Sandy Bird Bath
Over the years, I have experimented with a variety of bird bath additions to give my honeybees a safe place to land while they get a drink of water. Honeybees need water for a variety of reasons, from hydration to take water back to the hive to use in food production and to ventilate the hive.
From twigs and leaves to rocks and statuaries, my bird baths have gone from simple bowls holding water to virtual sandy beaches - literally.
The latest experiment is this bird bath at the front of my house lined with sand. I keep it saturated with water so bees can easily get moisture without having to walk into the deep end on the other side of the rocks.
The bird bath is a little too close to the bird feeder. Sunflower seed hulls end up dotting the sandy edge but it doesn't seem to bother the bees.
One of the questions I researched last year was how far should the water source be located. According to Larry Connors, the water source should be no farther than half a mile from the hive. This bird bath is about halfway between my two bee gardens, maybe 200 feet from the closest apiaries.
Besides sticks, I also add larger rocks to my bird baths to give bees a safe place to land. If I have to choose between large and small rocks, I prefer smaller rocks so bees can still easily reach water but still be safe from falling in.
That's why the sand works well, it gives bees a safe place to land while giving them easy and safe access to moisture.