Bees can seem scary because of their stingers, but they also make honey and are key pollinators who are essential to the production of many food crops, so it’s generally best to keep one’s cool and avoid swatting at them whenever possible. One shrine in Japan has decided to go a step beyond that and just built a little drinking fountain for bees, so they can refresh themselves before getting back to pollinating.
Producing honey is hard work, and in the summer heat, bees seek out water sources to drink from. According to Rocket News 24, one such popular drinking spot is in the ritual cleansing stations set at the front of Shinto shrines in Japan. Bees like to drop in for a drink, but their presence tends to scare off people looking to rinse their hands and mouths before entering the shrine, and when people and bees are in conflict, people get stung.
Now the Hitokotonushi Shrine in Ibaraki Prefecture just posted a photo to Twitter of its solution to the problem: A special drinking fountain for bees.
The bee fountain is a little flower pot filled with rocks and moss and a little stream. Bees prefer running water, so a spout has been rigged with a piece of split bamboo to keep the water moving and refreshing. So far it seems to be working. The shrine’s Twitter followers like that the bees are being taken care of. And after stopping for a refreshing drink without scaring any visitors or tourists, the bees can then fly away and get back to the important work of making delicious honey and not stinging people.