Honeybee watering station!

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I thought many of you might think this was neat. I do!

Our neighbors a few doors down dabbled with bee-keeping for a couple of years. They had a colony collapse due to some kind of beetle. She said the bees flew away but she didn't know where they ended up.

I don't know where they ultimately set up housekeeping, but I know where they (or some other colony) are stopping for water! My pond!!!!! A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a honeybee landing on my water lettuce and going down to the surface of the water. He left and I noticed a couple more show up and do the same thing. We now have a fully operational bee bucket brigade! They come in groups of 3 to 6 and when one gang leaves, the other lands. I now understand the term "bee line" because they all take the same exact flight path. They are headed (I believe) to a very tall tree at the end of the property where my friend had her hive. I'm not 100% sure, since my eyes can only follow them so far. But this has been so much fun to watch!

When we put the net over the pond for fall leaves, they were all EXTREMELY confused for a while. We had a Bee Backup over the net for about a day. But they've figured it out and are back in business.
 
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They don't come in groups for me. It is a constant flow of three or four per second throughout daylight hours on the warmer days in one of my container ponds. That's about 100,000 trips per day! I wonder how much water loss that represents?
 
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addy1

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We usually have 100 or more drinking at one time. I work right next to them. They love the algae, surface level plants. They tend to drink a lot in my small algae covered ponds, fishless, also in the stream and really love the hot tub pond.

This time of year they are drinking water to cool the hive, using the water to process the capped honey in the hive. The nurse bees use a lot of water when feeding the brood.
 
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Bees are lovely to watch, I love it when I see them in the garden. Glad you getting such action around the pond.
 

addy1

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They had a colony collapse due to some kind of beetle.
Hive beetles came from Africa, I think, a strong hive can battle them, a weak hive is taken over. If they get bad enough the bees will leave. They will also leave if the mites get bad.

It is neat if you have a "wild" hive, since it has become able to resist the mites, beetles and live without our help.

They could be coming from a bee keep, here we have to register our hives, you might be able to look up registered hives there and see if any are near.

@addy1 -- I'm so excited to be helping them!
They are fascinating, such a society of bugs that know exactly what their job is depending on their age. Water is very important to the bees. We supply a lot of water. When they decide to hit up the drops on the hot tub it is fun to watch how fast they can suck the water up. We watch them while we are sitting out there.
 

addy1

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Now when I have some of Addy's creamed honey I will be thinking of all the water the bees drank to make it!
They love stinky plant filled, muddy water, puddles, you will hardly ever see them heading to totally clean water.
 
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