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Author Topic: location - how important is water source  (Read 1526 times)
Algonam
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« on: December 22, 2008, 06:42:58 AM »

Hi there,

I'm trying to figure out a good spot to start up. Some posts speak of the bees drinking water from ponds etc. My property doesn't have any water on it. There is an open swamp 1 mile away and a lower bush swamp roughly 1/2 mile away. We don't have a house on the property yet so we can't set up a water source. Is this still OK? How important is water for bees?
If you haven't figured it out yet.....I'm new (with many questions) and want to do it right the first time!

Algonam
 
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Keith13
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 08:22:28 AM »

Set the bees up where it is convenient for you. The bees will find away. If they have to fly 1/2 mile than they will, or they may find a hole in a tree with water in it 100ft away. Once you have finished with your house you can put in a water source closer for your bees.

Keith
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WayneW
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 08:36:56 AM »

Water is as important for bees as it is for humans. I myself keep bees in close proximity to neighbors. Both have pools and thats my KEY concern. I provide water to my bees so that they have no need to be flocking to my neighbors pools. A bird bath setup and kept full of fresh water works fine. If you have other people close by with pools, i'd consider looking at some sort of watering method, other than to let the bees decide that your neighbors pool or fish pond is their source for water. While i havent had a problem yet, from what i hear/read it's VERY difficult to change your bees minds on where they drink, once they have choosen a favorite spot.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 09:37:29 AM »

Water sources are primarily a concern when you have neighbors with pools, as mentioned above.  Otherwise the bees will find it themselves, and they will carry water as far as they carry nectar.

They probably won't need to go as far as the swamp, but that is an ideal source for them.

rick
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Rick
ikeepbees
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 01:47:51 PM »

It is difficult to keep bees away from pools even when provided with a closer source of water. While making sure there is a water source close at hand is probably the responsible thing to do if you have neighbors with water features and/or pools, it will not keep bees out of their pool. Some of your bees will be attracted to the particular smell of the feature / pool in your neighbor's yard, as will honeybees from other colonies. This practice may keep the bees in their pool to a minimum, though, rather than a thundering herd.

I have always had several water sources for the bees in my back yard as my neighbors have pools. I was receiving no complaints, so I thought the situation was well in hand. Last summer I was enjoying an adult beverage with my neighbor on his back porch, when I noticed HEAVY bee traffic at his fish pond adjacent to his swimming pool. I mean seriously heavy traffic. I could not get near the pond without having bees run into me on their way in/out. I could not imagine that anyone unfamiliar with bees wouldn't be terrified by the sight. Some of the bees were clearly leaving in the direction of my beeyard, while others were climbing up and going the other direction. I asked him why he hadn't told me of the problem, and he said as far as he was concerned it wasn't a problem, he was just glad to get the occasional jar of local honey from me.

Nice people. You can imagine the complaints had the situation been different. I guess my point is that simply providing a water source may not solve your problem with your neighbors.

As to the bees themselves - keith13 said it. If you can't provide water for them, they'll find it on their own just fine.   
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Keith13
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 02:06:22 PM »

It is difficult to keep bees away from pools even when provided with a closer source of water. While making sure there is a water source close at hand is probably the responsible thing to do if you have neighbors with water features and/or pools, it will not keep bees out of their pool. Some of your bees will be attracted to the particular smell of the feature / pool in your neighbor's yard, as will honeybees from other colonies. This practice may keep the bees in their pool to a minimum, though, rather than a thundering herd.

I have always had several water sources for the bees in my back yard as my neighbors have pools. I was receiving no complaints, so I thought the situation was well in hand. Last summer I was enjoying an adult beverage with my neighbor on his back porch, when I noticed HEAVY bee traffic at his fish pond adjacent to his swimming pool. I mean seriously heavy traffic. I could not get near the pond without having bees run into me on their way in/out. I could not imagine that anyone unfamiliar with bees wouldn't be terrified by the sight. Some of the bees were clearly leaving in the direction of my beeyard, while others were climbing up and going the other direction. I asked him why he hadn't told me of the problem, and he said as far as he was concerned it wasn't a problem, he was just glad to get the occasional jar of local honey from me.

Nice people. You can imagine the complaints had the situation been different. I guess my point is that simply providing a water source may not solve your problem with your neighbors.

As to the bees themselves - keith13 said it. If you can't provide water for them, they'll find it on their own just fine.   

Wow!!! if only we all had neighbors like these beekeeping would be more accepted in backyards for sure.

Keith
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008, 03:06:09 PM »

I give my bees water ,  FYI, I used an old satelite dish, dug a slight hole and put it in, filled it with peatmoss and water, they love it. it has all the things bees want ,, lol nasty water holes. I would be concerned if you have neighbors, they can do there best to shut you down before you start. There are a few posts on here where folks weren't quite as ammiable as the previous poster. Give them water if you can, not for them but for your peice of mind, like stated if you don't give it they will find it. And neighborhood pools and ornimental fish ponds seem to be there favorites. Its better to practice prevention before the fact. Might not make a differense, but at least you can say you tried.
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 03:12:00 PM »

One thing that you can do if you want to is take a 5 gal. bucket or 2 out to the property.  Drill a couple of holes in the side of the bucket about 3/4's of the way up.  Then throw some sticks or anything that will float in water in the bucket.  Then the next time it rains you have a water source for the bees that they can use if they so desire.  The sticks will provide a place for the bees to stand so they don't drowned (in theory) in the bucket.  The holes will keep the bucket from overflowing and losing the sticks.  This then provides a water source closer than the swamp therefore requiring less flying time collecting water and more time collecting nectar and pollen (in theory grin).  
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jojoroxx
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2008, 09:10:03 PM »

From what I understand, consistant (clean) water is very important and it is not in their best interest to have to travel a long distance for it.  tongue ...It is a waste of valuable energy ie: nectar and time.

One very important reason to maintain a steady supply of water is for brood survival. Brood rearing will fail, or cease all together for lack of water!

Water is also used to help maintain hive (brood) temperatures in the heat of summer.

Personally, I wouldn't place any hives anywhere, without at least one leaky hose going somewhere on the property.
Jojo
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 09:18:36 PM »

Dee Lusby's Father-in-law told me they never could get any honey off of their hives in the desert unless water was less than 1/4 mile away.  I think that's a good plan.  1/4 mile tops.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 09:46:01 PM »

Hi there,

I'm trying to figure out a good spot to start up. Some posts speak of the bees drinking water from ponds etc. My property doesn't have any water on it. There is an open swamp 1 mile away and a lower bush swamp roughly 1/2 mile away. We don't have a house on the property yet so we can't set up a water source. Is this still OK? How important is water for bees?
If you haven't figured it out yet.....I'm new (with many questions) and want to do it right the first time!

Agleam

just wondering do you see bees flying about and foraging at the property and if not have you looked for bees in the vicinity of the property
 RDY-B
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Lone
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 06:16:21 AM »

Algonam,

Just don't let the bees rule you, or you'll be like us and set up two bird baths and also two fish ponds with fish to keep the mozzies away and a bathtub to grow plants for the fish, and travel hundreds of kilometres for water lilies as landing strips for the stripey darlings so they can stand effortlessly and drink all their fill, as well as ensuring all the animal water dishes are topped up regularly in case one desires an alternative water supply, and of course do regular maintenance on all the bores and windmills on the chance one might fail and our princesses thirst for a short while, and pay rates for the above to the water board who is, as you know, also striving around the clock to ensure a safe and continuous water stream just so our winged friends may be Happy and Content, which, as we all realise, makes all of us Happy and Content.

By the way, they drink from one of the fishponds and hang on to the rough concrete sides....but I have seen other varieties of insect utilise the water lily scheme, so they are not wasted.

Lone
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Algonam
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2008, 06:30:37 AM »

Thanks everyone!
This is my first posting, and if theses responses are any indication of how helpfull you will be, this will be a great site for me.
I can't supply water so the local swamps will have to do. I'll just have to place them as close as possible to a wet area. We don't have a house or even a well on the property yet and haven't owned it since the bees went away for winter so we don't know if there is much other bee activity in the area. We don't want to be watering them and hope they'll find their way to the swamps. One good thing is there shouldn't be any pesticides since we are in a rural bush area, close to cottage country. Somebody on another post mentioned early morning sun. That is; to place them where the sun will wake them to start their days as early as possible to keep them working. Additional comments on this too would be appreciated.

Thanks again. Wink
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BjornBee
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 06:56:01 AM »

Algonam,
Yes, morning sun and all day sun is preferred. I can not imagine they would have a hard time finding water of some sort close by. Bees will use trapped water in downspouts, discarded containers filled with water, and natural pools, etc. And no matter how much fresh water you could provide, bees many times favor mucky water, as they seek out trace minerals. Your bees will do fine.
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