I put a bucket out with a big rock that the bees can land on or a towel that hangs over the side. I just try to make sure the girls can climb onto something if they need to. It's too easy for them to drown.
once it turns hot they can use a lot of water. <although often over looked as a resource when I do go looking for sites to set bees down on this is priority number one... ie a good constant source of water.
Just in case it's needed, I have a chicken waterer I keep filled. Thanks to the city, I have two very reliable water sources next door. The dog seems to think it's for her enjoyment and I'll let her think that. Some pebbles or a sponge to keep them from drowning and you have a bee watering device. You can buy these at any farm and home store and their inexpensive.
I've never felt that I had to water my bees. I wonder what thirsty bees look like? How not having enuf water effects a colony of bees.
From what I understand, bees don't drink water like you and I do. They don't need it to stay alive. Tho I could be wrong about that. Mostly, from what I understand, water is used to cool a hive when temps are really high.
Bees fly to forage and will find what they need in the environment. But, I can see having a Bird Bath set up in ones yard. I have seen bees at the edges of my Fathers' concrete bird bath. I have alson seen bees at the edges of rain barrels.
I guess my message is, do what makes you feel good, it won't do any harm. I imagine. But the bees will do alright regardless.
All living organismss need water to stay alive. Bees included. Butt in addition to using the water in their bodies, they need it to regulate the temp in the hive.
When they are collecting nectar, they get their water from that source. When the flowers stop producing, in addition to needing water for controlling the hive temp, they need it for themselves.
But the major amount is for cooling.
As an aside-em, if bees are fed thin syrup when it's cold, they can have problems with the hive getting chilled because of the cooling effect of evaporation.
"Water is collected (in the same way as is nectar) for use in diluting stored honey when feeding it to larvae. It is also used in hot weather for evaporating inside the hive to reduce the hive temperature." Bees and Beekeeping A.V. Pavord, Cassel & Co. Ltd. 1975.
Just received this nice little book someone had recommended in another post. It was only $3 on Amazon. It's a very nice book for beginners. I have learned several things just in the first few pages.
i have a nice big pond about 500ft long....but they pick the closest easiest purest water source....they used to go to my sawdust pile but i put the nix on that...thats what leaky hose spigots are for...lol.
I use 2 five gallon buckets with a big handfull of 1X1 in, wood blocks (That I cut from scrap) floating in them. I drive truck all week and am home weekends, so I can't check the water level every day. Works for me.
Even hot water, when evaporating carries away heat. It will eliminate more heat than it would bring in, Those are the laws of physics. BUT the glass jar in the sun will heat up and the bees will not want to take the water. so it won't get into the hive to evaporate.