Monday, September 7, 2009

Persistent Bees!


Well, I've discovered bees can be very persistent.

I mentioned before about my bees discovering a bucket of wood + water, and made it their favorite watering hole. Well, when that source dried up, they found another. Look at this picture:



With the removal of the blue bucket, the bees discovered the condensate water in the air conditioner window unit just next to it! The back cover is off the AC unit, and we saw bees drinking water in the lower edge of the unit. I wasn't happy to see that, since I want the bees to find water not on my neighbor's back porch. The neighbor got a kick out of the bees persistence - she said watching them it was like grand central station, with bees zipping back and forth between her AC unit and my hives (that's how she knew they were mine).

So I built a simple frame and stapled some window screening over it (I re-screened a screen door today and happened to have the left overs). Then tonight after the bees were in bed, I used some small bungee cords and attached the screen to the back of the AC unit, to keep the bees out.

I decided to put out again my bucket of water near the hives, with hopes that the bees will start to use that instead of water at my neighbors. I put some sticks in it that were in the original blue bucket. We'll see if they take to getting water from there.

I'm definitely going to have to give them a jar of honey, once I get some!!

6 comments:

  1. HILARIOUS! They really love your neighbors water, Steven. I read that if you have problems with bees drinking from sources they shouldn't -- take the water you're using to retrain them...then put some sugar in it to sweeten it, just enough to make it attractive, then when they start using the new source, you can replace it with regular water. Don't know if it works or not, but you could give it a shot. Good luck!

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  2. Good point about the sugar. Maybe I'll float a small cup of sugar syrup in the water. I know it'll attract yellow jackets, though...

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  3. I've heard of floating styrofoam peanuts on the surface of a bucket for the bees to land on. I'm glad our neighbour found it funny.

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  4. Steven, you might find this article helpful.

    http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/managing/bees-need-water.shtml

    I live on a stream but also have several birdbaths and a fountain in the yard. The fountain, especially, is always full of bees. I try to put a small amount of salt in it on a weekly basis.

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  5. so it is ok for honey bees to drink from my window A/C ?. I thought they maybe were nesting, but after further watching them they come in , get a drink and leave.

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  6. The bees know what kind of water is acceptable for them - if they drink it, it's ok!

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