What I love most about being a “Back Yard Bee Keeper” is watching the bees stop at the watering hole we have created for them and watch them drink. I watch their straw like tongues drop down and suck up water. It’s an amazing and beautiful thing. As a child, I always thought the bees were trying to attack me at the swimming pool, but in truth they were just wanting to get a drink. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/water-collection/ shares an excellent article about bees and their quest for obtaining water. We use irrigation water to fill our water baths for our bees. We keep them close to our bee hives. The bees seem to go crazy landing in them all day long for drinks. We hope the irrigation water we use is not full of chlorine or other harmful chemicals. Since we haven’t had it tested, there’s always the question of how many pesticides or nasty stuff may be in the water that we use to grow our “organic” food with? Which begs the question, “Unless you live in an environment that you have complete control over, what really is “safe for consumption” and “organic?” One can always hope to aim for doing the best with what they have.
Our intent is to raise “treatment free” bees. The scientific battle of keeping bees alive, functioning and free of mites should not be taken lightly. Recent articles about bees share information on the many dangers they face. Mites and the abundant use of pesticides is a threat we should all be concerned about. Our backyard bees will fly up to 6 miles to forage. What happens if they go to a house 3 miles away that has all of their Suburbia landscaping sprayed with chemicals and they go to those flowering plants and freshly sprayed weeds and take all of that poison back to their hive? Is our quest for “Suburbia” perfection one of the reasons bees viability is threatened?
Whoever said a perfect no weed “Suburbia” yard was the best for mankind? Unsprayed pesticide free dandelions are the bomb in the bee’s world. We have moved into the “permaculture” – very limited grass landscaping technique. What are we doing with our suburbia landscaping? We hand pick out our weeds and we don’t use harmful pesticides to control our weeds. What are we doing to protect the livelihood of our bees? Everything we think we can within the knowledge we have. We all need bees as part of a healthy ecosystem. The pollination of our plants and honey is a essential and beautiful thing.