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Thread: water source

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Ojai, CA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default water source

    Has anyone tried making some kind of a drip system from a 50 gallon plastic ( blue) barrel!
    How do you provide water for them?
    I am in S. Cal. and my biggest concern is that the water would spoil in the 50 gallon barrel.

    I have 16 hives - my first year - in a citrus orchard where there is adequate irrigation going on all the time but would like to give the orchard owner a little break on his water bill.

    Any ideas are welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    las vegas/ so utah
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: water source

    I live in Las Vegas and placed my bees on the irrigation system for both watering and cooling. If you have to haul water to the bees I would consider the timers for hose bibs so you can release a certain amount of water at a time to allow for fill up and some way to add rain water to limit the amount of water hauling..
    Just an idea



    Quote Originally Posted by tuzserhu View Post
    Has anyone tried making some kind of a drip system from a 50 gallon plastic ( blue) barrel!
    How do you provide water for them?
    I am in S. Cal. and my biggest concern is that the water would spoil in the 50 gallon barrel.

    I have 16 hives - my first year - in a citrus orchard where there is adequate irrigation going on all the time but would like to give the orchard owner a little break on his water bill.

    Any ideas are welcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,384

    Default Re: water source

    Quote Originally Posted by tuzserhu View Post
    I am in S. Cal. and my biggest concern is that the water would spoil in the 50 gallon barrel.
    Couple drops of bleach in the water will do the trick. they love pool water so it wont hurt them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Hills, CA USA
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: water source

    35 years ago I tried a drip water delivery from a galvanized 55 gal. drumb for 15 hives. The drumb was dry in 7 days. It would have lasted longer if the battery operated water valve timer had been invented. Set to pass water durring day light.
    Now days 55 gal.blue plastic barrel lasts 2-3 weeks elevated piped through a float valve to a water station with water hyacinth, worked well. Found consumption of 5 gals. a day when temps. 100F. + for a 100 colony yard.
    Walt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,183

    Default Re: water source

    If there is irrigation going on in the bees foraging area, they will find the water. My bees have a rain barrel with 'floats' that is refilled from a downspout, but in spite of that consistent source, I often find then collecting water from the leaves of my lettuce plants.

    Bees don't have issues with water with an odor, in fact there are plenty of reports that bees prefer smelly water. Odorous water makes it easier to tell other bees where the "good" water source is.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: water source

    This is what I use..... Just water instead of syrup....


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    970

    Default Re: water source

    We've got a 7 gallon poultry watering device. It is basically an inverted 7 gallon bucket in a shallow tray. It has a cap that you move from an upper port to the bottom so you can fill it with no gymnastics, then you cap the top port so vacuum holds the water in. Put gravel in the bottom tray so the bees don't drown.

    You could do that with a 55 gallon drum, I'd guess. The top plug would have to be very tight. I've modified blue barrels to accept plumbing fixtures ... they have thick sections that you can drill and tap for plumbing threads.

    Our worry with our rain barrels is raising mosquitos. We use Bti dunks in the rain barrels ... supposedly harmless to bees but we don't plan to use that deliberately as a bee water source. I'm sure they'll get some when we use the rain barrel water on the garden.

    There are a lot of gizmos available at feed and seed stores for regulating the level of watering troughs. Many have a float valve and hook to a garden hose. You could probably rig one to a watering tray (use that gravel trick) and feed it from a barrel.

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