At the end of the winter and after the summer drought, skilled workers, who are assigned to carry water tend to visit the wet areas. These are NOT looking for clean water. On the contrary, they prefer stagnated water, swamps and often get attracted by the urine of the animals, which give them nitrogenous substances along with water. The water collection indicates the cycle of new brood inside the colony. It’s essential for diluting the stored honey then mixing it with pollen, providing the best food for the larvae. In the autumn, the distribution of clean water has in some cases led to rapid growth as with syrup. In the summer, the presence of fresh water supply near the hive helps the bees a lot.
Water needs, varying according to circumstances, are of the order of 12 liters of water per year for each hive. Vuillaume believes that the significant thermal rise we see after closure comes from the concern of the collectors, a concern that is directly related to the need for water. The imperative for water explains why some bees die during the transport of closed hives.
Give bees a chance. There is a great and safe way to water your bees.