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Honey Bee Water Bowl

Honey Bee Water Bowl

Kids love bugs. They are tiny, busy lives that come in an array of shapes and colors. As parents and caregivers, we want our children to learn about the natural world, but how do you talk bees and butterflies into holding still long enough to admire them?

A honey bee water bowl is a wonderful and inexpensive lure for the fabulous flying creatures kids adore. Insects need water but larger water sources can be a drowning danger to them.  The marbles of this project offer a safe place for critters to land and drink. It doesn’t take long for honey bees to discover a water bowl and make it a regular part of their route.

Here are some tricks for making an appealing honey bee water bowl. Keep the bowl clean. Refresh the water when it goes dry and wipe out the bowl every week or so.

water bowl close upUse colorful marbles. Bugs can see color. Bright colors will attract different bugs. Float a few flower heads in the bowl to attract new pollinators. Mint and dandelion blossoms are big favorites with bees and butterflies alike.

Don’t be surprised if hummingbirds visit the water bowl too. Keep a camera at the ready when you visit your water bowl to record the variety of visitors who enjoy your tiny oasis.

Remember it’s up to you to teach your children respect for nature. Remind the little ones that when the bugs come to visit, it’s time for watching not for touching. Read them a book about the critters they see. This is a chance to learn about the great, big world of tiny, little creatures.


  • Shallow dish
  • Brightly colored marbles
  • Water

That’s it! Just put the marbles in the bowl and add enough water so the marbles are partially covered by the water. Put your bowl in a safe place larger critters like cats and dogs can’t knock it over. Enjoy!

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

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