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Author Topic: Bee drinking water  (Read 7140 times)
Cindi
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« on: April 07, 2007, 11:54:53 AM »

This sounds like a good question.  When there is moisture on the SBB (if you are using solid), do the bees utilize this moisture source in their own hive.

I recall in a post that it was a good idea to fill empty cells with water (in dry climates especially) so the bees have access to clean, fresh water.  This may be something I may do regardless of moisture outside.  It just makes some good sense for the bees to have access to water right in their own home.  Have a wonderful day, good health and all good things.  Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2007, 01:52:44 PM »

I recall in a post that it was a good idea to fill empty cells with water (in dry climates especially) so the bees have access to clean, fresh water.  This may be something I may do regardless of moisture outside.  It just makes some good sense for the bees to have access to water right in their own home.  Cindi

How about a little indoor plumbing to eliminate the need for cleansing flights.  grin
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2007, 02:33:07 PM »

I recall in a post that it was a good idea to fill empty cells with water (in dry climates especially) so the bees have access to clean, fresh water.  This may be something I may do regardless of moisture outside. 

Wouldn't this be a concern as a source for mold/mildew/etc in all but the most arid climates?  I would be hesitant to introduce any additional water that the bees do not bring in on their own accord.  What I've learned so far would put an emphasis on good aeration of the hive (screened bottoms, etc.,) and sufficient external water source(s).
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 05:05:14 PM »

>I recall in a post that it was a good idea to fill empty cells with water (in dry climates especially) so the bees have access to clean, fresh water.

I've never heard of it except in a swarm box during queen rearing when they are confined.  From watching bees collect water, I don't think fresh or clean is part of their criteria.
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Michael Bush
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2007, 10:16:32 PM »

Cindi,

Just give them a boardman feeder with water.  Easier to fill and easier to monitor.  When we get severe droughts I sometimes do it.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2007, 11:06:32 PM »

I years past I used to do what Robo suggested.  Now with a creek in the back pasture and a lake 1/2 mile away i don't worry about it.  The lake always has water even when the creek goes dry.
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 09:55:08 AM »

I have lots of clean water nearby for the bees to drink.  Remember in some of my older posts I showed the picture of the ditch with the hose that trickles into it?  That is one of the bees' watersources and it is clear and pure running all year long, the bees flock to the sides of this ditch (and other parts and places) to obtain pure water.

My question was only a general curiosity queery.  Just thoughts that float in and out of my head.  Have a beautiful and wonderful Easter day, and good health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2007, 10:37:27 AM »

Maybe it is bees in South Florida. I have a nice bird bath. I keep the water in it very clean. I have two five gallon buckets with soil and moss that I keep moist. Do the bees want the clean bird bath water, hell no. They drink mud. I have to argue with bees when I am trying to pot up the plants and mix new buckets of soil.

Somehow I think if I took my bees to a bar and offered them Belevedre vodka or Stoli, they would drink the Stoli.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 10:44:44 AM »

Brendhan, I wonder if your bird bath is not super shallow?  I would imagine that it has "stuff" in it if it is more than an inch deep to keep the bees afloat.  I think that the bees like to stand feet deep only (meaning almost no depth to the water) to drink.  The muck and moss is probably the perfect alighting medium for the bees to land on and is warm.  I know bees prefer warm to cool water.

My ditch wall surface is always moist, the moisture from the hose dribble keeps the walls moist and it is probably pretty mucky on their tarsi, and I think they love that.  Probably a feeling of security to know that they won't be drowning. 

What we do for our bees.  Best of the day and great health to go with it.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 11:04:40 AM »

good points Cindi & "general curiosity queries" are a good thing (imho). Smiley - I'd imagine the bees have to reconcile their thirst with the possibility of drowning.  I also understand that they are drawn to fragrance, any fragrance (doesn't necessarily have to be pleasant, lol).  Pure water being odorless, etc., ~ it may not do much for them.   Clean (naturally occurring) water also requires good flow and aeration which likely also equates to more bee-drowning potential.
If you want to try a test put two identical shallow (no chance of bee drowning) trays of water side by side near the hives.  One pure and the other blended with herbs, flowers, essential oils and/or grass (or something) and see which they prefer.
The next step in curiosity queries is curiosity experiments ~ then it gets really scary!  evil  Wink
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Denise
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2007, 11:44:18 AM »

Our ladies make me shake my head over what kind of water they prefer. We have our creek that runs 10 feet from the hive. Nice and fresh. Will they use it? Nope. They prefer the nasty, vile, stagnant water that gathers in the scoop of the tractor. Bleah! The more disgusting the water, the more they like it. You would think with that being a chemistry experiment gone wrong, it would hurt them. It must not since they keep coming back for more. Silly bees.
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2007, 12:17:55 PM »

Pungent, ucky, gross, stale water is probably the ultimate choice of taste to a bee (LOLL).  They do not have the same "taste buds" as humans, so our tasteless water is yummy to us, but they may prefer the stinky muck water.  Again, gotta LOLL.

I grow lemon balm beside the ditch, wonder if the the above ground/below ground parts of this plant seep into the earth and provide a sweet taste to the muck of the ditch slope?  They do love the lemon balm, that is common knowledge.   Have a wonderful day, with lots of good health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2007, 12:55:26 PM »

I think the smell helps them recruit water foragers.  Without smell I think they have trouble recruiting.

Bees can filter out microscopic particles when they suck up water or nectar, so it's actually much cleaner after they filter it.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2007, 10:52:40 PM »

Michael, good information and makes some really good sense when one ponders these thoughts.  Have the best day, and good health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2007, 12:38:06 AM »

I was just thinking about how to water my bees with out them trying to get it from my neighbor's pool.  Cool thing I found this post.  We have a seasonal creek that runs through my back yard, but it stops after spring and returns in the winter.  Too bad cause that would be perfect.  I thought about just using a small bucket with cedar chips in it so they dont drown.  Good idea?  Bad idea?  From the sound of it maybe I'll throw a handful of dirt in with it.  lol.

Sean
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tig
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2007, 02:16:45 AM »

i have clay jars that have a faucet on them.  i fill the jars and let the water drip slowly thru the faucet to a waiting clay pot.  the pot is about 2 inches deep and i filled it with stones so the bees don't drown.  i trained my bees to drink from this source so they don't invade my neighbors laundry area or swimming pools, not to mention if they are around agricultural areas such as rice fields, it prevents them from drinking in the paddies that may be treated with pesticides or herbicides.

the clay jars are ideal because  one jar holds water for about 3 to 4 days depending on how fast it drips and it makes the water cool which the bees seem to love on a hot summers day.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2007, 06:33:13 AM »

I assume they are taking the water off the outside of the jars?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2007, 07:11:03 AM »

yes they do.  the jars have covers so they can't get in and drown.  moss grows on the outside of the jar and on really hot days the jars "weep" water on the sides.  thats the water the bees seem to love best.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2007, 02:12:23 PM »

I bought these aquifers from Brushy Mountain and they worked well.  It would be easy to get some taffeta from a fabric supply store and some styrofoam floats and make these out of 5 gallon buckets, or anything else you have around that holds water.  The floats are beneath the fabric, and the bees can walk all over it without fear of drowning. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2007, 08:46:15 PM »

I put a lot of sticks in a five gallon bucket and the bees love that.  They crawl down the sticks to the water.
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Michael Bush
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