It is not a secret that recently, bees started declining at an alarmingly fast rate, putting some global food security at risk. These pollinators are essential for biodiversity and fruit, as well as vegetable production which feeds humans and animals alike.
Some of the factors which severely diminished the bee population around the world are pesticides, mites, lack of wildflowers and a lot more.
Can you imagine how hard just one bee works every single day? One single bee tends to at least 2,000 flowers on a daily basis, with their tiny wings beating 10,000 times per minute, carrying pollen, as well as dramatically assisting our food supply. All of that work makes the bees thirsty, particularly on a hot summer day.
This sounds exhausting, right? Bees get thirsty, so they need access to some sage water sources. The problem is that water is not always available. They often take some risks drowning in birdbaths or being eaten at rivers and lakes among birds, fish, frogs and other wildlife. This is why they usually fly around our clotheslines and may even land on us, for example, when we are at an outdoor pool on a hot day.
Bees need very shallow water to drink from. However, the shallow water evaporates quickly. Birdbaths are bot the best option, as we already mentioned because bees tend to drown if the water is not shallow enough.
Kim Flottum, the editor of the Bee Culture magazine, writes in her book The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden:
“Water is usually used to dissolve crystallized honey, dilute honey when producing larval food, as well as for evaporation cooling during warm weather and a cool drink on a hot day. Bees know exactly where to return to the same water source. Foragers seem to seek water sources which are scented.”
But there is a solution to this problem too. One of the answers to hydrate our little pollinators is to add marbles or pebbles to a bowl or maybe to a pan and then add the water. The marbles will give the bees a spot to land so that they do not drown when they come to drink water.
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