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The Practical Beekeeper
Beekeeping Naturally

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Water

Bees need water. One of the issues is providing it. Another is to have it more attractive than the neighbor’s hot tub. To accomplish this you need to understand that bees are attracted to water because of several things:

  • Smell. They can recruit bees to a source that has odor. Chlorine has odor. So does sewage.
  • Warmth. Warm water can be taken on even moderately chilly days. Cold water cannot because when the bees get chilled they can’t fly home.
  • Reliability. Bees prefer a reliable source.
  • Accessibility. Bees need to be able to get to the water without falling in. A horse tank or bucket with no floats does not work well. A creek bank provides such access as they can land on the bank and walk up to the water. A barrel or bucket does not unless you provide ladders or floats or both. I use a bucket of water full of old sticks. The bees can land on the stick and climb down to the water.

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