As with all living things, honey bees need water too! Not only do they need it for basic survival, but water is also used for hive maintenance. The bees use it to cool the hive when temps are hot and also to maintain the brood.
So, do your bees have water? If they don’t, this should definitely be on your to-do list. The State of California requires that all apiaries have a water source. An apiary (also known as a bee yard) is a place where beehives of honey bees are kept. If your bees are not given water they will have to seek it elsewhere. This usually means that your bees will end up in a much less desirable location, i.e. the neighbors fountain or swimming pool. We assure you, neighbors don’t like this sort of thing and it can end up turning into a big headache for everyone involved. Also, if they are obtaining water from unreliable sources, ones that don’t provide a place to land while drinking, it is safe to say that many of your bees will drown.
A water source can be as simple as a drip tray filled with gravel, set on a drip irrigation to refill weekly. You can also go with something more elaborate such as creating a small pond or using a stock tank with an aerator, mosquito fish, azolla, and duckweed. The bees can land on top of the floating plants and drink water without drowning.
Another option is an automatic dog waterer with several pieces of floral foam and netting so the bees are able to climb in and out of the water.
There are countless reasons to ensure your bees are getting water from a safe source, especially because an average hive can drink over 2 pints a day. Your bees will definitely be grateful to have a go-to spot for daily water consumption.
Amazon is selling a hive feeder / water that seems to have promise see link below.
Ultimate Hive Feeder for Beekeepers 2 Pack from Farmstand Supply (In Hive)