Bees and Water

Local question related to beekeeping in the Piedmont Triad area asked and answered here!

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Ron Young
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Location: McLeansville

Bees and Water

Post by Ron Young » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:14 pm

How far will bees go for water?

Locust&Honey

Post by Locust&Honey » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:43 pm

Atleast 5 feet!!! That is where I have a hanging birdbath for my bees. I heard 2 miles but that was from someone who doesn't keep bees. Good question.

Wally
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Post by Wally » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:08 pm

The same as humans, until they find it or perish.

A quarter mile or less is preferred, but they will go to 2 or 3 miles if needed.

Ron Young
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Location: McLeansville

Fire Station Bees

Post by Ron Young » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:37 pm

I was out back of the fire station today, and noticed some bees gathering water in a drainage from the wash area in the back parking lot. My station is in an older residential area that borders some un-developed land near the Airport, and comercial area to the south. I have been at this station for several years now, and have never noticed any hives when we have been out testing hydrants and such. There could be some, however, I am thinking they are probably feral. Who knows, I did enjoy them while they were gathering water.

I was able to get an approach flight on them, and watched them as they left. They are coming from the south, and they are splitting a row of lealand cypress trees. They approach from the east end of the trees and depart to the west end of the trees. They may be in the house on the other side of the trees for all I know. The do not get above head high on departure.

I have never tried bee-lining.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:43 am

My bees are hitting the water this morning in a way that makes me think some of the hives are getting serious about brood rearing. I'm going to keep them "trained" to my back yard watering stations. I use modified quart jar waterers for chickens. I am using plastic mayo jars that have the same opening as mason jars during periods where water may freeze. When things warm up for the year, I will switch back to glass jars.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:57 am

My bees were in the water yesterday. At this point, I suspect thinning out stored honey rather than brood rearing. I did make the switch from my glass half gallon mason jars to the plastic mayo jars for winter. I don't want to lose a single one of my half gallon regular mouth jars to freezing and cracking.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:37 am

Wally took care of my warm (above freezing) weather water issues yesterday. I don't know how he finds these things, but he came up with a couple of 1 gallon regular mouth jars. These fit the same chicken waterers that I use with half gallon glass and quart plastic jars to keep water out for the bees year round. The picture shows the 1 gallon jar beside 2 quart plastic jars.
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Jacobs
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Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:07 pm

My bees have been taking enormous amounts of water this week. They empty the 2 quart jars almost daily and have emptied the gallon jar in less than a week. I suspect more than temperature control and wonder if they are consuming honey they put up earlier this season.

Jacobs
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Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:36 am

water2_IMG_1604.JPG
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Yesterday, water demand was the heaviest I have ever seen it. I am assuming this means brood rearing is ramping up here at the house and I am confident that the bees are using up food stores at an increased rate.
Last edited by Jacobs on Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Photobucket now charges to link photos, so I reduced the size & substituted the original photo for the link

Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:20 pm

My bees are showing strong interest in water again. My guess is that they are thinning out stored honey or, on hives with shims, using the water to go along with sugar blocks. It is a little too early to figure on increased brood rearing being the cause--hopefully, that is coming soon.

Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Bees and Water

Post by Jacobs » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:46 pm

Despite the high winds, my bees at the house are flying to water and bringing in pollen. I take that for a good sign that they are hard at work raising brood. If only weather would co-operate, I would like to get a couple of frames of nurse bees and brood from my home hives to boost a couple of very weak hives elsewhere. I have my doubts that the weak hives will last long enough for the sunny, warm day I need. I don't want to weaken a strong hive if there is a high risk that brood frames I remove would be damaged by the cool weather before I could get them to the weak hives.

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