Japanese Shrine Creates Tiny Water Sanctuary So Bees Can Stay Hydrated

Bees play a critical role in the ecosystem. In fact, they serve as one of the world’s most important pollinators for food crops.

According to the UN Environment Program, “Bees are part of the biodiversity on which we all depend for our survival.”

Conservationists, scientists, and individuals are working to help save the bees and protect our planet and humanity by doing so, and a Japanese shrine has found a creative way to do its part.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Hitokotonushi Shrine near Tokyo, Japan has created custom-made water stations for tiny, hard-working bees!

Human visitors to the shrine are provided with a hydrating station and staff at the shrine felt it was only fair to provide a similar luxury to the bees in the area.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The shrine posted about the bee hydrating station on Twitter, saying (translated):

“I started a drinking fountain dedicated to bees. When it gets hot, groups of bees come to the chozuya to drink water. Due to the hot weather, they came to our office about a month early this year. In a hurry, I made a special drinking place.”

The custom-built water station features miniature landscapes with diminutive architectural structures and soft moss throughout.

While the hydrating stations were designed for bees, the tiny watering points allow insects of all kinds to land and drink without the risk of drowning in a larger pool of water.

A sign next to the bee hydrating station reads (translated): “To those using the temizu, honeybees in the neighborhood are currently coming to the shrine to drink water. We are now guiding the bees to their own exclusive water drinking spot. They have a very gentle disposition so they rarely sting. Please look over them warmly without provoking them.”

According to the Asia Society Center For Global Education, Shinto (which translates to “the way of the gods”) is Japan’s native belief system which holds a strong reverence and respect for nature. Honoring all life forms, even the tiny ones, is part of the Shinto way of life.

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