Bee watering station DIY: This is how to make it and prevent mosquitoes!

why do bees drink water

Are you looking for bee water station ideas? We are explaining how to provide water for bees without the drowning risk and where is the best place to for your homemade bee watering station.

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?

honey bees do need water in summer

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.

do bees need water

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.

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And what do the bees need the water for?

why do bees drink water

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 of their brood.

How much water do bees drink in a day?

Bees typically don’t require large amounts of water on a daily basis. Individual bees may only drink a few drops of water per day for their own hydration needs. However, the collective water intake of an entire hive can vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, hive population, and the availability of natural water sources.

During hot and dry weather, bees may increase their water intake to help cool the hive and regulate the temperature of the brood nest. In such conditions, they may visit water sources more frequently, but the amount of water consumed per bee remains relatively small.

How to make a DIY bee watering station

bee water tray with marbles

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.

bee water station diy with seashells

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

honey bee water station in a plate with marbles

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.

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bee water marbles in tray

How to make a pebble bowl – DIY bee bath with natural stones

bee water feeder in a bowl

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.

Use sticks

bee water station in a bowl with sticks and stones

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.

bee watering station in terracotta plate

Use wine corks

floating wine corks in water for bees

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.

bee water bowl with wine corks
wine corks are also suitable for a bee waterer

Make honey bee water station with seashells

bee water plate with rocks

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

bee water feeder diy from bottle caps

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.

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bee water feeder diy upcycling bottle caps in garden

Where to place the bee watering station?

bee water feeder diy for kids garden project

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.

bee water source in window boxes on balcony with flowers

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.

bee waterer diy from pole and plastic bottle caps

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

simple idea for a honey 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 afterwards.

honey bee water station next to a catnip against mosquitoes

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.

bee water feeder diy from wooden branch and plastic bottle caps
bee water garden with moss and pebbles
bee water pond with pebbles and flowers
bee water station in a pretty sunflower bowl
bee waterer diy from a branch and plastic bottle caps
bee waterer diy with seashells
bee watering station with marbles and terracotta trays
bee watering station with white pebbles
diy bee bath with colorful marbles
handmade bee water source from a branch and seashells
hanging honey bee watering station with marbles in a tray
honey bee watering station from plastic caps
honey bee watering station inside bee friendly flower bed
water feeder for bees in garden
water for bees in summer