Like humans, bees require fresh, clean water to survive. Bees drink water not just to stay hydrated. They also use water to produce wax to build honeycomb, mixed with pollen to create “bee bread” to feed the colony; and spread about their hive to cool the temperature on hot days. Bees collect water from various sources and beekeepers often provide water near their hives.
You can help your neighborhood pollinators this summer, with a bee-friendly water feature. In this guide, we’ll show you how to build your own budget water sanctuary for these vital creatures.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Water Feature
Step 1: Pick the perfect spot
Look for a quiet area, that offers a bit of shade and easy access for our winged friends, preferably away from buildings. Proximity to flowering plants will make it even more appealing.
Step 2: Choose the water container
Get creative with your choice of container! Look for shallow dishes, bowls, or trays made of materials like ceramic or glass. Make sure they’re not too deep to keep our pollinator pals safe from drowning.
Step 3: Create landing pads
Pollinators need a place to perch when parched. Add small rocks, stones, marbles, or even colorful corks to your water feature. These will give bees a safe spot to rest and drink.
Step 4: Keep it fresh
Refill the water frequently. For fancier water sanctuaries, you can install a fountain pump or simple drip irrigation systems to maintain a constant flow of fresh water.
Step 5: Natural accents
Make your water feature the buzz of the town! Add some personality by incorporating other elements like sculpture, seashells, decorative rocks, or floating led lights.
Step 6: Show Some love
Keep the bees going strong by maintaining your water feature. Clean the container regularly, especially when you notice it getting dirty. Remember, no harsh chemicals allowed!
Creating a water feature for bees and other pollinators is a fun and meaningful way to support our environment. Get your DIY on, invite these crucial creatures to your backyard hangout, and let’s make a positive difference together!