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I've got a bee waterer made out of a couple large plant pot basins with the outer edge lined with rocks. It fills via drip irrgation every evening. Bees love it.
Should I add any minerals to the water or mineral blocks or licks near by? My water is plain well water. I ask because I've read bees love pools because of the minerals.
 

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Our state apiarist at a early conference this year recommended salt. He didn't state how much, but recommended it. Might be worth looking into. Some others might chime in on this topic/mineral as well.
 

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Well water likely has lots of minerals in it already. Have you ever had it analysed? FWIW, I keep a small sea-salt pile on th center of a cinder block stood on end near the hive.
 

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I would add nothing to the water, especially HBH, to avoid the similar carnage that open feeding generates. If the bees actually need supplements, I'd feed it to them inside the hive.

Wayne
 

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This weekend I added a few small pieces of cattle mineral block (mostly salt) to their waterer. There is a stream and small pond a hundred yards away if they don't like it. But they have not been using the waterer lately and the minerals did not change that. We've had plenty of rain and they may have found a nice dirty puddle, leach from the compost piles, or the stream, that satisfies their cravings better.
 

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>Should I add any minerals to the water or mineral blocks or licks near by? My water is plain well water. I ask because I've read bees love pools because of the minerals.

I use vitamins and electrolytes from the feed store (one package cost 2 bucks). Here is a study that shows vitamins add to sugar water increase brood, better winter survivability. I always add it to syrup and patties.
http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=pjbs.2006.589.592&linkid=pdf

>A few drops of essential oils would be great, lemongrass, spearmint. Or even Honey B Healthy?
EOs are BAD FOR YOUR BEES they kill the probiotics (LAB) in the bee making them vulnerable to diseases like EFB, AFB Nosema and more. There are studies that prove it.
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0033188

Symbeeotic is a product (bee probiotics) that they claim can do all kind of good things for your bees to include prevent CCD...
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?news_item=6093&id=24890

Why would you want to feed your bee something that kills LAB?
 

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Well water likely has lots of minerals in it already. Have you ever had it analysed? FWIW, I keep a small sea-salt pile on th center of a cinder block stood on end near the hive.
+1. I would be very careful about adding anything to your water source. A separate salt pile like Hops described would be safer. My 2 cents.
 

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Over the years, I've observed that bees often shun fresh clean water and drink from persistent muddy, algae infested puddles, liquid filled hoofprints in cattle yard, muddy margins of a nearby swampy pond and our bird bath with red algae bloom. In a pinch they will drink from the clean fresh dog water dish by the pumphouse. Bees seem to enjoy slumming. They like the spot where the ground is saturated from decades of cattle mineral blocks and will gather by the hundreds to sip from that soggy soil after a rain. So, salt is a real crowd pleaser.
 

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Like Michael, I have salt blocks and mineral blocks out for cattle, and I have never seen a bee on or around them. My bees are near stock ponds and they like to suck water out of the mud close to the water line of my ponds. I once filled a plastic cow feeder with water and placed rocks and boards in it so that the bees could water closer to their hives. They still flew further to drink at the stock ponds. Hey, I'm just going to let them be bees.
 
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