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Author Topic: Bee Watering.  (Read 3695 times)
CapnChkn
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« on: May 26, 2012, 12:03:10 PM »

When I use blocks of wood or other float to give the bees something to land on, I find they get waterlogged and sink.  Also bees falling into the water are seeding the potential for disease, and freestanding, still, water is a mosquito breeding facility.

In using floating water plants and putting Goldfish in the tub, I have confronted these three vectors.  Goldfish, being opportunistic carnivores, won't actively hunt the bees, but will eat the drowned insects and mosquito eggs.  The floating plants allow them the security of getting down to the water by walking toward the center of the rosette the leaves form.  I can also control the quality of the water the bees drink.

The two floaters shown here, Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), are semi-tropical, so would have to be overwintered in a greenhouse.  Florida also bans the transport and trade in these two plants.

This isn't the only watering source for the bees.  I see a lot of them crawling over my potted plants after I water them, and the cuttings in the perlite.  There's a pond within 250 feet, but I'm leery about the water quality.

My Bee Watering System for the science fair
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yockey5
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2012, 12:11:37 PM »




that is pretty cool.
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kingbee
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 05:18:19 PM »

... There's a pond within 250 feet, but I'm leery about the water quality...

Keep a clean water source handy but remember that bees often prefer a water source that would gag-a-maggot.
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hardwood
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 08:42:58 PM »

Goldfish (comets) never did much to control the skeeters here...I put mosquito killifish minnows in and no more skeeters.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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nietssemaj
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 12:40:38 PM »

The two floaters shown here, Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), are semi-tropical, so would have to be overwintered in a greenhouse.  Florida also bans the transport and trade in these two plants.

You may not be able to buy them in Florida. But go to just about any lake and you can just pull them up out of the water. I have an aquaculture system I am building for Tilapia, part of the system involves a tub of duckweed, the bee's will cover the duckweed and get quite upset when I thin it out.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 03:43:59 PM »

(Besides my hot tub...which they love)...my bees go crazy for a damp pot filled with peat moss and vermiculite potting soil...they will pack it so tight it looks like a frame of brood....meanwhile the refuse to use any of my buckets and watering troughs full of fresh water except to drown themselves.
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jataylor
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 04:18:07 PM »

Bee farming and goldfish farming!   My neighbors will really think I've lost my mind.  Still pretty cool!  Thanks.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 04:56:35 PM »

I like the idea, an easy goldfish pond!  I might have to try something like that.....

The bees are still getting more water from the pond at 250 ft than from your giant goldfish bowl! Wink
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Rick
stewroten
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 09:47:20 PM »

A friend of mine mounted eight used satellite dishes on a 6x6 post -- about 12 feet high.  It looks like a strange giant flower in his beeyard.  The dishes are facing upward and collect rainwater or he fills them w/ a hose.  The gentle slope is fine for bees w/ few drownings.  Only thing is, he left them gray.  I think I'd paint them in bright colors -- couldn't look much stranger.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 10:02:33 PM »

Nice setup. One thing about the Water Hyacinth's is that the water treatment plants use them to remove toxic metals from the water. What is really strange is the plants break them down to a non toxic form and they then can feed them to cows. I would add some minnows to the mix to handle the mosquito larvae. I tried just the gold fish in my fountain and they didn't eat them.
Jim
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yockey5
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 03:42:12 PM »

Tadpoles are in my little water tanks and they eat anything that moves in the water.
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oregonbeeman
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 09:45:52 PM »

Cool. Love the gold fish idea.
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 04:30:23 AM »

Florida peoples, I know what you're saying!  When I was in Jacksonville I spent some time next to a forest pond that was the drainage for CSX.  It was dry some of the time, but when it did rain, that pond was a quarter acre of mosquito larvae.

I went to a local stream and caught 30 Gambusia (Mosquitofish) and, strangely, Mollies, put them in that pond and in 2 weeks time there wasn't a spot I could look in that pond that didn't have little fish crusing and wriggling through the leaves.

I haven't had any wrigglers in the tubs for the three years I've been here, and the mosquitoes here are sometimes even worse than some of the swamps I remember.  Problem is that Gambusia are considered an invasive species in TN.  I think there's one river in the southeast of the state that has a population.
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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
CapnChkn
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 09:49:12 PM »

Well, an end to this experiment.

It worked flawlessly, except the goldfish decided to constantly pick at the Water lettuce and Hyacinth.  The Hyacinth didn't survive, and the water lettuce is now around an inch (25mm) wide.  I moved them where they might grow a little.  The heat we had in July killed all my young tomatoes, burned up the corn and hay, and made me sick to my stomach, but the bees came through with flying colors.

I have bees in every water source I see now.  Two birdbaths, the watering tubs I placed out for them and have not noticed any at the pond.  I've taken some 1x2's shaved down the edges to give better access and painted them with melted beeswax.  So far they haven't been waterlogged, but the bees are using them grudgingly...
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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
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