How to Safely Provide Bees Water
I can't say for sure that the shape of the bird bath makes a difference but my bees seem to think it does. I have a number of bird baths throughout my one acre, hillside garden. The one the bees seem to visit the most is the one shaped like a two-foot flower.
I use this favorite watering spot to give them a regular source of water. The bird bath is lined with rocks and sticks to give bees a safe place to land and I don't worry about keeping it immaculate. The bees seem to prefer water with a little age to it.
It also works well when I have a little sugar water treat when I empty jars feeding my beginning colonies. August is a hard time for bees. Bee colony numbers are at their highest and food supplies, especially when temperatures are over 95F, are almost non-existent. Plants stop producing pollen when temperatures rise over that thresh hold for several days in a row.
To make sure my beginning colonies get a good start, I feed them 3:1 sugar water to encourage them to draw wax comb. When I clean their sugar water jars, any extra gets poured into the nearby flower-shaped bird bath. Bird bath rocks and sticks work well for sugar water, too.
Adding rocks and sticks has been a practice I have used since I started beekeeping. The rocks give them a safe landing spot and the sticks ensure they have a safe place to climb should they fall in.
It also makes it possible for more bees to access the liquid without piling on top of each other. I love having bees in my garden, they are a lot of fun to watch.
The little concrete frog provides bees another safe landing spot. I didn't think about when I added him to the bird bath, I just liked the way he looked there!
How do you provide your bees water in your garden?