Water is an essential resource for all living creatures, including the buzzing honey bee! Without a safe, clean water source, honey bees can’t make honey, maintain their hives, or perform any of the functions necessary to live. Furthermore, honey bees are a vital part of their ecosystems. Without healthy pollination by bees and other pollinators, plants and other species would struggle to survive. Unfortunately, habitat loss and other complications can make it difficult for honey bees to find reliable water sources. Follow this guide to help ensure your honey bees always have enough water.
Why Honey Bees Need Water
Like all living things, honey bees rely on water to stay hydrated and perform essential functions like digesting food or maintaining their metabolism. Water is also a key ingredient in the bee bread and royal jelly that honey bees use to feed their brood. Honey bees also need water to keep their hive cool enough during hot weather. Worker bees will use their wings to help evaporate water within the hive, cooling the air so that wax combs don’t melt in the summer heat and humidity.
How To Ensure Your Honey Bees Always Have Enough Water
Most of the time, honey bees get their water from puddles, ponds, and other natural sources near the hive. However, these sources aren’t always safe or healthy. The water might contain harmful bacteria or pesticides from nearby soil. If the water source is too deep or doesn’t have a safe place for bees to land, they could drown. All these dangers make it important for beekeepers and bee-friendly gardeners to provide a safe water source. A wide, shallow dish with fresh water is the perfect way to give your local honey bees a safe place to land. Make sure this water source is relatively close to the hive or the hive’s foraging grounds. To make the waterer even safer, place stones, twigs, corks, or other objects within the dish to give the honey bees a place to sit and drink.
Customer Photo Credit: Cindy E.
Get the resources your honey bees need to thrive! Outfit your colonies with waterers, honey bee feeders, and other supplies from Mann Lake.