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How to Build a Small Bee Waterer

Looking for an easy way to help bees and promote the importance of all pollinators? This DIY bee waterer craft project will do just that. In addition to planting flowers that bees love, a small water source can be very beneficial. Many pollinators can benefit from having a clean water source. A simple bee craft project suitable for any age group – young or old and offers educational opportunities too.

DIY Bee Waterer Craft Project for Your Garden

Clay saucer bee waterer craft made with glass stones image.

All kinds of bees work hard to gather the foods that they need to grow their family. We know that honey bees gather plant nectar to make honey. This food is stored in the hive to provide Winter food.

Bees also collect pollen from blooming flowers. What do bees do with pollen? Do they use it to make honey? No, bees use pollen to feed baby bees – it is their only source of protein.

In the honey bee colony, water is used to dilute food and help cool the hive during hot days. It is one of the most important resources collected by bees.

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But, they are not the only ones that need water. Butterflies, wasps and other insects and small animals need a water source.

Provide Water in Your Garden for Bees

Don’t bees use natural water sources? Yes, they are very good at seeking out natural water sources. However, these natural sources may be very far away from the hive. In addition, in some locations many creeks and streams are polluted.

Providing clean water in your garden assures that beneficial insects have good drinking water. This contributes to overall bee health.

The good news is- providing a water source in your bee friendly garden or backyard is not hard to do. A bee waterer can be as small and simple as a dripping bucket or as elaborate as a large water garden or pond.

Honey bee drinking water from faucet image.

Beekeepers Need Larger Water Sources

For a garden or backyard, a smaller structure like this bee waterer craft works well. You only need it to hold enough water to last until you check it each day.

However, If you are a beekeeper with beehives, you need a larger bee water source.
Some Ideas include:

  • a large bucket (with lid) that drips water slowly through a faucet
  • a large bird bath with pebbles to create a shallow area
  • a plastic “whisky barrel” planter with a small fountain
  • a small-medium water garden with plants and fish

Make Your Own Clay Dish Bee Waterer

This small project is fun to do. It is a good time to get the children and grandchildren involved. Beyond the artistic opportunity of the design, you can teach the importance of bees and other pollinators.

A great let’s make it together project for a weekend visit or Summer day. You only need a few items.

  • large clay saucer
  • color glass gems or real stones
  • clue or adhesive

Choose a large clay saucer, plastic will work too in a pinch but clay is better. Even a large dish will not hold an abundance of water so go with the largest one available. You can use inexpensive stones or gems from a dollar store for color and a base.

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I often use Elmer’s washable glue (as pictured) and it will work (longer drying time)- but gorilla glue or a similar adhesive is stronger and faster – unless you are working with small children.

Bee drown rather easily. They need a safe place to sit and collect water. Either place larger stones around the rim or stack a double row of small stones.

Clay dish, pebbles and glue to make a bee waterer image.

Bee Waterer DIY Craft

Charlotte Anderson @ Carolina Honeybees, LLC
This bee craft project makes a small bee waterer to decorate your bee garden and provide a drink for thirsty insects. You only need 3 types of materials. A great opportunity to teach kids about bees.
5 from 1 vote

Supplies
 

Instructions
 

  • Choose a Clay Dish: Obviously, the larger the dish the better from a standpoint of it holding more water.
    However, if you are working with folks with small hands… a large dish may be overwhelming and will require more stones too!
    It should be clean of any dust or dirt. For extra longevity, you could spray it with acrylic sealer to make it more water proof – but that is optional.
    Parchment paper or similar can be used to protect your working space.
    Large terra cotta dish image.
  • Add Glue: A quick word about glue. Clear glue is generally the best because you don’t have to worry about any of it showing.
    However, if you use Elmers Washable Glue (again a good choice for working with children) – you must let it dry a day or more before adding water. Otherwise your stones will release.
    Dribble some glue in the bottom of the dish. Don’t put too much. You only need the glue to hold the stones in place.
    Dribbling clear glue on bee waterer dish image.
  • Add stones – glass or rock: Place your glass stones ( or real ones) in the dish. Arrange them in any design. You may only need one layer.
    They do not have to be touching, just close enough together to prevent bees from drowning.
    We want some of the stones to stick up out of the water when finished. This gives the bees a place to stand and drink.
    Honeybees drown very easily. Stack your stone 2 deep if needed.
    Glass stones glued in bee water dish image.
  • Let glue dry and cure: If you are using washable glue, it can take 2-3 days to dry and cure. The time frame depends on the humidity where you live too.
    Once the glue is completely dry – your bee waterer dish is ready to use.
    Add some water and place it in your garden. (If you want to be extra cautious, add a couple of small floating sticks etc, to offer the bees even more drinking locations.)
    Glass and terra cotta bee waterer in garden image.

Notes

If you use small stones, make a double stack ring around the edge to give bees a safe landing spot.
I use washable glue when working with kids but it takes a long time to dry.  For older kids and adults, consider a stronger clear glue.
Learn more about bees and using products from the hive!Join me on Instagram – @carolina_honeybees

How to Use Your Bee Waterer

Use only water in your dish. Don’t add sugar water or honey. This would attract ants and cause a robbing frenzy resulting in bee deaths.

Make a plan to check your it often and refill as needed. On a hot day, a small water source can run dry quickly.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment. One popular version is to add natural stones around the edge and put colorful gems in the center. The larger stones are glued in and the middle ones are loose for easy cleaning.

Natural river stone and glass stones in a clay dish for bee water image.

These cute bee craft projects are one simple way to provide a sip for thirsty bees and butterflies. Thus inviting more insects to visit your oasis of beauty. Another fun idea to decorate your garden in a bee theme is this – Clay Pot Bee decoration.

If you want to create a second, slightly larger source, consider building this clay pot and saucer water station too! It is designed to hold more water and can serve as a pollinator water station for more insects.

These are a beautiful addition to your garden or backyard. Make several, they are great gift ideas for small kids to make and give for Mother’s Day, Teacher Gifts or any occasion. You can even use colored stones to spell out the child’s initials in the dish.

For sensory play, older kids love making honey slime. It can be a bit messy with there are some wonderful learning opportunities here.

As the season draws to an end, consider this easy project of preserving Fall leaves with a beeswax dip. The kids will enjoy helping and its a wonderful nature craft.

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