Advice, thoughts, comments?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Hello -- I live in Albuquerque, NM where we've been having a severe drought for the last several many years. I live in a large apartment complex, but am on the top floor and relatively hidden from easy viewing from below -- if someone is *really* interested, there's a always a way, right?

At the end of hummingbird season last year, I noticed bees coming to the hummer feeder. That's more than wonderful, I love bees, am not afraid of them, nor has one ever bitten me. But I was concerned about them getting trapped inside the hummer feeder, which I wanted to take down anyway, the hummers being gone. So I began putting out a shallow dish with a small statue in the center for weight, and filling it with sugar water. The bees have come all winter and are continuing. I am one of the few who gardens on their balcony, so I noticed the other day that the bees are also drinking from the container saucers.

Am not too terribly concerned about being busted -- most of my neighbors are elderly and have trouble seeing from the street level up this far or around the ends of their balconies to mine. But -- I want to be sure I'm not doing something wrong. Is it okay to be feeding them? What about the saucer water? Maybe I should be putting more sugar water out? I make a mix of 2 tablespoons of white sugar to a half-cup of water, stir well and refrigerate between fillings of their dish. Should the sugar water mix be changed? Am sending along a pic of what I call the Bee Chorus Line taken before the statue was added. Thanks for your help! jo

Thumbnail by jio1
Bolivar, TN(Zone 7a)

Thank you so much for giving the bees water. They need the water to help cool their hives and also to live. Just as we need water, so do they. Yes, you can keep on giving them sugar water. There is obviously a hive someplace close by you. Keep up the good work. LIZ

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the reassurance Liz!

They are not only eating/drinking at the dish I provide but now also from clothes hung up to dry *and* the plant saucers -- I so enjoy them!

Stratford, CT(Zone 6b)

They are starving for water and you are providing them with a valuable resource. That picture is a thing of beauty! Thanks for helping out one of the gardener's hardest workers.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

LOL - what a great picture! Looks like a watering trough for bees - "hey guys - c'mon over HERE!"

I had a couple of boxes in my back yard, and really loved having them there. Good job - the few that you're helping out are simply not enough to cause anyone any trouble and are great for your plants, as you already know.

Smyrna, TN(Zone 6b)

Good job. Wild bee population is down so much from mites, and insecticides that farmers has to rent hives for pollunation. One third of your vegtable food source is from bees doing their job. You can go to to buy better quality foods for bee's, and even learn more about them through your State's Agricultral Dept.

You might want to look up the agricultural dept that deals with the bee's and see if they need any from your area for testing. Some states do test the wild bees to check for mites, or to see if they are the Africanized Bee's. I am not too sure how much agricultural NM does, so it might not concern NM as much as southern states that are heavy in farming.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

GEO: Most of our "industry" here in NM is either tourism or agriculture -- especially small family farms/orchards. Will check out the link *and* track down the state bee people -- thanks for the link and the thought!

PC - you're right, that *is* the caption for the pic, isn't it! LOL!

Smyrna, TN(Zone 6b)

Speaking of Orchards, when you buy honey, buy it from a beekeeper. In the stores you have clover honey, but beekeepers might have honey from wild flowers or orchards, I love to eat those straight. Visit a apirary if you can, it is very interesting.


Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

jio1, FYI, I kept an illegal hive hidden on a balcony for years. Just don't paint it white & no one will think it's anything other than a table. Since bees forage for about 5 miles, the only time they're even noticeable is when a whole bunch are flying in & out, and even then only if they're silhouetted against the sun, which they aren't on a balcony.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Glad to read this - my next door neighbor keeps bee hives and I see them on my standing water sources for the birds and at the hb feeders. Sometimes I find one or two who've fallen in. My shelties have a hard time not chasing them, but after a few stings, that's their problem! He is going to move, and has offered to leave a hive in my back yard... I'm not sure I'm up to it, but I know how much we need them. I hope they are on my tomato blossoms when I'm not looking... never when I've watched.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

BW28 -- I absolutely think you should take him up on his offer! From what I've learned reading the posts here, it's easier to keep a hive going than to start one. Also -- and this would be the deal maker for me -- Texas is one of the states that's experiencing such a die-off of bees. Anything that can be done to counter-act that would be such a blessing! Go for it! jo

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I'm going to do some research and give it some thought. Thanks for your encouragement, jo! He says there's a bee club in town that I might visit to get more info. :)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

A bee club? How cool! I'm sure they'd have lots of info and probably be willing to come to your place and help . . . and . . . I have a small stuffed bee on top of a headband if you need that to wear to the club meetings, I could send it along, LOL! jo

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

lol... I'll keep your offer in mind! I can just see it now... me at my first meeting with a bee headband :) I'm still considering it - got soooo many gardening and other fun things distracting me from real life right now. He's not moving the hives yet - so I've got some time to "get real." (or not)

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