Do Bees Need Water? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Water is probably the world’s most vital substance that aids the existence of every living organism, including us humans.

Bees, alternately referred to as the king of insects, need water for sustainability.

During summer, when the temperature rises, bees and other wildlife need safe drinkable water to nourish and their system and stay hydrated.

Farmers and beekeepers can attest to the fact these insects would go any length to get water.

As a matter of fact, a large number of bees are naturally killed as they drown while trying to drink water from pools or even large bowls.

What do they need water for?

Do Bees Need Water

Bees need water for a variety of purposes. As living organisms, they need water just as much as they need food and oxygen.

But if you decide to delve deeper into why bees need water, I think it’s ideal you know that bees need water to cater for their young ones.

Developing bees survive on a special type of food that is formulated with mostly water.

In order for bees to produce food for their young ones, they need honey, water, and pollen.

Of all three ingredients, water is the most crucial. If there isn’t water close by, bees would travel far to ensure they get water.

Moreover, adult bees also need water just like their offspring.

The food they consume needs to be produced with water as well. If you are an intending beekeeper, don’t underestimate the importance of water for your insects.

How do you give bees water?

As a beekeeper, giving water to your bees can be simple and a little be risky at the same time.

Considering the fact that bees can easily drown while trying to drink from a large source of water, it’s highly recommended to use small containers to provide water.

Amazingly, a special item, made of plastic, has been manufactured to help beekeepers give water to their insects.

Owing to the fashion and design of this plastic product, bees can safely drink water without encountering any risk of drowning.

To get this item, you can visit some of the biggest stores in your town. Or, find a specific store where beekeeping items are being sold.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on why bees can sting only once

How much water do bees need per day?

The amount of water needed to sustain bees per day depends on how large the colony is.

If the colony large, then a lot of water would be needed to help the bees get by.

In every colony of bees, there is a category of bees known as the worker bees.

This set of bees have only one responsibility in the colony, which is to supply water regularly.

They make at least 50 each day, bringing water into the colony.

When there isn’t enough water in the hive, the workforce will be increased. Other bees would have to join the worker bees so that the colony would have an adequate supply of water.

How close do bees need to be to water?

Beekeepers need to ensure that water is always available and close to the bees. Issues may arise if the bees are unable to get water in time.

As for wild bees, however, they don’t necessarily need to be close to a water source.

They are able to mobilize the worker bees to travel as far as possible to get water.

But in cases where the worker bees are unable to reach a water source in time, then the colony of bees would have to consider relocating to a different location close to water.

Also read this article on can bees sting other bees?

Do bees need water to make honey?

There’s no way bees can produce their honey without water. Water is the primary ingredient needed to make honey.

Nectar and pollen are need as well, but water remains the most sought-after substance.

The worker bees are in charge of supplying water, while the honey bees take up the job of making honey.

Even beekeepers understand that for them to be able to get enough honey at the end of every season, they must supply water sufficiently to bees.

Do bees drown in water?

Bees can easily be killed by drowning. Although they are expected to make use of their flying ability to save themselves, that is barely possible for them to do.

The moment a bee enters water, its feathers get wet, disabling the insect’s ability to take flight.

No matter how hard the bee struggles to save itself, it’s certainly going to perish in the water.

In every colony, worker bees face the biggest risk due to their job of supplying water.

How do you attract bees to water sources?

You don’t necessarily need to attract bees to sources of water. Naturally, they are drawn to water sources due to how important water is to the colony.

As a beekeeper looking after bees, however, you must not fail to provide the insects with water on a regular basis.

Considering the fact they aren’t in the forest to search for water on their own, you have to keep the water very close by.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are plastic items used in giving bees water safely.

The item can be purchased at any store where beekeeping items are being sold.

How far do bees travel for water

To make honey, bees may have to travel far from their hive to get all the ingredients, including water.

Amazingly, worker bees can travel as far as 5 miles away from their home in quest of water.

But in as much as they can travel long distances in search of water, it is much safe when the water source is close by.

In some cases, these bees may not return after traveling such long distances. They could drown or encounter some dangers on their way back to the colony.


Water is essential to the existence of bees. These insects will do virtually anything to have access to water.

But importantly, you should know that it’s inappropriate for bees to drink dirty or unclean water.

Experienced beekeepers always advise people who are new in the business of beekeeping to always give the insects clean and drinkable water.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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