Inside: Take a look at a unique water feature that allows bees to drink from a variety of surfaces and a selection of heights. It’s everything a thirty bee could want.
What every bee needs is a good watering hole, and the bees at the Oak Creek Center for Urban Horticulture in Corvallis, Oregon have the fanciest one I’ve seen.
How the water feature works
Water comes in through a drip irrigation-type system. The hose from the source runs up the side of the structure and through the middle of the piece of bamboo that stretches across the width. Holes are drilled through the top side of the bamboo pole and drip emitters appear at regular intervals. I don’t remember how many there were, but it seems like it was about six.
The water seeps from the emitters and drips from the bamboo into a trough filled with mossy plants. The plants look yellow in the photo, but this was taken coming out of winter when moss often looks pale.
Overflow from the moss drips down the sides of the rocks, which remain wet throughout the summer. A bed of rocks below the structure acts as a drain for the rest of the water.
Bees and other pollinators have many choices
Bees have many options. For example, they can take water straight from the emitters, from the moss, from the rocks, or from the ground underneath. Honey bees, native bees, and a variety of other pollinators can meet here for refreshment and conversation.
If you already have a drip system in your garden or yard, it would be easy to add a water feature. It wouldn’t need to be nearly so big, of course. This one is huge, but I can imagine building something similar maybe two feet tall and three feet wide, depending on how many hives you have.
If any of you try this, please let me know. I’d love to see what you build.
Honey Bee Suite