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I am planning on putting several hives in a garden area....My main motivation is inproveing a garden output with honey and Bee's secondary. Im a little concerned about a neighbors back yard and his flooding leech field which is approx...60-70 feet away. My plan was to place a larger water source right next to the hives via bird bath or something similar. I also have a river that runs thru the back yard. Will the bees utilize these alternate water sources or do i have a big problem here? Thanks in advance.
 

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I can't say if it's a problem for you, or not. I can say that the bees will collect water, wherever water is to be found within their foraging range.

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I am on one acre. I use an evaporative cooler for my house, it has three, 3'x3' pads that are kept wet 24/7/365 (I avoid using chemicals in the cooler so it is bee friendly). I have a 300 gallon Koi pond, a garden, plus extensive plantings of bamboo and various fruit trees that are on a drip irrigation system. The bees are utilizing these water sources year-'round, yet my neighbor tells me that bees are also drinking from all of his dog watering dishes (he has six dogs), and they have learned to avoid the bees while they drink. Fortunately he doesn't mind their intrusion (I gift them some honey regularly).
 

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Yep...they will decide and there is not much you can do about it. You can try by all means and they might decide on the bird bath but......bees will be bees!:)
 
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