The bee drinker is an indispensable item in the care of these insects. After all, they are thirsty every day - especially during the emergence of bee brood.
In spring and winter, the beekeeper installs such a device in a stationary apiary. It is worth considering the features and types of bee structures, as well as the rules for their installation, and pay attention to the photo of do-it-yourself drinkers for bees.
Do bees need drinkers
As you know, honey bees always want to drink a lot of water. Therefore, in the absence of a natural source near the bee apiary (stream, river, lake or pond), an apiary drinker with a volume of 0.7-3 liters is built in this place.
In such constructions, a certain amount of water must be present every day. Their volume is increased or decreased depending on the season:
- in the honey collection, one family of bees drinks 300 ml of water in 1 day;
- at the end of summer, bees consume 100 ml of water in 1 day;
- since September, the bee colony drinks 30 ml of water per day;
- In early spring, insects consume 45 ml of water per day.
When installing a do-it-yourself drinker for bees from a plastic bottle, the beekeeper ensures the correct water supply to this device. This product is installed in an open area. Thus, the sun's rays maintain the desired water temperature.
When installing such a design, the following advantages are obtained:
- with the daily presence of water in the hive, the bees are always provided with it - they do not need to fly out anywhere;
- such a device is made from a plastic bottle that heats up instantly in the sun;
- when water is added to this structure, the beekeeper does not disturb insects in any way;
- the beekeeper assesses the degree of development of the bee colony by transferring water to the hive without opening it;
- such a structure can be quickly built in a certain area, and the materials of manufacture are of low cost.
When installing a similar design for bees, the beekeeper chooses a place that is quickly heated by the sun. In order not to be blown away by the wind, it is installed on a special stand, the height of which is 70 cm.
All bee drinkers are of 2 types: public and individual. The first structures are containers that are filled with water, and all the bees flock to them.
The second products are installed only in small apiaries. They serve water directly to each family of these insects.
According to the method of water supply, drinkers are of two types:
- Current. In this case, water slowly flows out of a plastic bottle or any other container on a board with several curved channels.
- Dripping. These structures are containers that are closed with a lid with small openings. They are suspended in an upright position with the lid down over a small tray onto which water droplets drip and where excess water accumulates. For a large number of flying insects, several such devices are installed.
In winter, the beekeeper constructs a heated drinking bowl. Indeed, at the beginning of spring, insects, when in contact with cold water, freeze, freeze and die. If the sun shines on the street for a long time, then the water quickly heats up in a bee structure made of plastic or glass.
Depending on the season, beekeepers install 2 types of drinking bowls - winter and spring. It is worth considering their main characteristics.
In winter, hive drinkers are used to provide the bees with the required amount of water. In this case, vacuum containers are more often used.
Important! Beekeepers fill them with water without opening the hive. Due to this, when installing vacuum drinkers in the entrance, the beekeepers do not bother insects and do not harm the bee brood.
In this case, access to water is possible only from the hive. Since this design is transparent, it is easy to maintain the required liquid level in it.
In the spring, when the bees leave the hive, beekeepers install external drinkers. In this case, a barrel with a slightly open tap, which is filled with water, is placed in the place where the sun is shining.
A similar structure is placed near the hive. Thus, the bees quickly and independently take as much water as they need.
In early spring, the water temperature in the bee drinker is still cold. When in contact with it, sleepy bees are subject to great stress. In this case, there is a significant reduction in the bee population.
To keep the water always warm, beekeepers install small heated drinking bowls. In this case, an aquarium water heater is often used. This device does not boil ice water, but heats it slightly.
A vacuum drinker for bees is considered an indispensable container in winter, when the bees themselves often freeze and their brood is reduced. This design has the following advantages:
- it is filled without opening the hive itself, in this case, when the container is filled with water, insects are not disturbed in any way;
- tight and easy to use;
- access to water is only inside the hive, so insects do not fly out into the cold.
The vacuum structure is filled with water prior to installation in the tray. Such a product is made of transparent plastic, through which the liquid level is clearly visible.
How to make a drinker for bees with your own hands
When self-constructed, drinkers use the following tools and building materials:
- a plastic ordinary bottle, the volume of which is 500 ml;
- a clerical knife;
- a piece of foam, the thickness of which is 2 cm;
- wide tape;
- a small nail;
As soon as spring comes, bees fly out of the hive even in cold weather and, when in contact with icy water, become numb. In this case, the beekeeper installs the drinker under the glass body, and as a result, they keep the water warm for a long time. If the stationary apiary is located at a distant distance from the house, in this case, similar structures are installed without valves.
Also, beekeepers independently install common bee drinkers from car tires and large outdoor structures with heating. The first structures are constructed from tires, which are cut in advance around the circumference.
Attention! Water heats up quickly in black car tires, and when going down the inside of the tires, the bees only drink the warm water.
Outdoor large drinkers are equipped with a special heating device - an aquarium water heater. Below, under the gutter through which the water flows, place a container with stones or gravel.
This is where all the water from the board is collected. Such a reserve tank is used if the plastic bottle runs out of water.
Drinking bowl for bees from a plastic bottle
The simplest drinker is made from a plastic bottle. This design is very convenient and compact. Then it is placed near the bee hive.
During the manufacture and installation of such a drinking bowl, the following actions are performed:
- A rectangle of this size is made from a small piece of polystyrene - 7x12 cm.
- They take a marker and make the necessary markings for them. In this case, the large side of the foam blank is divided into 2 parts and 1 line is drawn in the middle.
- They make an indent from the edge equal to 10 cm, and then put another 1 mark.
- The resulting foam blank is divided in half by thickness.
- The bottle neck is screwed in to the full depth at a distance of 10 cm from the edge of the foam rectangle.
- On the other hand, the foam blanks are cut to mid-50% of the thickness.
- A freeform groove is cut out opposite the bottle with a clerical knife.
- At the same time, free space is left along its edges to insects. I calculate the width of the gutter as follows: the width of the tape minus 10 mm. For example, the width of the tape is 60 mm. This means that the width of the gutter is made no more than 50 mm.
- The circle that is formed by the bottleneck is divided into 2 parts.
- At an angle, cut the one that is directed towards the gutter.
- Opposite the board with a notch, mark it with a marker, and then pierce a hole with a small nail.
- Water flows through this place.
- The bottom of the bee structure is completely pasted over with construction tape.
- This is how a small reservoir is obtained where water flows.
- They collect water in a plastic bottle, turn it over and insert it into a pre-prepared hole.
When applying it is necessary to monitor the water level in this bee structure. From time to time, you need to wash the inside of the plastic bottle.
After filling the bottle with water, it is screwed "upside down" and the liquid immediately enters the groove.
The bee drinker helps the beekeeper to protect a large number of these insects from death. Each beekeeper should take special responsibility to the issue of providing them with water in the apiary. To solve this problem, the above types of bee drinkers are installed - bees do not freeze in winter and are always provided with water.