Bee watering station DIY: This is how to make it and prevent mosquitoes!
More and more people worldwide are trying to create a bee-friendly garden (or balcony) by planting flowers that attract honey bees and provide them with enough food. Of course, this is really helpful in fighting bee mortality. However, it is not the only thing you can do to save the bees. You could also build a bee watering station yourself and you don’t have to be a master craftsman to do that. With really simple items and tools, you can make it in no time. By the way, the project is also very interesting for the children. While you are crafting and building the bee bath together, you can explain to them the importance of bees and other pollinating insects and spark tolerance to nature.
Do bees drink water?
The answer is actually obvious, otherwise we would hardly recommend a watering station for bees. The question should rather be whether the insects drink only water or prefer or need other liquids such as sugar syrup. Some people decide to use sugar or honey water after building their own bee waterer because the insects like it. However, what is well-intentioned is anything but beneficial: honey, for example, can contain bacteria or spores with which the bees become infected and then transmit to others.
This risk does not exist with sugar, but there is another risk: other bee colonies then try to “rob” the affected bee colony. Here, too, one colony could be infected by the other, potentially sick colony. Since you want to counteract bee mortality with the water feeder, this is not a good idea. Therefore, opt for simple water when you build a bee watering station! The best water is from a lake, stream or pond or from the rain barrel. If such is not available to you, take tap water, but leave it to stand for a few days first. It is also important that the water in the bee bath is not too cold.
And what do the bees need the water for?
On the one hand, the bees drink water themselves, of course. They need it for digestion. While there is enough dew to be found in the spring, which they use for this purpose, it is more difficult to find moisture in the summer. You can save the bees the long search by building them a bee watering station. Also, by doing this, you prevent the bees from drowning in deep pond or pool water, because the water in the bee bath is extremely shallow. They also use the water to take care for their brood.
How to make a DIY bee water station
And what does a bee waterer look like? You can build a DIY bee water feeder by using a wide variety of vessels. This can be a bowl, a tray, or the plate of a clay pot. The only important thing is that they should be as flat as possible or filled with objects to land on. These objects (small stones, marbles, sticks, etc.) also protect the bees from drowning.
You can easily build a bee waterer from a simple terracotta pot. You can paint the pot and plate in advance as you like, preferably using spray paint. Once the paint dries, place the pot upside down in the desired location. Using one of the ideas below, fill the plate and place it on top of the pot. If you would like a sturdier design, you can also use hot glue to permanently attach the plate to the pot. This is also a popular option for birdbaths.
Building water feeder for bees with marbles and glass stones
Marbles or glass stones, which are also used for aquariums, look very pretty in the bee watering station. Simply distribute them in the bowl and then fill it with a little water. It really doesn’t have to be a lot of water. The important thing is that you make sure that the marbles and small stones protrude enough from the water so that the bees can land and linger well.
Make DIY bee bath with natural stones
Pebbles or smaller river stones are perfect for the bee water station. This is because they also have a rough surface that makes it easier for insects to hold on to. If the natural look is a little too boring for you, you could also feel free to paint the stones. This would be a great idea, for example, if you make the honey bee waterer with the kids. You can first let them paint the stones and then use them for the design of the waterer.
Sticks are very beneficial and can be combined with stones. They can float freely in the water, be placed over stones, or extend beyond the edges of the bowl. You can play with their composition as you like until you are satisfied with the look of your watering hole. This way, even children can make their own honey bee watering station.
Use wine corks
Corks have the same role as sticks or small pieces of driftwood. They float on the surface of the water and provide a good place to land, hold on to and drink from the feeder. However, just because this material floats in water doesn’t mean you can or should fill the container completely. Again, the water does not need to be that deep so that the bees don’t drown.
Make honey bee water station with seashells
The fact that the shells from your vacation can be used for abundant craft projects, you probably already know. And even if you do not have marbles available for the DIY bee waterer, these natural materials turn out to be a wonderful option. You can use them like any other materials: Spread them in the bowl and fill up with water. Or how about spreading sand first, some shells on top and then pour the water? Holiday feelings guaranteed!
Garden project for kids: DIY bee watering station from bottle caps and a stick
Don’t you think this bee bar is totally appealing? We think your kids will have huge fun making such an interesting construction out of popsicle sticks and bottle caps. All you need are bottle caps, which you can glue to a wooden branch/ pole using hot glue. Then simply stick it in the middle of the flower bed. You can fill the caps with water almost to the brim so that the bees can drink water without having to lean over too much.
Where to place the bee watering station?
Making a bee watering station is one thing – but where should it be placed afterwards? Near a flower bed or inside a window box, where the insects gather their food, would be perfect. This way, our winged friends have their water right nearby. However, you should prefer a location that is sunny, but not in full sun. So a place with morning or evening sun, partial shade under a tree or partially protected from the sun by tall grasses or shrubs is well suited. Furthermore, it should be protected from the wind.
Which flowers and plants you can use for the bee waterer depends, of course, on various things – on the one hand, whether the plants should be outside the watering station or inside, i.e. in the water. Of course, the best would be bee-friendly varieties, which will also immediately attract the insects and provide them with nectar.
If you make your own bee waterer in the spring and set it up early, the bees (and other insects such as butterflies) will quickly get used to it and use it regularly. Therefore, you should not change the location later and ensure that fresh water is always available.
How to care for the bee waterer
So you want to make a honey bee watering station, but keep in mind that it also requires some care. Especially in the warm summer, otherwise numerous germs can form and make the insects sick. For this reason, the bee waterer and its contents must be cleaned regularly. This means that you must not only change the water more often but also clean or replace the elements used. Hot water and a brush should be sufficient for this purpose. Alcohol denat is also suitable in case of more stubborn dirt. However, you must rinse it well afterward.
Many worry that the bee bath could attract mosquitoes. And indeed, these pests also like water sources. After all, they serve them, among other things, to lay their eggs. If you change the water regularly, you will also remove any eggs and larvae and prevent them from reproducing. Otherwise, however, you can also keep mosquitoes out of the garden or away from the watering station with mosquito-repellent plants such as Marigolds, Lavender, Catnip, Bee Balm and Floss Flower. So after you build and set up the bee watering trough yourself, spread suitable flowers around it.