Bye bye, cool July – hello, heat!
With the temps back to more normal “summer-like” weather, the critters’ water needs on the urban homestead need to be taken care of. That includes even the honey bees. Yep, even these guys need to drink and they are attracted to any bit of standing water especially on a HOT day! Not only does our aquaponics thingamajig provide nourishing water to vegetables but also it’s the watering hole for our bees. To keep from fishing out half-drowned bees, Justin put a large yellow sponge on top of the clay balls and the bees just love it. If you sit there for just a bit, you can watch as they flock to the sponge and slurp out the water with their tiny little tongues.
It’s going to be a scorcher today. Figure the sponge will be hopping; bees will have to take a ticket to wet their whistles!
Bee Water Friendly
A clean supply of water is absolutely essential for the operation of a honeybee colony. Bees need a reliable supply of water throughout the growing season. They use water to cool their hives and dilute the honey they feed to their larvae. On extremely hot days, bees might spend more time carrying water back to the hive than foraging for pollen and nectar.
“A strong hive on a hot day can use over a quart of water a day, this occupies 800 workers each making up to 50 trips to the water hole a day.”
As beekeepers, it’s our responsibility to provide water for our bees. A colony is more efficient if workers don’t have to travel far for water. If you are keeping hives and don’t want your bees traveling too far to a water source, make sure to supply your hives with a nearby water source.
Orm if you already have a bird bath or fountain that attracts bees and you too don’t like seeing drowned bees, here are a few tips to prevent drowning: wine corks; twigs woven together as little safety “rafts”; floating water “platform” plants.
Photos courtesy of Justin….
Is your garden/homestead a haven for wildlife and what kind take refuge?