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Author Topic: salty water for bees  (Read 1243 times)

Offline heaflaw

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salty water for bees
« on: March 25, 2008, 11:42:46 PM »
I read somewhere that bees either need or like water with disolved salts.  I've noticed that when my cows spend time near the barn, I see bees on wet spots on the ground getting salty water from the urine.

Is providing salty water for them a good idea and, if so, how can I do it?

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2008, 02:13:59 AM »
I tried it once. I put a cube of water softener salt in the lid of a jar and filled it with water and sat it out by the hive. I did see bees going after it a couple of times and then nothing. I let it dry up and every once in a while I would see a bee messing around in the salt encrusted lid. Perhaps they need/like a little salt every now and then. Just do it the same as feeding I guess.
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Offline durkie

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2008, 01:37:35 PM »
It seems that bees almost prefer dirty water, according to a bunch of past threads on here, so it would seem like a good idea.

I'm thinking that's what I'm going to give them next as water, because right now I'm giving them plain tap water in a boardman feeder and they're still flocking to (and drowning in) the hot tub 30 feet away that's full of bromide salts.

It shouldn't be too hard to come up with the right concentration - just keep upping it until they prefer your spot over elsewhere. Maybe even throw some cow urine in there to sweeten the deal...

Offline heaflaw

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2008, 09:31:59 PM »
Durkie:

"Maybe even throw some cow urine in there to sweeten the deal..."

Good idea.  I'll get a bucket and walk around behind a cow until she pee'd.

Offline vabeeguy

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008, 10:28:25 AM »
 I built a small above ground pond a few years back (4x8) along with lilly pads, I have a few fish. Like an aquarium, I added some salt to the water and the bees go nuts over it. On a warm day there's hundreds of bee's gathered there drinking.

Offline Trot

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 08:56:59 PM »
 
Bees love and need salt. They will seek animal urine and manure piles at the ends of barns, etc. if is not provided for them.

Feel free to put some salt into their drinking water. (You all have a water set up for your girls, right?)
One should provide running water for bees. If you don't, they will find it on their own. Most likely in the neighbours swimming pool.
Stagnant water, pool water, is not good cause it is a breeding ground/water for various diseases, mainly nosema.
One can open the outside garden tap, just a tad and let water drip on a slanted board with hatched grooves or tacked on cleats.
A barrel of some kind is best, with affixed tap so water is dripping on slanted board or mossy rock and pea gravel.
Give them about two grams of table or sea salt, to each gallon of water. About one fifth of teaspoon. 
Salt is useful to bees.
In Europe they use it manly in spring. They say it prevents the May-disease?
Too much salt is harmful to the bees. It is said, that it shortens their life span. . . .

Offline super dave

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Re: salty water for bees
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008, 09:55:48 PM »
i put mineral salt into my grease patties
lets throw it in the air and see which  way it splatters