When I got home from work yesterday, I noticed honeybees swarming the 5 gallon bucket of water I have set outside the chicken coop. Sun was shining, no wind, temperature in the 60’s, perfect conditions for the bees to be out foraging for water after their long winter.
Side note- (I do have a large container of water, not 5 feet from their hive, pieces of wood and various other things in it, so they won’t drown. But no, these bees would rather travel five hundred feet, and try to get water out of a 5 gallon bucket with nothing to grab onto.)
Taking a closer look, I noticed several bees in the water, at various stages of drowning, so I put some scrap pieces of scrap wood in the bucket, then one by one, fished the stragglers out of the water and plopped them on the wood.
Last night, right before dark, I decided to check on them one more time. Sure enough, I found 15 soaked honey bees, dead on their little rafts.
I should say, they looked dead, but when I nudged them with my finger, everyone of them stirred just a little. Since our temps were heading down into the 30’s last night, I was sure they would all be dead by morning.
So I took the two little rafts, with the 15 honeybees into my warm heated shop, and one by one gently place them on the heating pad I use for starting seeds. Within 5 minutes all of them were moving around, drying their little wings and grooming themselves. Then, one by one, like fighter jets on an aircraft carrier, they took off. They instinctively headed for the large window, so I opened it and poof…..they were gone, headed back to the hive.
This morning when I went out to the shop, all but one of them were gone.
Here’s a 19 second clip of them on the heating pad from my YouTube channel:
(as you can tell, I’m easily entertained.)