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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Idea No. 8

This afternoon while out on the deck preparing to start the barbecue, I noticed a honeybee taking a drink from one of the six-packs that I'd watered and moved back out of the direct sun.

I was reminded of what our instructor at the bee keeping class I took had told us: you need to water your bees.  Bees drown very easily, so he had a super shallow fountain that he kept six-packs of moss in- the fountain kept them wet continually by wicking, and the moss allowed the bees to alight and have somewhere to stand while they took a drink. 

It dawned on me that I have an unused bird bath in the back of the yard, and with all this heat the bees and the birds would probably be glad to find some water.  I then remembered that my neighbor Larry has a really nice little natural-looking fountain with a short waterfall in his backyard that the birds love to bathe in.  The birds would be alright because of Larry's water feature, but I still needed to do something for the bees.

So here it is.  The six-pack should stay wet, but will have just enough surface for the bees to land on and walk around on.  If I keep the birdbath filled everyday and change it fairly regularly, that should do for keeping out mosquitoes.

So if you have time and some suitable materials lying around, give the bees a chance to get some water.  It doesn't have to be fancy- it just has to work.  No matter where you are, or whether you keep bees or not, please put something out for them.


Miriam said...

I had no idea bees need watering - it makes sense, though, and your idea is a great one! Our neighbour has mason bees that have been pollinating our fruit trees, so the least we could do is rig up a drinking fountain for them. (I have a very silly picture in my mind of bees with sunglasses and cold drinks in lounge chairs by the pool...)

Paula said...

Now you know those poor girls never get any time IS a silly idea, but one that makes me smile, anyway.