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Bee gardening news and education from the UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven
by Ted Allen Smith
on November 19, 2017 at 8:52 AM
Is water left in white plastic container that has turned green with algae still ok for large honey hives?
Reply by Christine Casey
on November 20, 2017 at 5:47 AM
Bees prefer what we may perceive as 'dirty' water. Leaves that fall into water leach out minerals that can be important bee nutrients. Researchers have found that bees will preferentially select a water source that contains a mineral that is deficient in their diet.  
So algae in a water source has the potential to be beneficial because it will provide nutrients. One caution is that toxic algal blooms have increased in recent years. I'm unable to find any studies about the effect of toxic algae on bees. If the water in your storage container came from a drinking water source this shouldn't be an issue, but it might be a good idea to change it every so often to be safe.
by Shelley Welch
on July 2, 2019 at 12:39 PM
What great information!
Reply by Christine Casey
on July 2, 2019 at 1:39 PM
Glad you find this useful. It's so important for bee health to provide water, which is something that bee gardeners are often not aware of.
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