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Author Topic: Watering bees?  (Read 5995 times)
manowar422
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« on: December 29, 2004, 01:57:42 PM »

I'm wondering if everyone can post their methods for providing good clean water for their girls. Clean, fresh water was one of my city's requirements for allowing folks to keep bees in their backyards.

I have an idea about running the condensate drain from my central A/C
outside the foundation of my house into some kind of pan with wire to keep the bees from drowning, yet allowing them to drink through the wire.
It will be fairly easy to pipe an over flow to the sewer main (where the condensate water went in the first place).

The water from the A/C condensation would be considered a "distilled" water and would contain no chlorine and would be much softer (PH) than the water from the city main. During the months we don't run the A/C (Dec., Jan., Feb.) I'm going to fill the pan manually with filtered water from the refrigerator door dispenser

I don't drink "tap" water unless it's run through a filter first. My dog, when given a choice, prefers the filtered water also. My bees will get the same treatment as any of my other pets.

Lets provide some shared ideas here on this thread for this very important bee resource. Thanks, David
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Jay
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2004, 02:15:04 PM »

The only potential problem I see with the non-chlorinated water is algae growth during the summer months. Other than that this sounds like a fine idea. Instead of wire mesh, if you want it to look a little better, you could use little rocks about the size of your fist or smaller. Kinda like a rock garden pool. If you put a little aquarium pump in there, maybe it would agitate the water enough so the algae wouldn't be able to get a foothold.

In the spring I plan to sink a little kiddie pool into the ground and fill it with rocks to do much the same thing I'm sugesting here. I don't have the added benifit you have of the constant supply of water. I'll have to add mine manualy. Cheesy
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Finman
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2004, 02:16:57 PM »

Quote from: manowar422
I'm wondering if everyone can post their methods for providing good clean water for their girls.


Bee love to take dirty water. Bees like to suck water from moist earth.

I have used on my yard water dish, where is sphagnum moss. Most of bees goes to muddy pools to take water. They need minerals, I quess.

If bees are too many, they start to fight.

Also I had a fish pool, about 300 liter. It was tens of bees all the time taking water. Even if they have water near hives, they like to fly 100 meter to take water preferly from dirty places.
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golfsighco
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2004, 03:44:50 PM »

I agree with finman.  Seems the more effort you put into getting water for them, the more obstinate they are and go get their own.  They seem to prefer a footprint in the mud to a nice clean rock garden in a bird bath.  Mine adopted an old rusty wheel barrow that was catching water from sprinkers.  I put alot of work into a drip system for the garden, and incorporating the bird bath for them, which they have ignored totally.  After trying to bait them to the bird bath, I gave up and extended the drip system to the wheelbarrow tray.  Given their preference for stagnate, muddy, or otherwise fouled water, good luck getting them to go for the distilled stuff.
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manowar422
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2004, 04:23:58 PM »

Throughout the months of June, July and August my area is really dry.
I'm guessing that's why the city demands that beekeepers supply their bees water.

When walking the dog in the months of high heat and low rainfall totals, I'm always seeing lots of yellow jackets that always converge around places like the public drinking fountans at our local park a few blocks from home. I've also noticed many flying insects hanging around the water sources at the baseball parks when I used to play softball.

I read somewhere recently that bees use water to create evaporation within the hive for cooling during summertime when temperatures here can exceed the 98i range. Even when the sun goes down, folks say the honey supers retain the heat for a while after nightfall and the bees will hang outside the hive in large numbers until the internal temperature drops back to comfortable levels.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2004, 06:23:30 PM »

What other people said is what I've mostly seen too. Where I live, we're allowed to drain most of our water from the house (from everything but the toilets) directly onto the ground. It's piped to a distance of about 100 feet from the house. I know this seems strange, but it's just how many people do it here, and it's completely legal here.
The bees tend to drink from this water, or other drain pipes, where the ground gets all muddy and with some algae. We also had a few bees drown in our new pool before we put the fence up.

I would imagine giving them a water source would help to keep your bees drinking at home instead of public drinking fountains - maybe. Surely it would cut down the times they visited public water sources. I'm not sure why the city wants it to be "clean" water though. I like the idea you have about how to get them water. Another way might be to use a frame feeder or entrance feeder - filled with water instead of sugar/water.  Or what about doing some sort of automatic watering system? You can buy those automatic water dishes for a dog for fairly cheap (bought one for my dogs for only $18). Just hook it to a hose, put some rocks in it so the bees have places to land, and it will always stay full. And actually, many creatures outside will enjoy it - your pets, birds, butterflies.

Beth
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2004, 06:58:09 PM »

My area is much the same.  High desert with little moisture during the summer.  I was just trying to point out that the little buggers aren't always cooperative and have plans of their own.  They seem to like chlorinated water, and other water with odors present.  I don't know if it's because they are scent oriented, or as Finman says, they need minerals.  I once just put a 1x10 leaning agains a hose bib, and let it drip.  The bees as well as wasps covered the board to get the water.  But usually, it doesn't work out that simply for me.  I just try to make water available and hope they won't become a nuisance to the neighbors.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2004, 07:12:40 PM »

Yup bees are sure funny critters when it comes to taking water. I bought a nice bird bath for my girls, found a nice rock for them to sit on and I always saw them in the wet mulch in the flower gardens, never at the bird bath.
Then visiting a bee keeper who belongs to our club I saw the bottom 6" of one of those blue barrels with gravel in it, so I asked what it was. Well it is the bees watering hole he said. I bought 2 rubber dishes at TSC filled them with small stones and the bees now stay at home to drink.I fill it up every time I water the bee garden. Alge isn't a problem, I think I even remember robo saying he put a bit of bleach in his syurp so it didn't mold.

Swarms even went to Bobs bee water hole. I had almost forgot about that  cheesy  cheesy



The old bee yard of 2003, to much shade.


The rubber dish with stones/pebbles.




 Cheesy Al
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Finman
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2004, 06:42:39 AM »

I use sphagnum moss to give water to bees.


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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2004, 01:34:12 PM »

See Al, now that's what I'm talkin about! Although I like Finnman's sphagnum moss too! I guess I'm more of an asthetic guy than I thought! cheesy
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Finman
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2004, 02:22:02 PM »

Quote from: Jay
See Al, now that's what I'm talkin about! Although I like Finnman's sphagnum moss too! I guess I'm more of an asthetic guy than I thought! cheesy


Stones take most of the volume from water. Also when I give water on cold weather, bees easily drop to the cold water and stiffen at once.

Sphagnum moves water long distance, almost 10 centimeter.
If it is  inch x inch "free pool" in the water, bees drown there. Often different colinies fight on water point and they drop into water.

I put the water place into sunny spot. When wether is +5C, it is difficult to bees to take water.  And often sphagnum is frozen in the morning when first ones arrive get water.

I am a week away and arrive to my summer cottage for weekend.

in the middle of summer there are  no problems with water. We have that 300 liter fich pool on yard.  If water is cold there can be hundreds of dead bees in water.

aesthetic  question?  - not bad idea at all!
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2005, 09:15:06 PM »

All of are land has creeks running all year round with fresh sring water. This is how I plan to water them all. bye
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2005, 09:16:15 AM »

My bees discovered my bird feeder and drink there.  There might be a few dozen at a time drinking there, especially when I was force-feeding them 2:1 syrup.  They line up around the rim at the water line and sip from the edge of the water's surface.  Ocassionally, one will fall in, and if I find it in time I lift it out.  But I have also seen bees "swimming" across the surface (as well as wings can push them) until they reach the edge and crawl out.

-- Kris
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Anonymous
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2005, 09:59:11 AM »

I like the finmans moss idea and have already planed on fixing my water point come spring. Still will more than likely use those rubber dishes I bought.

 Cheesy Al
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Finman
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2005, 10:12:40 AM »

Quote from: trail twister
I like the finmans moss idea and have already planed on fixing my water point come spring. Still will more than likely use those rubber dishes I bought.

 Cheesy Al



What means that remote linking borbidden?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2005, 10:23:58 AM »

I have seen that sometimes Finman. But right now it is a dog dancing around. I think sometimes there is a glitch in gettting to the dancing dog.
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Lesli
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2005, 10:34:30 AM »

I had read about the bees prefering "dirty" water, too, so I put out an old dog dish with straw in it for the bees. I've never seen them in it, though. I live in a place with plenty of water sources, though, including Finman's moss, a swap, and a running creek, all pretty close (and closer than any neighbor's pool). So I gather they're finding what they need.
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Finman
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2005, 10:34:53 AM »

Quote from: Jerrymac
it is a dog dancing around. .



Odd things are happening....is it full moon

http://www.joe-ks.com/archives_feb2003/FastEscape.jpg
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Finman
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2005, 11:09:46 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
I had read about the bees prefering "dirty" water, too, so I put out an old dog dish with straw in it for the bees. I've never seen them in it, though. .


It depends what is situations. If bees get plenty of wet nectar, they do not bring water.

If they have some days that they cannot come out for weather, they come out to get water as son as weather is suitable. There are hundreds of bees taking water from leaves.

If bees do not have larvas, they need very little water.

You can calculate in the morning  on bad weather, how much bees fly  with heavy load. They surely have water inside. Nothings else is to be gathered.  They are hundreds per hive.

When I have feeded with pollen bees at spring and snow is on the ground, hives become sick if they do not get water. When snow is melted, there  are any problems in this case.

It is not necassary to me give water to bees, but it is nice to watch what are they doing.

At spring bees drop  into cold water and somethimes hundreds of dead are seen in pools. If water is warm, they swim to the bank.
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firetool
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2005, 12:38:33 AM »

Here is a idea that I did not see on the board. Just though I would share it with you all. I saw anouther bekeeper doing this. Thak a five gallon buckit with or with out lid. With out lid just staple a old towell to a board that is long enough to put across the bucket. The towell will then pull the moister up to the board and the bees land on the towell. If there is a lid handy cut a slit in the lid and pull they towell trough it and staple to the other side of lid. I am trying both to see which is better. They are useing both of them. I am woundering which one has the loes kill rato. I think it will be the lid model. But time will tell.

Brian

P.S.- If any one would like to see what I am talking about I will get some pictures  for you. It will take some time though, but I would be happy to.
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