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What happens if there is no water near the apiary?

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CliffDale 

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Following on from my thread about keeping bees in the back garden, I have been allowed to use some farm woodland near to our house.

The area where the hives can go is in the woods but on the edge of woodland.

I can not see a source of water near by.

Since the hives are shaded, will this be a problem?

Cliff
 

Poly Hive 

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Bees need water.

If there is none to hand supply it. Basin with some stones in it so they can land and drink from the edge.

Mine had a puddle surrounded today and are also drinking from an abandoned poultry drinker.

PH
 

CliffDale 

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Since I dont want to visit the farm every day topping up a water supply, is there a huge water drink dispenser you can think of?

What do other beekeepers do in this position?
Cliff
 

Poly Hive 

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They dinna drink that much.

You will lose far more by evaporation than the bees will consume.

How far is the nearest ditch/brook/pond?

PH
 

merylvingien 

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I was thinking about this the other day, as i am thinking of keeping one hive at the top of my garden, the neighbours have a swimming pool.

I have seen bees taking water from swimming pools in the past, like stukka dive bombers, touch the water then up again... any thoughts as to whether this could be a problem?
 

oliver90owner 

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Someone is jesting with you, I believe. They can not be serious. Bees have lived in Britain for many a year without humans going round filling bowls with water and putting stones and gravel in it for the bees to be able to drink! It is a woodland area, you say, not a desert. Trees need water. It rains. Bees in an urban setting will find water - just it might be a neighbours pond or something.

Most of the summer the bees will be busy trying to get rid of water from the nectar collected. The brood nest needs to be maintained above 30 degrees. The bees are equipped with wings - not just used for flying but also for air conditioning within the hive (fanning).

The bees are a lot smarter at finding water than you are. How close would you expect it to be? Within half a kilometre? Is there any moss in this woodland? Any cattle nearby? No fallen and rotting trees? No ditches on the surrounding farmland (non wooded areas)?

No problem for the bees. They will cope.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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I am quite serious Rab.

Bees drinking from the "wrong" water can be a damn problem for others.

I have many a time supplied them.

If I jest on here I tend to say so via, (;) or :) )

Other wise I am serious.

PH
 

Polyanwood 

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The other thing is that you wouldn't want bees drinking water with bee poo and Nosema spores in it. I am not that keen on the bowl and stones idea unless you can find some way of keeping it out of their flight path and poo free.
 

oliver90owner 

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The poster is talking about one colony, in a wood, on a farm? There will be water enough nearby. They are not going to be going into town for their requirements. I jest not!

Regards, RAB
 

CliffDale 

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Hi Darren.

I take it that bees find the water dispenser ok.

I was just googling water for bees. The page I read said that water needs to be about 1 metre diameter so they can find it easily by humidity above the water source.

It went on to say bees will not find a dish of water easily.

If I can find the page, I will post it!

http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/managing/bees-need-water.shtml
edit



Cliff
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Hi Cliff it has been talked about many times that the water supply for the bees provided by the beekeeper is often passed over for a supply the bees prefer and now that nectar is starting to flow the bees will require less water now.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Since I dont want to visit the farm every day topping up a water supply, is there a huge water drink dispenser you can think of?

What do other beekeepers do in this position?
Cliff
i have an old belfast china sink, with a piece of astro turf draped in it, i used to use a coco nut fibre door mat but it rotted away...sometimes 100 bees are on it in spring
 

wilderness 

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some of mine are happily collecting water from a small chicken feeder I left on the hen house roof. During the last 2 weeks I've made sure it is topped up each morning as we've had no rain. I'm guessing that the rest probably fly an extra 50 yards to a half acre lake which used to feed a flour mill.
 

ENZO 

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I guess the thing is that if you dont offer water for your bees they may go where you don't want them to, next doors bird bath for instance and judging fron the hundreds of bees I see in the large basin I have prepared for them, I can't be doing any harm, then again, as RAB stated, bees have been around a long time before beekeepers offered them water.

One thing I found very interesting though, I have a small open fishing boat I keep in my yard and every time I look, it's surrounded by dozens of bees drinking the salty water that accumalates after a fishing session and even many days later bees are there in clumps, who needs swarm lures.

All The Best, Enzo.
 

plumber 

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following on from Enzo post re salty water has any one tryed
3 or more graveled filled basins, 1 with tap water 1 with brook water 1 with pure water( ie distilled ) and so on to see if they prefer one type.
are they looking for H2O or are they after water plus minerals in the water.
 

Rosti 

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I have the same solution as Darren, a poultry drinker with stones in it. Picking up on the Nosema risk, mine is positioned behind the hive entrance line (actually under the double hive stand in the middle gap), not in a natural flight path and the shape of the feeder gives an overhang that protects from falling debris / 'fouling' from above. 12 ltr capacity and would you believe I have had to re-fill once? I suspect some local wild life might be using it as well - loads of pheasants about
 

grizzly 

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following on from Enzo post re salty water has any one tryed
3 or more graveled filled basins, 1 with tap water 1 with brook water 1 with pure water( ie distilled ) and so on to see if they prefer one type.
are they looking for H2O or are they after water plus minerals in the water.
One of my apiarys has water bubbling up from an underground natural chalk spring, the very same stuff thats bottled and sold, i didnt know it was there until last month, so i will keep an eye out for any visiting bees, though i expect they prefer muddy puddles.
 

Heather 

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I use a deep bowl with flower arrangers oasis in. It is always wet and the bees land safely on whilst the water under keeps it constantly damp. They don't bother with the reservoir of water - so safe and replete! Top up about every 4 days. You can always put some moss on top of the water to keep them safer and fill bowl to the brim-to last longer
 

steve1958 

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I was thinking about this the other day, as i am thinking of keeping one hive at the top of my garden, the neighbours have a swimming pool.

I have seen bees taking water from swimming pools in the past, like stukka dive bombers, touch the water then up again... any thoughts as to whether this could be a problem?
This is probably the main reason that you would want to supply your Bees with a water supply.
Bees attacking the neighbours children whilst they are in their pool is not good.
 

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