Bees all over our fountain?

Gowrie, IA(Zone 5a)

My husband and I moved into a house last summer in northern Iowa (we live on the edge of a tiny town, surrounded by corn fields) and it has an outdoor water feature (above ground fish pond/fountain) in our backyard, complete with goldfish. We've noticed that bees love hanging out on the rocks closest to the falling water, and we have a peaceful relationship (we ignore them, they ignore us). However, this spring, we've noticed a ton of dead bees in the water--don't know if they're drowning, or just dying, but the dead bees keep clogging the filter.

Do you think they have a hive nearby (I haven't been able to find anything that looks like a place bees would live, but I don't know exactly what to look for)? Do bees like to hang out around water, and do they easily fall in and drown? My husband and I both feel bad for them, and when we've seen live bees in the water, we've both tried to fish them out with a net. Ideas? Tips? I'm including a pic I snapped earlier today.

Thumbnail by swampdiamonds
Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Bees can drown in almost no water, that's for sure. And they range up to 5 miles so they could be coming from anywhere. I would suggest putting out a plant saucer filled with pebbles or marbles & water for them along the edge.

My bees used to drown by the hundreds in my neighbors' hot tub, annoying them by clogging the filter as well.

Keep us posted!

Orangeburg, SC

Definatly drowning. I agree with the saucer or a birdbath with rocks for them to stand on. they really love sugar water and they could be coming from anywhere.

Gowrie, IA(Zone 5a)

The whole thing is set up with rocks all around it, but you think putting a saucer out there with pebbles and shallow would help? Would they go to that instead? Should it be sugar water or plain water?

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Oh definitely. Plain water.

They can drown in a quarter-inch of water; that's why you'll see them getting moisture from muddy areas.

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