This video is a typical moment at any time of the day.
When I posted this on Facebook, David Mizejewski from the National Wildlife Federation re-posted it to their site, along with the following comment:
“Domesticated honey bees like the ones in the video collect water and bring it back to the hive, where it evaporates and offers a cooling effect on hot summer days. They also use it to dilute crystalized honey back into liquid form so they can consume it. It’s pretty fascinating. Native bees and other insects also need fresh water”.
The bottom line is even if you don’t keep honeybees, all bees, along with other pollinators need a nearby source of water. Considering how scarce water is in many parts of the country, you can make a tremendous contribution to their comfort and survival by providing a clean, reliable source of water, and preferably more than one.
You’ll be surprised how quickly the water draws down. So be sure to keep a daily eye on it and add more as needed. The closer to the rim you can go, the better.
I became so fascinated with my bees and their activity at the bird bath, I took a lot of video of the action. I soon captured a pretty incredible moment as you’ll see here. As one bee struggled for its life to keep from drowning, another jumped in from the side, literally saving the drowning bee’s life while risking its own.
The main objection I hear to why people don’t want to keep standing water close to home is the fear of mosquitoes.
Fear not. You have two options:
1. Completely change out the water every 3 days. Mosquitoes need more than that to complete their lifecycle. When you dump and refill water sources before they mature, you break the cycle and prevent them from maturing.
2. use mosquito dunks. They’re floating rings or doughnut like objects that contain B.t, a strain of bacteria that is harmless to all living creatures except mosquito larvae. You can feel confident you are preventing mosquitos from hatching and keeping the creatures you are trying to help keep safe as well. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), lays out the details if you want to know more.
If you’re not going to change out the water consistently, or just don’t want the burden, use mosquito dunks. You can find them at box stores, garden centers or anywhere lawn and garden products are sold.