In my neck of the woods Autumn has sprung: rain and gray and cooler days started basically on September 1st this year. That wont be the case for everyone though. And in fact just yesterday despite how rainy it has been there was a tired, thirsty little bee sitting tuckered out on my car. When she didn’t fly off as the car started moving, I scooped her gently up, brought her inside and put her into a tupperware with some water and a dab of local honey we got from a friend, and ms. little bee recovered overnight to fly away the next day. Even here in rainy Washington state bees can still use a nice drink.
A simpler way of giving bees a refreshing drink is to make a bee waterer!
A bee waterer can range from being one of the easiest things to throw together ever, all the way to a small garden water feature including aquatic plants. But here I will just explain my easiest-DIY-ever version and link to some more interesting variants that have been seen around the web.
All You Really Need
- A bowl or tray capable of holding water
- Some rocks, or pebbles, or marbles, etc
- Clean water, preferably not from the tap
- Place your rocks into your bowl.
- Fill with enough water that the rocks are not fully submersed.
The idea is to give the bees somewhere to stand outside of the water so that they do not fall in and drown as they drink. Tah dah! That is all you need to provide an oasis for bees, easy peasy!
And did you know that forager bees will carry water back to their colonies and distribute it to other thirsty worker bees as needed? A colony of bees ranges from 10,000 to 50,000 workers, with only about 30% being foragers. Providing water for those foraging bees can also provide a drink for many other bees you aren’t likely to see, as well as other pollinators and backyard critters.
Here are some links to other types of bee waterers I came across while looking into the best way to set mine up:
Creating a Honey Bee Water Garden, by Glenn-Apiaries.com
How To Keep Bees Out Of Your Pool, by Beekeeping Like a Girl
The #BeeWaterer hashtag on Instagram has lots of good ideas, especially this aesthetically pleasing bee bath by user mylittlekatecod
Reverence For Bees – Water For Bees With Jaqueline Freeman (youtube video)