Bees and butterflies are important pollinators. They help to pollinate much of our food supply.
Without bees and butterflies, many types of food will be difficult, if not impossible, to grow.
Unfortunately, these important pollinators have been in decline for the last several years.
So, what can be done to help bees and butterflies?
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One thing that can be done is to stop, or at least limit, the use of pesticides on your personal property.
If pesticides need to be used, use specialized ones that target just the pest you need to eliminate.
Another thing that can be done is to put in a pollinator garden. I wrote about putting in a pollinator garden in Starting a Pollinator Garden.
If you can’t put in a large pollinator garden, you could plant just one or two flowers that attract pollinators. Even a couple of potted plants would help.
A third thing that can be done is to make a bee and butterfly waterer (called a bee waterer for the rest of this post).
Both butterflies and bees need a shallow source of water to drink from.
Deeper sources of water pose life threatening risks to bees and butterflies.
Natural sources of water, like lakes, rivers, and streams, pose the greatest risk. Bees and butterflies could drown or become some larger creature’s meal.
Even a bird bath could cause a bee to drown.
Last year I found a large number of bees dead in the little kiddie pool I have for Luna (my German Shepherd).
I think they were thirsty (it was sunny and in the 90s), and that was the only source they could find. Unfortunately, they died trying to get a drink.
To prevent this in the future (at least hopefully prevent it) a bee waterer can be made.
A bee waterer is just a shallow container with something in it for the bees to land on.
How to make a bee waterer
First, collect your supplies. You will need:
A shallow container. You could use a terra cotta pot base, plastic pot base, a deep plate, or a pie pan.
Glass gems, marbles, or small rocks.
Plant stand (optional).
Steps to make the bee waterer
First place the glass gems in the container.
Place outside near flowers that will attract bees and butterflies. If you are using a plant stand place that in the ground and then place the container on top of it.
Fill with water, making sure not to cover the glass gems completely.
Now the hardest part, make sure to keep it full of water. The one I made needs refilling a few times a day.
It may take a while for the bees and butterflies to find the bee waterer, but hopefully they will.
I keep hoping to catch sight of one using the bee waterers that I have, but I haven’t been lucky enough yet.
I have seen a couple of bees visiting my flowers, so maybe they have taken a drink when I haven’t been around.
Hopefully the bees and butterflies will find your bee waterers quickly and hopefully you will get a chance to see them in use.