Did You Know?—Bees get thirsty, too!

Did you know?

Part of my landscaping project for our new home was to create a little pond. Not too big because I prefer plants to ponds, but a little pond does create visual interest to go along with the plants. Shortly after creating my little pond on December 16, 2017, it looked like this:

Pond

A couple of days ago, my little pond looked like this:

I’m a big fan of honeybees. However….

I don’t want a beehive in my yard. But I have never seen a beehive on or under the ground, and certainly not where it can get flooded by waters from a pond.

Not wanting to kill the little bees—after all, my wise old grandmother taught me that all life has a right to live—I stopped by a bee removal business and asked them what was going on and what I could do.

Turns out that honeybees get thirsty, too, and the bees here at my little pond have discovered a great water source out here in the dry boondocks. That knowledge, though, didn’t lead me to any conclusions about what to do other than let my little pond dry up. I wasn’t going to do that. So I have decided to create yet another pond, but this one will be out in my Wildlife Corner where, currently, the squirrels and rabbits are fighting it out for supremacy.

It's 4-2, squirrels over rabbits

The block wall already is gone and in about 15 hours I will have a little pond there.

I asked the bee guy about the bees that tend to get into the water and drown. I couldn’t figure out why bees would practice self-drowning. He said that those bees came the farthest and were so excited about finding a water source that they went swimming, forgetting that they didn’t know how to swim. Ooopsy.

More seriously, they didn’t have the energy left to get out of the water if they fell in, and they didn’t have enough energy left to keep their balance and not fall in. With that knowledge, the new pond in Wildlife Corner will have lots of shallow areas, beaches, and rocks where they can rest, or crawl out of the water if they fall in.

Once I have the new pond in Wildlife Corner, I will help the bees find it. The way to do that is to put some fresh fruit—pears and mangos are best—in a little bag, put the bag about 20 feet from the pond, and in a couple of days all the bees will move to the fruit. I have about 60 feet between front pond and Wildlife Corner pond, so it will take me a couple of weeks to get these bees moved to the Wildlife Corner pond. I feel like a little kid in first grade doing his first experiment. Will this work? I don’t know. Everything on the Internet indicates that it will. I’m cautiously optimistic.

So, did you know that bees actually get thirsty, too! I figured they got all their liquid sustenance from flowers, but in thinking about that more logically, that doesn’t make much sense. Hmmmm. Sixty years, 10 months, and 15 days on this Earth, and I’m still learning stuff….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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23 thoughts on “Did You Know?—Bees get thirsty, too!

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I always put bees in the hummingbird category, getting their moisture needs from flowers, but bees don’t drink pollen. They get it on their legs and take it back to the hive. So it’s only logical that they need to drink, too. I’m sooooooooo excited.

      Liked by 2 people

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  1. pflanzwas

    Congratulations to your ponds. I keep my fingers crossed for you and imagine it will be a great thing, if the bees and other animals come for drinking :-)! – In summertime I have a kind of wild wasps on my balcony (they are harmless and live in small colonies of 20 to 30 animals). On hot days they come very often to drink and to take water with them to cool their nests. Strange thing. Since I noticed that I have always a bowl of water out there (the birds like it too :-). But strange enough I never saw a bee or a bumblebee drinking! As you said, astonishing that it takes half a lifetime to discover these things. What did we learn in school 😉 ???

    Liked by 4 people

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Finished the Wildlife Corner pond today. Just need to create some little bee beaches tomorrow and then start them on their move. I had quite an audience today for the 12 hours it took to create the pond. Squirrels and rabbits were watching from the ground. Birds were watching from the trees and fences. And even a few bees stopped by to see what I was doing.

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  2. Resa

    This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read. I don’t know you, but I love what you are doing here. I’m growing milkweed in my backyard for the Monarch butterflies. It is the only plant they reproduce in. They are the second most important pollinators, right behind the bees. Both are endangered! Thank you for the bee pond!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      We have two huge crown plants at the entrance to the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. They are in the milkweed family so monarchs love them. See here: https://russelrayphotos2.com/2014/04/19/monarch-caterpillar-to-butterfly-warning-graphic-content/

      I’m trying to find a milkweed at the nurseries because I want to put one in Wildlife Corner. They don’t sell them, so I suspect that once I’m ready I’ll have to order one from far away off of the Internet.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Resa

        I hope you find one! We got ours at a nursery in Toronto. It will be 3 this summer. Last summere there were at least 20 babies. I hope some make it through the winter.
        I followed your link. FAB post! Thank you!

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  3. Pingback: My Own Little World—Update on my thirsty honey bees | Russel Ray Photos

  4. surreyfarms.net

    Yes! I found out the hard way that bees get thirsty too!! I have a water fountain in my garden and one day I noticed the birds werent wading in the fountain because the bees had taken over! I called a bee handler and he informed me that those bees were honeybees in search of water. He asked if any of my neighbor’s had a beehive vat, my neighbor does! It turns out he doesnt have a water souce for them, so they go searching for water. Anywhere there is a puddle of water in my garden the bees are there! Bees travel upto 5 miles in search of water. https://surreyfarms.net/2016/05/22/a-no-yellow-jacket-garden-party/

    Liked by 1 person

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