You can add either liquid to any number of containers: a plain plastic plate with some rocks in it, a bucket with some corks, or a chicken waterer with some pebbles. The important part is to a) ensure the bees have good footing so they don't drown, and b) if you're feeding sugar syrup, to do it right, and change it before it gets moldy.
|A small bucket with corks for the bees to perch on,|
and a handkerchief for them to suck water out of,
works very well (they won't roll the corks, don't worry.)
Making sugar syrup for bees is easy. You use a ratio of 1 part granulated white sugar (nothing else please, not honey, not corn syrup, not brown sugar) to 2 parts water.
I use an electric teakettle to boil the water (recommended to remove anything that might make the syrup mold faster), pour it over the sugar, stir, and let cool.
|A simple plastic plate with some rocks for the bees to perch on.|
Another great way to help bees and other pollinators is to plant wildflowers and trees in your yard which provide nectar for them. A long list of these for plants in North America can be found on Wikipedia here.
It's also really easy to sow white clover in your lawn. It doesn't get too tall (cuts down on mowing) and is a good source of nectar for the bees throughout much of the summer.
Even the simplest of things, like a bucket of water with some corks, can a great help. Just remember to change it regularly and keep it clean. And thanks! The bees appreciate it.
|Even a chicken waterer with some pebbles works.|