Creating a bee bath is one way of attracting these powerful pollinators to our gardens. Without them buzzing around our flowering plants, they wouldn’t turn into fruits or vegetables or be able to seed and grow into fresh new plants.
Like all other creatures, bees need a fresh and steady supply of water to keep healthy and it is super easy to create a bee bath with materials you probably already have or can get for free.
Creating a bee bath in your garden is a simple way of saying thank you to the bees for all their hard work in your garden. It also gives them the support they need as their numbers decline all over the world.
Ready to create a bee-friendly bee bath? Keep reading to find out how.
What Is A Bee Bath And Why Does Your Garden Need One?
A bee bath is a small container of water that includes materials that make it easy for bees to perch, take a drink, and have a rest as they buzz around your garden. You can make your bee water feeder as simple as you like or turn it into a statement garden piece.
The same as any other water feeder, you will need to make sure the water is topped up and changed regularly.
However, bees don’t just need water to stay hydrated. Having an available water source is important for many reasons to our bees, such as:
- To manage the consistency of their honey
- To aid the bees’ digestion
- To keep their hive cool
- To create royal jelly to feed their babies with
If you have a garden full of flowering plants that need pollinating, you are going to need native bees. Pollinating and collecting nectar is hard work and bees get very thirsty, very quickly.
By having a bee bath available, you will be supporting these hard-working bees and giving them the rest and refreshment they need as they go about their work.
What Goes In A Bee Bath?
The materials needed to make a bee bath are very simple and most of them you will already have in or around your home. If not, they will be pretty easy to find around for free.
You will need a shallow dish. Make sure it is shallow so that you don’t add too much water, as this can become a hazard for bees. We want them to be able to come for a drink without the risk of drowning.
Another item you need that you may already have is a heavy plant pot. This is what your shallow dish will stand on. Alternatively, if you have a secure place, off the ground where your bee bath can go you won’t need the plant pot.
Collect plenty of stones to fill your dish. You can also use marbles, sticks, or anything safe for bees to stand on and stay out of the water.
Lastly, the most important ingredient is fresh water. If you can use rainwater, that is best, but avoid tap water unless necessary.
How To Set Up Your Bee Bath?
Setting up a bee bath is very simple and takes very little time.
First, you will want to source a shallow dish. You can choose any shallow container you have on hand. It can be made from plastic, clay, glass, or any other material that will hold water without allowing it to drain away.
Once you have your container, you will need to fill it will materials that provide the bees with safe places to sit and get a drink of water. Stones, rocks, twigs, and marbles are all good choices.
These materials won’t be worn away in the water and they provide a solid and stable perch for thirsty bees. The more you can fill your container with these materials, the better but make sure they make up a single layer rather than piling them on top of one another.
Now it is time to fill your container with water. Make sure the water doesn’t fully cover the materials you have filed your container with. Bees can drown in less than an inch of water, so if there is a lot of exposed water in your container don’t fill it any more than 1/2 an inch deep.
Rainwater is best for your bee bath as it is natural and free from any additives that may be present in our drinking water. If you can’t source rainwater or your area is going through a drought period, you can use good quality filtered water.
Now you need to find a safe place for your bee bath to go. Many people will place their water feeding station on top of a large upturned plant pot. This will give your bee bath plenty of stability and keep it off the ground where it can be a little more dangerous for the bees.
Make sure you check on your bee bath regularly to make sure the water looks clean and is kept topped, especially during warmer months when water sources may be harder to find.
Where Should A Bee Bath Go?
You want your bee bath to go in a shaded and secure space in your garden. Bees, especially honey bees, love shaded spots where they can still feel the warmth of the sun. By placing your water feeding station in a shaded spot you will stop unnecessary water evaporation and give the bees the perfect place to rest.
No matter the time of year, the wind can be a pain, so you will want to make sure your bee bath is in a place where it can’t get knocked over by the wind or any speedy animals or children.
Also keep your bee bath away from large, open water sources like ponds, swimming pools and deep water fountains. Unless you have created a way for insects and bees to exit these deep water sources, you will have plenty of drowning bees on your hands.
By placing a shallow water source away from these areas you can reduce the number of bees accidentally falling into water sources they can’t get out of.
Creating A Bee Bath For Your Garden
Bees are an important part of a healthy and thriving garden. Without them, many of our most beautiful plants would wither and die.
As their numbers dramatically reduce across the planet, it is up to us to do everything we can to make this new world more hospitable for our bee friends.
By making a bee bath for your garden you will be introducing a wide variety of bee species into your garden and giving them the safe space to drink and rest that they deserve.