Nasty Thirst

Despite having a relatively small backyard, having bees has rarely been a problem. This past few weeks, though, it’s become increasingly difficult to spend an afternoon out back without getting harrassed by the girls.

I’ve always had Italian bees up until this year, when I got my first hive of Carniolans, and so I was worried that the Carnies were simply more aggressive. On a recent trip up to the Wallingford Farmer’s Market, I chatted with Karen Bean of Brookfield Farm about it, though, and she suggested that they might just be thirsty. It has been unusually hot these past few weeks, and we cleared out a bunch of old pots that had been collecting water for years and that the bees had probably been using as water source.

Karen suggested putting garbage can lid with some pea gravel in it in the yard and filling with water. The pear gravel is to account for the fact that bees aren’t so hot at swimming, so they need something solid to take off and land from.

I’m giving it a shot and will let you know how it turns out.

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  1. We live in New York city. Do you know of any parks or local businesses that offer the ability to view bees or any other similar experiences? We have 4 kids under the age of 12 – thought this might be a super way to spend a summer afternoon.

    Brian R. Callahan
    New York, NY

  2. hi

    Thanks for the idea. i will check with the Gotham City Beekeepers Association. I will let you know more about the experience.

    Brian R. Callahan
    NY, NY

  3. how did it go?

    i plan on having bees in my small backyard but i am worried the neighbors will get harassed by the bees.

  4. I keep three sources of water in my yard. As soon as I started doing that, I started having a boatload of songbirds in the garden. I make sure to flush them out with clean water almost daily. We’ve had at least one case of West Nile in my area, and the drought we had this summer is supposed to make the West Nile worse.

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