One of the first things I learned in beginning beekeeping class was the importance of having a water source near the hive. A full-sized colony of bees can use up to a quart of water a day! It is in the beekeeper's best interests to keep the water source in his/her own backyard. Since my yard contains a small pond, I was confident that the bees would be attracted there. Instead, they seem to favor the birdbath in the side yard!
The bees will remain loyal to the same water source. If that source dries up, they will find another one. I keep this birdbath filled because I don't want the bees visiting my neighbors' yards to get water!
Occasionally a bee will fall into the water. I rescue her with a twig or a piece of mulch and she crawls or flies off. This one appears to be doing the backstroke!
Yesterday a bee crawled up the mulch and onto my finger, and I promptly shook her off! (For our blog readers who may be wondering...YES, I have been stung - twice!) I doubt she would have stung me, but I didn't want to take the chance...