Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

I have tried several different things to try to provide water for my bees.  None of these ideas has been very successful.  In one of the Beekeeping Journals or online somewhere I found this idea:


Get a water bowl/jug made for dogs from PetSmart and use that to provide water for you bees. 


In an urban setting, providing a water source for your bees will keep your neighbors happy.   With all the moisture we have received recently, I found a place near my hives where the
bees were landing to drink water.  This is the place I put my water
bowl/jug.  Now they are coming back and bringing friends.  I put a
few small rocks in the bottom of the bowl so the bees have a place to land and
drink without drowning.  This jug holds about 3 gallons.  They sell 5-gallon
bowls/jugs also.  As stated by Jerry Anderson at the ABQ-Beeks meeting,
now is the time to train your bees to drink water from your source.  Otherwise,
they will find a water source at your neighbor’s pool, birdbath, fountain,
etc.  Keep your neighbors happy and give your urban bees their own water
source.  If you have any other ideas or suggestions then please share
them.  Bee Smart,  Randy







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Randy, this rocks and I'm so glad you posted it. Personally, I have a difficult time keeping a birdbath w/ rocks full for my bees so this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing!
Randy, thanks so much for sharing this idea and the great foto! Just a little reminder that bees really do like cool water as our weather warms, so shading it however one can would be beneficial. (Know you needed the sunshine for the perfect picture!) If algae develops, does one have to religiously scrub it out? Or as long as the water itself is fresh, can the bees get by fine with the algae? Maybe get a little b-vitamin "buzz", or a spirulina rush? :)
As Peggy suggested, keep the water fresh. It's tempting to just refill the top container but take an extra minute or two and wash out the lower receptacle to ensure it is as fresh as possible. This is a great labor saving approach to making sure your bees have plenty of good water, even when you have multiple hives.
Thanks for sharing. How close to the hives should the water be?
I live on a small neighborhood lot, about .25 acres. I don't have much choice. For me it worked out that my water source is about 30 ft. from my hives. It sits in the flight path of the bees. I have read several different articles about where to put water. Because of the size of my lot I did the best I could with the space that I have. As recommended above by others, I now plan to make some shade for the water and will flush it out with the hose often.
Living on a small city lot as well, this solution is working perfectly for us. We just bought a pet waterer like your photo this weekend and already the girls are taking to it quite well. Thx for the tip.
I'm on 1.5 acres. Any thoughts on water placement? Can it be close to the hives or is it better to wait and see what their flight path is. Currently, outside bees use our goat & chicken water. I keep bark floating in there so I don't have to rescue anyone!
If the bees are already drinking from the livestock water then they will probably continue to do this. The key is to put your water in a place where the bees can find. I think you can put the water almost any where. You only need to find a way to attract them to the new water source. This could be close to the hive or not. For me, I found a place where bees were getting water and put my water source there. You probably want your water source away from your livestock. I wish I had better ideas for you.
Thanks, Randy. This helps. Jen

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