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How to build a pollinator-friendly water feature in 3 minutes

One of the problems that traditional bird baths and outdoor water features have is that bees and other small pollinators try to perch on the sides, but they can’t balance on steep edges. 

One of the problems that traditional bird baths and outdoor water features have is that bees and other small pollinators try to perch on the sides, but they can’t balance on steep edges. Too often, they fall into the water and drown – an unnecessary and sad end for our pollinating friends.

Yet, it is easy to provide a pollinator drinking fountain in our yards that offers water for pollinators. With a very few household materials and in less than five minutes, we can create an attractive “watering hole” for small pollinators. These small creatures don’t need wide expanses of water – but they do require a safe and non-slippery perch from which they can sip water and fly away when their thirst is quenched.

Here are the materials you will need:

• A wide and shallow dish or other vessel that will hold water. Again, because pollinators are small, short creatures, we want to avoid a deep container.
• Rocks or glass marbles to fill the bottom.
• Flat stones or other objects that can be set amidst the marbles. These stones will form a perch for the pollinators while they get a drink.
• Clean water replaced daily that sits slightly below the level of the perch. Imagine you are Ms. Bumblebee and make the distance you need to lean into the water to get a drink user-friendly.

Placement: Nake the water feature obvious to pollinators who visit your garden by placing it near the flowering plants where they will be flying in search of nectar.

Maintenance: Add fresh water daily and clean out debris regularly. Stagnant water can breed bacteria and mosquitoes, so keep the water feature clean and filled with fresh water.

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