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Hello :) I'm new to beekeeping and my husband and I are gathering ideas for our set-up. I attended beekeeper school with my local club and have my bee packages on order for the end of April, so I'm just making sure to plan ahead.

We have a swimming pool and a young son, so I want to make sure I give my bees a good water source to dissuade them from convening in our pool. We have well water with less than great flow, so anything involving a faucet/hose drip would not be an option for us. I saw these in-ground, gentle bubbling fountains on Amazon and thought this might work and also be a pretty addition to the area that will be my bee yard.

Having no hands on experience, do you think this would work? Would bees like it? Enough to use it and not our pool? I appreciate any input from seasoned beekeepers and thank you for you help!

http://amzn.com/B001ABNCJ4

fountain.jpg
 

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The bees tend to prefer slow flowing or relatively still water. The picture looks like continuously moving water. It may attract some bee traffic, but I don't know if it will be preferred.

Your pool will be attractive to the bees not just because it is water, but there is a small amount of salt in the water as a result of the chlorine you add. The chlorine you buy is typically stabilized with sodium, making it a salt. Your pool won't have "salt water" in it, but it will have a trace of salt. Bees need salt and find themselves drawn to pool water. You can counter this to at least some degree by giving them a closer water source, such as right next to the hive. A simple bird bath will do. Shallow is best (more like a plate than a bowl). You might want to get some of those anti-mosquito and anti-algae "pucks" to put in the bird feeder water or you will have both.

Jim.
 

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I have a pool and bees too. I have a bucket upside down with a mason jar of water upside down on that round circle lip which lets water out all day. Plus I have a plastic bottom that you set plants on with rocks in and water think it was around 15 inch diameter. Go to both of them BUT always got a few at the pool. I don't think you can totally keep them away. And that seems to be a lot to spend to get water for your bees.
 

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A bird bath will work fine, just ensure it doesn't run dry.
 

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maybe some lemon grass oil to get them to notice it quicker
 

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Lowes has a shallow black plastic pan for mixing small amounts of concrete. Usually on the Isle next to bags of concrete mix. I think 10 dollars maybe less. Put some scrap wood (untreated)or sticks inside to keep bees from drowning. Put it in a convenient location close to hives. Keep it about 3in deep with water. That's all they need.
 

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I cover my large bowl with corks and aquatic plants, duckweed and miniature hyacinths. A pump on a motion detector squirts occasionally. They corks absorb water and the bees stand on them drinking. The also stand on the plants which form a thick mat. This picture is before the corks and plants.



After:


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, everyone, for your feedback! I think I'm going to do this little rock fountain as a pretty addition to my bee yard but also add in some more practical options as well to see what they prefer. I appreciate your responses :)
 

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My setup is a little more "industrial"-trashy looking :) Its in the bee yard, so no one objects to the appearance.
A metal pan (air cleaner cover from a bulldozer) about 2 inches deep with a clay brick piece in it, with a scrap of heavy cloth ( old blue jeans) over the rock. Bees can suck the water out of the cloth w/o drowning.
How ever, the cloth makes the water evaporate quicker. If the cloth drapes over the edge of the pan, it wicks the water out.
 

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I have a couple of holes filled with dead leaves that are full of rainwater most of the time. The bees prefer that over the nice watering pan I made them that has nice clean rainwater in it. We also get about a quarter inch of dew every morning, so they aren't going dry.
 

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Lowes has a shallow black plastic pan for mixing small amounts of concrete. Usually on the Isle next to bags of concrete mix. I think 10 dollars maybe less. Put some scrap wood (untreated)or sticks inside to keep bees from drowning. Put it in a convenient location close to hives. Keep it about 3in deep with water. That's all they need.
I tried this last year. I found thousands and thousands of mosquito larva in those, and ended up moving them...after I moved the containers, the bees lost interest and found a better source.

Those things fill right up to the brim with water after rain, and I can't figure out what sort of floating stuff to put in there.
 

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Buy some "Mosquito Dunks" and you wont have to fool with fish. local feed store, Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot or Amazon.

Have used them in all kinds of places water stands and they work.
 

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Drill a hole at the level you want the water. You could try a float that they sell in pet stores for turtles. People use all kinds of stuff. If you want it attractive, do a combo of stones and fake plants like water lilies. Also get at pet store. J
 
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