It is a well known fact that bees prefer drinking from dirty puddles than from clean water. It is presumed that they value the minerals and other ingredients that are in such water sources. https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/118605431/honey-bees-need-better-nutrition-and-nz-scientists-think-they-can-help?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=8
Below is an article from the Entomological Society of America .
Honey bees reportedly have a preference to drink brackish water, presumably because they prefer the higher
salt concentrations found in such water. Such water may also contain pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Thus, determining how salt concentrations influence bee water foraging has implications for understanding their basic biology and how they may be exposed to harmful compounds. We used the Proboscis Extension Response (PER) to determine how bees responded to a wide range of salt concentrations (ranging from 0%-10%). Mean bee PER was significantly higher for 1.5% NaCl, 1.5% MgCl2, and 0.4% and 0.75% Na2HPO4 (phosphate). For KCl, bee PER was significantly higher for 0-1.5%. For MgCl2, KCl, and Na2HPO4, bee PER was significantly lower for a 10% solution. Surprisingly, bees would tolerate a 10% NaCl solution, but exhibited significantly lower PER for the lowest concentration of 0.05%, similar to pure water. In addition, we analyzed water collected by bees from 36 sites in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. There is a significant effect of water type on the concentration of Na, Mg, and K, but not on the concentration of phosphate. For Na, seawater (0.93%) and swimming pool water (0.6%) contained higher sodium concentrations than all other water sources. For Mg and K, only seawater had significantly elevated ion levels compared to all other water sources. This study provides a new technique, PER, to determine honey bee salt preferences and suggests future methods for applying salts at specific concentrations to deter bees from collecting agricultural runoff.
The problem now is that these puddles may now contain neonicinoids, glyphosate or other nasties.
Hive World now offer a mineral additive to add to your sugar syrup or water supply for your bees without any danger of poisoning them.