Water Fountain for Bees

Bees play a crucial role in helping nature thrive, and they need our help! As featured in our May Activity Calendar, this super simple activity is a great way to get kids involved in caring for our pollinating friends. 

If you do not yet have your free copy of the May Activity Calendar, get it here.

The Guide

Set the context

Head outside to look for and observe the bees in your outdoor space. Or, read books about bees and other pollinators. One of our favorites is “Please Please the Bees” by Gerald Kelley. Watch a read-aloud here.

Let kids know that nectar is not the only thing that bees collect. Bees need to drink water, just like us! Bees use water to digest their food, feed their babies and dilute honey that has become too thick or crystalized. Bees also add water to their hive and fan it with their wings to cool down the hive when it becomes too hot. Invite your child to put water on their skin and blow on it to see how this works. The pollen and nectar that bees eat don't contain much water, though, so bees must have a water source. 

Say, “Bees do such important work for plants and flowers. Do you think we could help the bees by making them a water fountain to drink from?”

Gather the materials

Gather a dish or a plate and a bottle of water. Let kids know that bees can’t swim, so they will need some rocks to land on while they are drinking water. Search for rocks together. 

Make a Water Fountain for Bees

  1. Select a spot to set up your water fountain, ideally near plants the bees frequent and in the shade. To learn more about which plants are ideal for bees or to plant for pollinators, read more here.
  2. Place your dish on the ground or, for extra height, place it on top of an upside down plant pot. 
  3. Invite your child to add the rocks to the dish and then fill with just enough water that the tops of the stones are not submerged.
  4. Observe to see if any bees or other creatures visit your water fountain.
  5. Refresh the water in your fountain daily.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Thinking about the needs of other creatures and creating something to meet those needs is a super way to nurture kids' compassionate empathy. And, when kids become helpers to bees, they learn how interconnected all living things are and how each of us can make a difference.

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