Following bees from water sources

Usually in hot conditions, honey bees forage for water to be used for nest temperature regulation. They can be found at fresh water sources, such as water troughs, small pools of water, and edges of ponds, lakes, and rivers. Colonies tend to nest close to water sources, so following bees from these sources can reduce one’s search time. Similar to beelining from a bait station, one can follow the direction of the bees leaving the water source. They will travel directly to the colony.

Another technique is using water to honey foraging conversion as suggested by Wenner et al. (1992). Simply, a few drops of undiluted honey can be placed on a stick upslope and close to where individual bees are foraging for water. If the bees switch to imbibing the honey, they will begin to recruit other foragers to the water source and soaked sponges of honey water placed in the area (Wenner et al., 1992). You can now follow the beelines to the colony.

Pros: no installation necessary, water foragers always come to the same place; colonies usually nearby, reducing the search time.

Cons: no easy triangulation done; few water foragers for each colony so finding the water foragers may be difficult.