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  1. #1
    Member Zippity's Avatar
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    Default Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    We have a drink feeder which we refill on a daily basis to feed the local tuis, silver-eyes and blackbirds.

    At the moment, the birds are not using the feeder, but the honey bees are.

    They are drinking 1.25 litres of sugar water a day.

    Is this normal?
    I worked for everything I have. Most successful people have done the same thing.
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  2. #2
    tweakedgeek tweak'e's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    yes. it just means there is nothing better around.
    i would not feed them. you could start a robbing frenzy and your bird feeder will disappear in a cloud of pissed off bees.
    Tweak it till it breaks

  3. #3
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    50,000 honey bees would consume 1.1 litres of sugar water per day apparently.

    Therefore you must have about 60,000 bees visiting your feeder daily.

    I see a flaw ...

  4. #4
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    would some of it just be evapourating?
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    They may be after the sugar if there are few feed sources around at the moment. Or they may be after the water, especially given the temperatures this summer. Last year I was in South Western Oz during similar temps - at one beach we went to there were clouds of bees around the cars in the carpark. They were clustering around and drinking the pools of water each car dropped as they parked (from the aircon units I suppose). Another place had a small scummy pond and there were huge numbers of bees clustered on sticks and rocks in the water so they could drink. In neither situation were the bees affected by humans coming and going - they were focussed on the water, which is needed for making honey and cooling the hive.

    If the birds aren't using the feeder at present, you could just put water in it and see if the bees keep using it.
    Last edited by John H; 04-02-2019 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Zippity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    I don't believe the water level was dropping due to evaporation. At times, the sponge was literally covered in bees.

    We could see the air bubbles rising to the surface as the liquid was being consumed.

    Today is much cooler and there are not as many bees using the feeder

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I worked for everything I have. Most successful people have done the same thing.
    No, you aren't "entitled" to it. Too damn bad, Get it the way I did.
    WORK FOR IT.

  7. #7
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    Ex-pctek

  8. #8
    Member Zippity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    Yeah, but we are in Broadmeadows, Wellington

  9. #9
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    We have beehives our apiarist who owns them due to all the rain end of last year honey will be in shorter supply. The bees just haven't been able to collect enough pollen

  10. #10
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so many thirsty honey bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippity View Post
    Yeah, but we are in Broadmeadows, Wellington
    I'd say it's more than just Hawkes Bay.
    Plus it's a hot summer.......less moisture around too.

    Husband was watering garden last night and a bunch of birds came down and bathed in the hose spray, Weren't bothered being 6 inches away from him....
    Ex-pctek

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