Water sources for bees, not mosquitoes

This summer, keep your bees’ water source from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Best Management Requirements for beekeepers requires that managed honey bee colonies have access to a convenient source of water. For many beekeepers, especially those in urban and suburban areas, this water source is a small dish or container located nearby the hive(s). These small water sources can help your bees maintain colony temperature (especially in the hot summer months!) and it can keep them out of your neighbor’s pool and bird bath. Unfortunately, if not properly maintained, these containers can also become a breeding location for mosquitoes.

A new female mosquito emerges from a pupal casing in the water.

Many species of mosquitoes in Florida use sources of standing water to lay their eggs and develop their young. These water sources can be natural like tree holes or they can be man-made like tires and bird baths (or honey bee water containers!). Some mosquitoes can vector human-transmitted viruses like Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya.

 

Prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your bees’ water:
  1. Dump out your water containers every 5 days (or sooner).
  2. Remove eggs by scrubbing the edges of the container that are above the water line.
  3. Refill your water source with clean, fresh water.

 

 

Additional Resources