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If bees need a source of water is there any reason that a sugar feeder can't be turned into a constant water source? I use a mason jar to give my bees water/sugar mix and I'm just confused as to why I couldn't just fill it with water and make getting water a little easier for them. :s
 

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Don't know from personal experience but several books I've read recommend using a boardman feeder for providing water if no other close source is available.

Later, John
 

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Why not! I made a stand-off and use 2 liter pop bottles on a 5 gal pail top with rubble. Some use chicken waters and fill the trough with pepples (so the bees don't drown) or, or, or the selection is endless, just give the bees a float/landing so they don't drown;)
 

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Isn't Minnesota the Land of 1,000 Lakes?

Look, I keep telling all sorts of people that bees fly. They don't seem to get it. Do you know why bees fly? They fly to gather pollen, propolis, nectar and water. I know you want to do everything that you can for your bees because you would hate to be the reason that they died. But you really should just let them do what they do. They have been able to get along w/out us for millions of years. They don't need for us to do that much.

I hope this wasn't too blunt.

Or maybe MN is Michigan and I'm way off?
 

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"Isn't Minnesota the Land of 1,000 Lakes?"

Only one thousand!?? :lpf:

"This is a list of lakes in Minnesota. Minnesota is known as The Land of 10,000 Lakes, but the official count of lakes more than ten acres (40,000 m²) in size is actually more than ten thousand at approximately 11,842.[1] All but four Minnesota counties (Mower, Olmsted, Pipestone and Rock) contain at least one natural lake." > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_lakes_in_Minnesota :)

As long as were talking BIG numbers, keep in mind that within the 1 mile radius of the bees flight, there are 2009.6 acres. I have been on some 100, 200, 500 acre farms,..lots of land; hopefully some water sources.

You can provide water if you want to, by whatever creative means. I have a stream nearby but I don't know how I would assess the availability of water if it wasn't there. In arid parts of country maybe it's more of a concern.
 

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LOL! 10,000 lakes actually. Which makes my question seem all the worse. LOL!
Well, it isn't a bad question and you should keep asking about things that you are not sure about. I hope I never discourage you about doing that. But, if there are ten times as many lakes as I wrote then bees really shouldn't have any trouble finding water source on their own.

One year, when I was working Apiary Inspection for NY State, I worked down in Westchester County. Dats where da rich folk live. Anyway, a beekeeper lived neara small lake where the neighborhood association had a beach where the local kids could go swimming. That's where the bees went to get their water too. The beekeeper tried to get the bees to gather water from a source which he provided to no avail.

And I have seen bees taking water from holes made in barnyards where cows go in and out of the barn. Y'all can imagine what that water is like all mixed w/ manure.

Bees will do what bees will do.
 

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Isn't Minnesota the Land of 1,000 Lakes?

Look, I keep telling all sorts of people that bees fly. They don't seem to get it. Do you know why bees fly? They fly to gather pollen, propolis, nectar and water. I know you want to do everything that you can for your bees because you would hate to be the reason that they died. But you really should just let them do what they do. They have been able to get along w/out us for millions of years. They don't need for us to do that much.

I hope this wasn't too blunt.

Or maybe MN is Michigan and I'm way off?
All true. BUT :)D) bees haven't been living in man made boxes in N America, with honey being harvested from them for all that time. Just like plants have been growing in dirt and producing seeds, and roots, and fruits for a long time, but when we start wanting to produce more of those things we can't just leave them alone and hope for the best.

I agree with you in principle but honey bees are almost as domesticated as chickens. Maybe cats.
 

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Well, we will just have to disagree w/ each other about that. I'd like to see you control your bees as well as you can control a cat or a chicken. I've never seen anyone who trained a bee hive to play tic-tac-toe. But I have seen a chicken that could and could beat you every time too.

If you want to spend your time doing for bees what they can more easily do for themselves, and do better, go ahead. It really won't bother me. It's just a waste of time.

Do you tend to your children w/ this kind of mind set too? I hope not. Not after they are old enuf to tend to themselves anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oldbie,

Thanks for the info on the lakes! I always wondered if that number was accurate (more or less). To make me seem even goofier, we have a pond behind our house and a lake about 100 yards away. :eek:

sqkcrk,
I just watch my bees flying in and out and I have this nice rain barrel right next to the hive but they NEVER use it. Thought maybe I could make life easier for them since they seem to love that mason jar so much :D Even when it is empty they tend to hang all over the little holes. :scratch: I've taken it away to let them get the natural nectar but... ok, maybe I baby them too much.
 

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Maybe. Maybe I don't baby mine enuf. After you have had them for a cpl of years you'll relax. Your first hive is kinda like your first baby the day you bring it home and the first cpl of years perhaps. The best cure for being over anxious about your bees is to get a cpl more colonies. :) Then you'll be real confused. :)

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. Shoot, you can't even lead a bee to water. I can't anyhoo.
 

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I just watch my bees flying in and out and I have this nice rain barrel right next to the hive but they NEVER use it.

I think that means the bees have no shortage of water.

If you start seeing drowned bees in the rain barrel, you might want to put a short scrap piece of board in the barrel. It'll float on the water and give the bees a place to land and drink.

Put a baby bluegill or minnows in the barrel to eat the mosquitos.
 

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I just watch my bees flying in and out and I have this nice rain barrel right next to the hive but they NEVER use it.

I think that means the bees have no shortage of water.
Yeah, but it ain't the rain barrel. And if he got rid of the rain barrel he wouldn't need the fish to eat the mosquitoe larvae. And he could use that space in the yard for something else.

But maybe the rain barrel is for soft water to wash clothes in?
 

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We have a couple of man made ponds with a stream joining them. The water movement keeps the water aerated and pretty clean. We get a few bees that collect water off some of the lilly pads, we get hundreds of bees that collect water from the attached bog garden where it's stagnant, dirty and smelly.
 

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I have a 5 gallon pail out with a piece of cedar wood in it. They don't seem to use it much if at all. I'm wondering if the cedar repels them. There are other sources though including a river and a shallow splashing fountain nearby.
 

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I would like to provide fresh water for my bees but I'm afraid the deer would just drink it all up from the bees.

Another option is to divide the Rossman hive top feeders and put syrup in one half and water in the other half. I may have to give that a try just to see what effect it has on the hive. Hmmmmmm
 

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Hey guys all great information. What I have found if it works keep on doing it.
I provide wahter for my bees for no extra cost to them cause of several reasons. The neighbors don't appriciate the bees in the garden hose program. I like being a good neighbor. also, my bee master told me in a question form, Would you like to go 1/2 mile for water if you wanted a drink or 3 feet?
I have an old bird feeder in front of my hives from day one. With wood floats in it so they don't drown. Takes them 40 seconds to tank up. I'm bored. Works real well, fill it up every other day. More water more honey. Simple. My neighbor across the street is just the opposite. Don't manage the bees, lets them swarm, doesn't check them once a week, is afraid of them, puts them right on the ground, gets about 30 pounds of honey a year. Feeds them brown sugar water, got her to stop that. Gives them disentary, Her bees come to my water sourse by the way. We have a lake about 1/2 mile away with the proper bad water in it they love and when they are out I bet they drink it also. But when they are near home they have water right out the front door.
Arn't I a hell of a guy.
Be nice to your bees and each other and you will get lots of Honey.
Yes I watch my kids also, for obvious reasons.
 

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Fella with the deer problem. Have you tried venison with a honey glaze?
Yum, Yum. Your a lucky guy. I recomend a 30.06 Head lamp and blue tarp.
A garage is alway better. Cleaning deer under a tarp at night with a head lamp gets old.
 

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Well, we will just have to disagree w/ each other about that. I'd like to see you control your bees as well as you can control a cat or a chicken. I've never seen anyone who trained a bee hive to play tic-tac-toe. But I have seen a chicken that could and could beat you every time too.

If you want to spend your time doing for bees what they can more easily do for themselves, and do better, go ahead. It really won't bother me. It's just a waste of time.

Do you tend to your children w/ this kind of mind set too? I hope not. Not after they are old enuf to tend to themselves anyway.
When I had 1 hive I pestered them to death (almost), but now that they have grown to 6 they benefit from less attention. Next year I'm thinking of dedicating a hive or 2 to benign neglect. My bees have a spring about a 100 ft away - flying back and forth for water gives them something to worry about instead of swarming as far as I'm concerned.

Kids are different though - you want them to move out someday.:)
 

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When I had 1 hive I pestered them to death (almost), but now that they have grown to 6 they benefit from less attention. Next year I'm thinking of dedicating a hive or 2 to benign neglect. My bees have a spring about a 100 ft away - flying back and forth for water gives them something to worry about instead of swarming as far as I'm concerned.

Kids are different though - you want them to move out someday.:)
I have 25 hives.
 
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