Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bee-ing a Good Neighbor by Installing Bee Pools

If you and I are friends on Facebook and you read a recent back-and-forth between my neighbor and I, then you know that she expressed some concern over the fact that bees had been drinking from her pool.  Now, there is no way to know for certain that these are my honeybees.  They might be.  They might not be.  I have not seen it myself.  Really.  Who can blame the bees?  It is hot as blazes out here and I'm sure their pool is just lovely.  Still, the neighborly thing to do, in my opinion, is to try to be part of the solution.  After all, what good is it to care about the environment if you don't care about your neighbors and their environment?

So, today, while the girl was at camp, the boy and I got busy building two swimming pools for the bees in our yard.  I already have bee watering stations, but hopefully this will be even better for the bees - never low on water, cooler water because it's deeper, and just smelly enough to attract them.  I have heard bees like smelly water.  I have to believe this is true because they will drink water out of my plant flats and it took them two weeks to find the nice clean watering station.  They only stumbled upon it after I placed it right next to a post-rain, water-logged pot.  I had to move it slowly, about 3 inches a day, until I got it where I wanted it for the duration so they wouldn't lose it again.

Installing Bee Pools (AKA Mini Ponds)

The water loving plants that will give the bees landing pads for drinking in the bee pools.

Two plastic planters with plugs in the bottoms.  I got these at Home Depot for $29.

Adding Silicone around the plug to make sure they are water tight.  After you add this, it has to cure for 3 to 8 hours.

Silicone covering the plug.

Arranging the containers.  The water lily needs to be higher, so it will rest on the upside down planter.  The submersed oxygenating plants (horsetail) will go in the other two pots.  The floaters, well, they float.

Look sideways.  For some reason, I can't get this photo to turn.  I added gravel to two of the pots to help weigh them down and keep the horsetail submerged.

All done.  The water lily still has it's tag.  I am going to make my way to Flora Hydroponics and get an appropriately sized Smart Pot for that sometime next week.  That way, I can cut it to the perfect height.  For now, it will live in the pot I bought it in.  The floating plants are water lettuce and water hyacinth. 

All done!  I set it near a lavender plant with the hopes that the bees will stumble upon it since they are all over the lavender.

No comments:

Post a Comment