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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lee County Iowa, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I am in SE Iowa and its been an Extremely hot & dry summer. I use a concrete bird bath near my hives & just put water in it. I have seven hives & 2 bee trees. They drink the three gallon of water in about a day.
    I then added a plastic paint roller tray that holds about a gallon. First I put pieces of wood in them so bees could get out of the water when they fell in. I still had a few bees drown so I tried an experiment with corn cobs. I found that the bees really like the corn cobs because the cobs are like a wick & the bees can sit on top of the cob & drink. This "watering hole" is very busy from about 7 am until dusk. I fill it every day ( after rinseing it out) Just wandered if other beekeepers water their bees!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Montrose, CO
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Thanks for the heads-up about the corn cob float for the bees. This I'm gonna try. Here in the high desert of Colorado that trick will surely be most helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I use a couple of small poultry waterers with sponges in the trough. Perfect!

    ...except that the bees don't seem to be using them. I have no idea where they're getting their water, but I doubt it's from here. I'm planning on trying a bird bath next year.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,712

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    The wife fills the bird bath every day. At any given time there is 40 - 50 bees at it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Haslet, Tx
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    we have a kiddie pool that we drape a towel out of and the bees congregate on the towel hundreds at a time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Watering is the only use appropriate for a Boardman type feeder (IMHO). I haven't had to feed any yet this summer (thankfully).
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I have a 55 gallon drum cut in half, and I drape old towels over the side so they are in the water and enough over the outside to keep them from falling in,, the bees are all over the towels, and all I have to do is add water every other day or so,, since there is a good volume in it,, and this also allows me to not have to tend it every day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Holland, Texas
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I bought a small pond pump from Home Depot and put it in a big round flower pot (of course with no hole in bottom) and put some rocks in there. I also made a make-shift moat out of a lid from a cooler. There are lots and lots of bees drinking from it from sunup to sundown. I have a 24x52 pool and they are never around it at all. Will take a pic of the small pond. It seems to work well here in this HOT HOT place.
    "Live it like you stole it"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I've bought a cheap fountain at Walmart when it was on sale 3 years ago. It has a large saucer on top and the bees line the rim of it drinking up a storm. BTW the fountains are now on sale, just like the garden furniture.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,125

    Thumbs Up Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Watering is the only use appropriate for a Boardman type feeder (IMHO). I haven't had to feed any yet this summer (thankfully).
    We have been using a bird bath and boardman feeders (about 40 days over 100F so far this year). A lot less activity at the bird bath when there is water in the boardman feeder. Feeding with the boardman feeder is a magnet for robbing behavior.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Watering is the only use appropriate for a Boardman type feeder (IMHO). I haven't had to feed any yet this summer (thankfully).
    We are in 100% agreement. I have these on all my strong hives and only use water. They take it down pretty quickly when needed.
    Experience is better than theory.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Chicken waterers with round river-stones (used for landscaping) in the trough for the bees to sit on. Very popular.

    Always make it easy for your bees to get plain water.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    Quote Originally Posted by mrobinson View Post
    Chicken waterers with round river-stones (used for landscaping) in the trough for the bees to sit on. Very popular.

    Always make it easy for your bees to get plain water.
    I tried the stones, but it didn't work. That's when I tried sponges. I wonder if they're at the pool down the street?
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    I live in Colorado (wind swept plains south of Denver).

    I have a half whiskey barrel with a deep plastic liner about 5 feet from my 2 hives.. I put some fencing material to keep the animals out. My drip irrigation runs every Saturday and keeps it full (if not completely clean).

    I have gone out to look at my bees in the hot summer and have never even seen a bee in that watering barrel. WTF?

    Maybe they're getting their water somewhere else, but I have been surprised about that lack of interest.

    BannonB

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lee County Iowa, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Watering Bees during Extreme Dry Weather

    UPDATE;
    I have found that the corn cobs work good for a week or 10 days but then they become soaked & begin to sink. I think I will go with the 55 gallon barrel cut in half & use towels or something similiar as a "wick". It would be better not to have to fill everyday.

    Thanks for all the replies!

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