Sustainability made simple

Bees Need Water – Help Them out with a DIY Bee Waterer

Bee waterer diy background watering hole for bees project
Photo: © Utopia

This homemade bee waterer will keep your local population of pollinators hydrated. Here’s how to safely provide water for bees this summer and create your own backyard oasis for them.

Just like any other living creature, bees (and other insects) need water, too. Although they can consume a large part of their fluids from nectar, bees also need water from additional sources.

Not only do bees drink the water they collect, but they also use it to cool their nests during the hot summer months – which is why it’s important to provide water for bees when it’s hot. On hot days, the pollinators distribute the water throughout the hive, especially near the brood around the combs. Then, they cool the nest by flapping their wings, thus creating a draft of cool air which is circulated throughout the hive.

Read more: Nine Things That Will Disappear If Bees Go Extinct

DIY Bee Waterer: Water For Bees

DIY bee waterer watering hole oasis for bees
Here’s how to get started building your our own DIY bee oasis. (Photo: © Utopia)

Although they need lots of water, bees can’t swim. It is therefore essential to provide them with a solid surface to drink from. The best way to do this is by crafting an “access ramp” with a shallow slope leading down to the water. This ensures that the bees can reach the water’s edge – and get back out – without any problems.

Here’s what you’ll need for your DIY Bee Waterer:

  • a shallow bowl or deep dish (the saucer from a flower pot should do the trick) to act as a water container
  • stones, bottle caps, marbles, corks or wood chips for the bees to land on

You can get creative with the design. The more you decorate the plate or saucer with different materials, the more useful it will be for the insects to land on when they go for a drink of water. Plus, your own creatively crafted bee waterer will also look nice in your garden.

If you want to provide water for bees this summer, be sure to consider the following:

  • Water level and water quality. Make sure the water is always fresh and be sure to change it regularly.
  • Location. The best spot for your bee waterer is in a sunny and warm area shielded from the wind. It should also be close to bee friendly plants. This will allow the pollinators to grab a drink at your oasis directly after work. Tip: Check out Utopia’s list of 11 Flowers for Bees for inspiration!

Bee Waterer: Building Instructions

Bee waterer diy background watering hole for bees project
Be sure to place your bee waterer in a dry, sunny spot in your garden that is protected from the wind. (Photo: © Utopia)

Follow a couple simple steps and your bees will have their own go-to water source right in your backyard. Here’s how to build your own DIY bee waterer:

  1. Choose a suitable container and place it in an ideal location (per the guidelines described above) in your garden.
  2. Fill the pot with fresh water until around two-thirds full.
  3. To provide a safe water source for bees, build landing areas for the insects. Halve one or two corks lengthwise, or cut them into thin slices and place them into the dish. To fix the corks and prevent them from floating around, you can also surround them with a “wall” of pebbles or other materials like sand or gravel. Feel free to be as creative as you want with this part! However you choose to fill your bee waterer, just make sure the insects have easy access to the water.
  4. Add some more water as needed and you’re finished!

This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Bienentränke: Eine DIY-Anleitung zum Selberbauen.

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