Saturday, February 1, 2020

Build a Bee Bath

As honeybees are starting to get ready for spring and pollinating flowers, it’s a good idea to start thinking about what we can do to help them. There are 4 things honeybees forage for when going out of the hive: nectar and pollen for food, tree sap to make into propolis (sticky glue to keep the hive clean), and water (because all animals need water to survive). Sometimes it can be hard to find water, and when they do, they also have to worry about drowning. Honeybees need a spot where they can land and drink water without falling in. You can build a small watering hole for bees in your backyard!

Bees also like places with recognizable patterns. Decorating your watering hole with distinct shapes and colors will help the bees navigate back and forth from the water, to the flowers and back to their hive safely. Here are some instructions to make a watering hole for honeybees.

Step 1: Find something for the bees to land on. It can be small rocks and pebbles, corks, styrofoam, marbles or anything you can think of that will give the bees something to land on.

Step 2: Find a container with a wide opening that can hold water. If you are using rocks and pebbles (or something else that sinks), find a container that is shallow. If you are using something buoyant, then any depth of water will work. A plastic bowl, an old and empty pot, and plastic cups are all great options.

Step 3: Decorate your container: Start with a solid color base. Then draw pictures or put on stickers that have simple color schemes. Geometric shapes will work, but if you want to get creative, you can use hearts, clouds, animals or anything with clearly defined lines.

Step 4: Fill it with water and keep an eye out for honeybees and other pollinators to come by for a break.