1. yes but put them away from the hives and put rocks in the trough. i use quail water containers. you can also use deli jars with holes poked in the top, etc.
3. no. they have their uses, but they are certainly not needed.
someone did ask not long ago about what was needed and we came up with a pretty good list. KISS is the way i go. lots of things are nice to have, but few things are really required