and a new Beekeeper. I set up a water garden for my Bee’s before I set up the hives since I have read how important a water supply is to the Bee’s and wanted to give them the best possible home. I set up a round preformed pool and planted some submerged plants to help keep the water clean and a few fish to be my “Mosquito Control”, and then I added floating plants for the Bees to land on so it would be easier for them to get some water. I soon found that my Bee’s were visiting the water quite often and their favorite plant was the floating Salvinia. This plant is perfect for them since it is small and floats on the water but is strong enough for them to land on without ending up in the water. I would definitely recommend this plant for any size water container that Bee’s visit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    My bees love our Koi pond. I don't keep any plants in it as the fish love to feed on them. I have another that I grow lotus in. They pay no attention to it.
    Of course then again they pay no attention the 20 or 30 monardas back there, or the salvias or all the hysop. The butterflies, bumble bees and hummingbirds love it all but my girls apparently have bigger plans. The ten acres of thistle down the road is more to their liking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    I experimented with large low level bird baths and interesting rocks that project above the water for landing areas. They love it. Now thatI know that works I will be adding some plant materials. But I will have to use larger water basins or install a pond. Any suggestions for water plants for the midwest, and are there any perennials that can be used?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    There is a native floating plant that bees can land on to drink called Azolla caroliniana commonly known as Fairy moss. It can be a rapid grower, as most water plants are. Some consider it a pond weed, but the girls really use it to their advantage. It really dies off in the winter, but returns with warm weather the next year.

    Hardiness: Zones 5-11
    Height: Less than 1"
    Flower: Not showy
    Foliage: Lacy bright green fronds that turn reddish in full sun and during fall

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    I do grow some Azzola and my Bees also like it. The Azzola is also called mosquito plant because it covers the surface of the water and is supposed to suffocate the mosquito larvae. The Azzola comes back every year for me here in Ohio. The other plant that they seem to really like are the floating Shell Flower also known as Water Lettuce. My girls enjoy the Lotus that I grow and last year I had the most Lotus seed pods ever. I have also noticed that they prefer my tropical water lilies over the hardy perennials.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    I saw a video from a big queen breeder in Argentina, showing their watering stations in the field. They just had big, plastic bins filled with water and covered with a floating plant - kind of like a giant duckweed. It worked perfectly for keeping the bees out of the water - and keeping the water clean and clear below.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Independence, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I saw a video from a big queen breeder in Argentina, showing their watering stations in the field. They just had big, plastic bins filled with water and covered with a floating plant - kind of like a giant duckweed. It worked perfectly for keeping the bees out of the water - and keeping the water clean and clear below.
    If you can post a link to the video that would be great. It was probably Salvinia which is a Great plant for Bees to land on to get water. It is strong enough to hold up the Bees and generally helps them if they fall into the water since it has fine "hairs" on the leaves that make it easy for the Bee to grasp and get out of the water. I grow this plant and will try to get a video of the Bees on it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Water Gardening for Bee Hives

    Down here it is a noxious weed that is trying to be eradicated as fast as possible. It chokes lakes within one season.

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