|Honeybee drinking water on an algae-coated rock.|
|Honeybees drinking on our waterfall.|
|The top level of wet rocks is safest for bees to drink from.|
The good part about the stickiness of water for bees is that it's easy for bee mouth parts to soak up water. Bees have a feathery tongue that sticks to water like hair does. The bee just has to touch its tongue to water, and water wicks into it. You can see the phenomenon of wicking if you touch the edge of a paper towel to water and watch how the water climbs further on to the paper towel. Paper towels that are thicker with more microscopic fibers to provide more surface wick better than thin, smooth paper towels. Bee's feathery tongues have lots of surface and are good wickers. You can see a bee tongue sipping nectar on the flower from my garden in the picture below, but the picture is not magnified enough to tell that the tongue is feathery.
|Honeybee soaking up nectar and pollinating chive flowers. Note battered wing and pollen sack.|