Bees need water just about all year long — especially in these final hot, dry days of summer.

Putting a birdbath near your hives is a convenient way to provide water for the bees.

Putting a birdbath near your hives is a convenient way to provide water for the bees.

Water is vital for a number of functions the bee must perform, particularly cooling the hive, so it’s up to the beekeeper to make sure the bees have a good source of clean, fresh water close to the hive.

Many beekeepers place a birdbath or some other container near their hives, and they fill it on a daily basis. Filling it is necessary because the water should be shallow enough so there is plenty of surface for the bees to stand while drinking it. Bees cannot swim. So if you use a birdbath or wading pool, puts some bricks, rocks or pieces of wood in it so the bees will have something to stand on.

And check it daily. Shallow water will evaporate quickly on a hot day.

If you live in a neighborhood with swimming pools, the bees’ need for water can be a problem. The heavily-chlorinated water of a poll is probably not the best thing for the bees. And the neighbors will likely consider bees flocking to the small puddles of water beside a swimming pool to be pests, and they tend to read for the spray can.

Even if the area you’re living in has had abundant rain, think “water for the bees” on a daily basis and make sure they have it.

 

Key words: bees, beekeeping, water for the bees, shallow water evaporates easily, cooling the hive with water

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