Water for Bees Without the Drowning Risk

After intensive reporting on the massive insect mortality, everyone wants to help the bees. By consciously consuming organic products, by planting flower meadows and building insect hotels. But what many people do not know: Insects also need water. Especially in hot weather and in spring, they depend on finding something to drink.


Why do bees need water and why a bee trough?

Especially in the case of bees, most people believe that they can satisfy their water needs completely through the nectar of the flowers. This would be true for the bee itself. But they need water not only to quench their own thirst, but also to water their brood and cool the hive with it. They do this by distributing water in the area of the hive where their brood is. With their wings they fan air onto the moistened combs and thus cool with the principle of evaporation.

In nature, bees take in water from the banks of water bodies – from lakes to small puddles – or from plants wetted with dew. If they cannot satisfy their needs at natural sources, we humans can help them with a watering trough. Since they cannot swim, access is crucial for bees to be able to drink. They like best a landing spot that they can fly to easily. I am a hobby beekeeper and in the last few years I have always put a homemade drinking facility by my bees’ hive. This is super easy and helps the bees, especially in the hot summer months. Birds and other animals are also happy about the water dispenser. Just observe who visits your bee watering trough.

Do it yourself: Building a bee trough
What you need

Old corks
A bowl
Knife
Water

And this is how it works

Cut the cork lengthwise with the knife.
Place the cork in the bowl with the cut side facing up.
Fill with water and place near the flower bed or box in a sunny, windless spot.
Wait for thirsty bees.

Alternatively, you can use pieces of wood instead of corks or build a stable island with pebbles.

Tip: Change the water regularly and remove dirt and other debris. Also make sure that the watering trough is always filled.

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