Bird bath - suitable for water source?

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Beezy 

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Hi all,

I have a bird bath in the garden and will be getting bees soon. Will this be a suitable water source? Should I put a few stones in there or will the sloping sides be enough to stop them drowning in it? Also (this may be a silly question) do they mind sharing such a small area of water with bathing birds?

Next door has a pond and the neighbour is happy for the bees to use it as a source, although I still want to provide them with one myself even though they'll drink where they want!

Thanks,
Kate
 

tkwinston4 

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My bees regularly use my birdbath for water. They also use the wildlife pond that i created for them when the dogs aren't drinking out of it. The sloping side is enough for the bees on the bird bath but i did put gravel in the shallow end of the pond for them but they prefer to use the plants to land on these days.
From what i gather they will go where ever there is water so you don't need to worry too much unless we are suffering from a drought :)
 

AMAE 

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Hi welcome to the forum.

I've gone for a poultry drinker option...with gravel in the base. It works , doesn't dry out as fast as the bird bath and the garden birds are much more appreciative of being left in peace!.

But then as you say, the bees will do there own thing...mine are often to be found in the bottom of a muddy ditch- but my honey still tastes great:drool5:
 

SixFooter 

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I put out several last year: A bucket with bits of wood and polystyrene floating; a bucket full of stones and gravel; a bird bath; a poultry drinker. The bees didnt use any of them untill this year. Now they use them all. I think bees prefer smelly water.
 

Beezy 

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Thanks for the replies! I'll get a poultry drinker as well then, plus we're planning a small water feature so the bees will be spoilt for choice (and probably not use any of them!)
 

admin 

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My bees always prefered the neighbers swimming pool(as he often pointed out to me).
The Chlorine never seemed to put them off.
 

Somerford 

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I'd agree, bees seem to like slightly stagnant water - I witnessed some (of course not mine) drinking from some muddy cattle poo water......I wonder if any flavours would impart themselves into the honey ?!

S
 

PeteN 

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I filled an empty bird bath when I received my Nucs, put some pebbles in the bottom. The girls found it within 5 mins, they then continued to use it until they went to the out Apiary. I filled it straight from the tap with clean water. Quite a sight seeing them all lined up round the edge.

PN
 

SER 

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When I was first setting up my apiary I read somewhere that you could 'train' your bees to drink from a certain source by putting a few drops of peppermint oil in the water source and also in their syrup.

So when I was moving my nucs into full brood boxes and was feeding I tried this. Within a few days they had almost completly stopped using a cattle trough and were using my previously ignored supplied source which they have continued to use to this day.

I never thought it would work, but it seemed to.

Si.
 

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