how to make the bees drink the water?
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    Default how to make the bees drink the water?

    How to make the bees drink the water? What kind of water source/feeder to prepare? Maybe I should add something to the water?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    You dont. They will drink what they want. You could give them the best water source ever created and guarantee they will fly next door and pick up water from the neighbors pool.

    A water source they like one week, and I see a steady stream of bees at, will be abandoned the next even though the water is still there.

    Provide something in case there is nothing, but dont be surprised if you never see them use it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Adding a teaspoonful of table salt per gallon of water makes the water more attractive to the bees. Once the bees start using a water source they will stay with that source until it runs out, so keep the water container filled.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  5. #4
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    Jul 2017
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    Bay, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    You dont. They will drink what they want. You could give them the best water source ever created and guarantee they will fly next door and pick up water from the neighbors pool.
    I have 2 identical bird baths, both with rocks and pebbles in the water, sitting about 8' apart and both about 20' from my hives. One is heavily used by the bees and the other almost never. Only the bees know why.

  6. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Once they find a water source they tend to stick with it. For me, they somehow prefer to fly right by the chicken waterer that I've given them before going over the top of the barn and looking for the bird bath. I'd try a little chlorine in the water since they also like my neighbors pool!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
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    Jan 2018
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    Monroe County, PA, USA
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    44

    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    This is my first year beekeeping and set up a water source due to my neighbors 100 yards away having a pool. After researching (a lot) this is what I did. I had a 30 gallon plastic drum that I painted black, then a brown color to give it a wooden barrel look. I I put a cheap plastic water spigot on it and attached a small section of hose. I have a small basin I purchased at Tractor Supply and put some rocks and some pieces of wood from a tree I recently cut down. When I filled the barrel with water, I add about a cup of bleach. I barely open the spigot so it drips every few seconds to keep the basin full. The bleach helps to add an odor to the water and also keeps mosquitos from laying eggs. At first the bees did not use it, but after a few weeks, and the birds using it as a bath, and a few storms, the water became a little dirty and not so clean and fresh. Now the bees use it every day.

    Good luck.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    562

    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Add dirt often helps. Bees usually prefer mud puddles to clean water sources.

  9. #8
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    Sep 2016
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    Murphy, TX
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by schmism View Post
    You dont. They will drink what they want. You could give them the best water source ever created and guarantee they will fly next door and pick up water from the neighbors pool.
    So true! I had two nice water sources in my yard. I even gave a fountain and landing places on one of them. But they decided to go to neighbors pool anyway. I ended up moving the hives to my rural property to help the neighbor. Bees will NOT forget and abandon a water source once they found it.

  10. #9
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    spike it
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  11. #10
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    May 2014
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    Gainesboro, Tennessee
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Seriously if they aren't using it, they dont need it. Probably a creek or pond nearby.
    Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c

  12. #11
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
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    Apr 2015
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    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
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    817

    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    As stated previously, they drink where they want, get used to it. When I was starting out, put two chicken waterers in the beeyard, one had rocks the other had wine corks, added salt to one, a little cider vinegar to the other. Totally ignored. I gave up feeling they had found a water source they preferred. A few weeks later, was out behind the barn, there was an old concrete birdbath, full of rain water and "yuck" which had been there a long time. Wall to wall bees. Moved that closer to the house to facilitate filling with a hose. Didn't clean it out, just kept it full. My wife is not impressed as it's ugly, bees love it though.

    I didn't understand their water preferences until I was down in the woods and noticed some bees at a small creek. They weren't at the water's edge, but back "working" where deer tracks were at the edge. As previously stated, they like minerals or something. JMHO.

  14. #13
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    Jan 2018
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    Monroe County, PA, USA
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    Here is a pic of my set up.

    Water Barrel 2.jpg

  15. #14
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    If there is a natural water source near (creek, pond, swamp) chances are good they will ignore your gizmos, no matter what you do.
    I don't bother anymore.
    We have ponds 1-2 flight minutes away.

    PS: actually, I do run a bird bath only as a "check mark" since the regulations require to provide the bees with water;
    the bird bath is useless, but required; whatever...
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
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    Jul 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Repsag View Post
    Here is a pic of my set up.

    Water Barrel 2.jpg
    Good job, id buy a small recirculating pump, they're only $15, don't need a big on at all

  17. #16
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    Jul 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Default

    Here's what I've done to keep away from pool. Loaded with bees during dearth. I posted to a thread a few weeks ago with more detail infkrmation. You can probably find if you search pool or water. It's a pond liner with recirculatinf pump on a timer. The bees love damp porous surfaces, like wood and stone. They don't like pooled water.


  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Jefferson County, Kansas
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    37

    Default Re: how to make the bees drink the water?

    When there is a good nectar flow on do bees still drink water or do they get enough water from the nectar? I had a container of water set out with window screen netting for them to climb down and out on they used it heavily for quite some time and now I havent seen a bee on it for a few days.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerBee View Post
    When there is a good nectar flow on do bees still drink water or do they get enough water from the nectar?
    It depends where in the flow. During early cooler flow no. During later hot flow yes. If hot bees still gather for cooling, the nectar tends to be dryer in the flower and dry faster in hive. Typically in my area during mid April to mid May they get all water from nectar. Middle of May thru Fall they gather alot of water for cooling and diluting dry honey for brood. They also gather alot of water in early spring before mid april to dilute stored honey for brood ramp up.

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