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Activity #3: Pollinator Water Station

All plants and animals, including pollinators, need water to keep hydrated and survive. Bees, for example, not only drink water, but gather it to take back to their hives and nests. They use water to dilute (water down) their honey, regulate humidity (the amount of moisture in the hive), feed larvae and to cool the hive. Bees can tell each other where to find water!

Butterflies use a proboscis (tongue-like tube for sipping) to sip both nectar and water. You may see butterflies congregating on wet sand or pebbles. This is called “puddling”. Butterflies drink water at puddling stations as well as water and juice from rotting fruits.

You can help hydrate the bees and butterflies in your yard! Creating your own pollinator water station is easy and helps to keep pollinators healthy.

For this project, you will be using the supplies for Day 1, Activity #3.


  1. Using some of your yellow paint, cover the inside bottom and sides of the saucer to waterproof it. You can paint the whole saucer and pot if you like. *If you want to paint bugs or other designs on the pot, be sure to turn it upside down first! Save some of your paint for a later camp activity!

  2. Place a line of glue along the rim at the bottom of the pot. Carefully center the saucer on the pot, and allow the glue to dry.

  3. Place the colored stones into the saucer. DO NOT glue them down. You can add one or two larger stones from your own yard as well. These stones will give your pollinators a place to land without drowning.

  4. Fill the dish with cool, clean water. Make sure the water only reaches part way up the stones so that the pollinators don’t sink under the water.

  5. Place your water station near any colorful flowers or sweet-smelling plants in your yard.

  6. Watch the butterflies and bees come to your oasis for refreshment! Are there any other pollinators visiting your water station? Record your observations in your field notebook.

  7. Be sure to change the water every day. Clean the dish once a week with water and a cloth. Remove the stones before cleaning and then replace them – maybe in a new design!

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