A Fun Craft Project Anyone Can Do
Everyone wants to help honey bees and other beneficial pollinators. We enjoy planting flowers that bees love and practicing bee friendly gardening. Here is a simple project that is fun and useful – how to make a bee waterer.
What is a Bee Waterer?
Do you have a water source in your garden? Perhaps you should. Bees need water and providing a consistent water source is not a lot of work.
A bee waterer can be as small and simple as a dripping bucket or as elaborate as a large water garden.
Why do Bees Need a Water Source?
Do bees drink water? Yes, water is very important to insects and honey bees are no exception.
More importantly than just a cool drink, honey bees use water in the hive.
Water is collected by worker bees and taken back to the hive. Inside the hive, the water-loaded bees walk around the giving water to house bees that need it.
Water is used to thin honey for eating, control the humidity level of the hive and to cool the beehive on hot days.
Providing water for thirsty insects can be an important part of your pollinator garden. And it can be done with just a little preparation-and not very much money.
Bee Water Station Ideas
If you are a beekeeper with several hives, you may need a larger bee waterer source. Beekeepers are very inventive when providing water for bees.
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
Maybe you are not a beekeeper with a lot of hives but you still want to help the bees. No problem, this is an easy project to complete in a couple of days.
For a large number of bees, I have used a tub like the one above. Add water, a small fountain and plants for the bees to sit on while drinking.
Here is a smaller project that is fun to do. You can even get the children and grandchildren involved in this bee friendly project.
It is a good opportunity to teach the importance of bees and our responsibility to the environment.
Make Your Own Bee Waterer
Materials needed for this project:
- a large shallow container – I used a 12″ clay saucer (plastic is ok)
- a bottle of clear glue
- assorted colorful glass pebbles or small stone
Pour enough clear glue to cover the bottom of the dish
Place your glass stones ( or real ones) in the dish. The clear glue should surround each stone. Don’t put too much glue… ( I almost did!)
We want some of the pebbles to stick out of the glue. And out of the water, this gives the bees a place to stand and drink.
Once your project has completely dried for a couple of days. You are ready to place it in the garden and fill with water.
Use only water in your dish. Don’t add sugar water or honey to your bee waterer. This would attract ants and cause a robbing frenzy resulting in bee deaths.
Make a plan to check your watering station often and refill as needed. Some thirsty insects will be grateful this season.
Don’t stop here, there are many great ideas for ways to add more bee waterers in your backyard.