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Each commodity is essential for life as a honeybee. But, if you had to choose which one to have closer to your hives, which would it be? Bear in mind, that surface water can be a tough commodity to find most summers around here. This is a fairly windy part of our state, so long flights would be taxing on a bee.

I have a choice for an apiary site to place the hives near a pond that generally seems to store water all summer long or closerer the nearby foraging fields. The pond is at least a half mile plus to the edge of a CRP field that blooms clover and other floral options like crazy each year. The bees could probably obtain water from dew in the early mornings, but that can also be tough to find some times in this locale during dry spells.

Either location has its pluses - good road access, resaonable distance away from nearby homes, windbreaks, etc. I'm leaning toward near the floral source for more efficient, as in shorter nectar flights.

With both commodities being important, which is more essential for nearby access to the colonies?
 

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I would say go for the floral area, if you need to, you can put out a basin with some rocks and water when things get dry. if the forage blooms all summer long, then there is a good supply of water available anyway, and the girls will find it.
 

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There may be places in Kansas where water is scarse, but not where I keep my bees. Here in SC there is plenty of water available to bees, even in a drought. The same is true in NY also.

I would think that if you know a place where your bees can make a crop of honey, there will be enough water in the area too. I'd move to the nectar source and not worry about the water.

Put your hives where you can easily get to them. Bees fly, that's what they are supposed to do. Trying to place them in the most efficient place is a hard thing to figure out and probably not necassary. So, for my two cents, being able to get my truck and skidder close to the hives w/out getting stuck is high on my list when it comes to yard placement. The bees will fly to the nectar source and the water source and they may not even like the water source that you think they aught to.
 
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