all images courtesy Hitokotonushi Shrine

In the height of summer, when temperatures are soaring, safe access to drinking water becomes critical for all animals. And yes, that includes even bees! At the ancient Hitokotonushi Shrine in Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture, which was founded in the year 809, a particular breed of care and kindness is paid to the local bees.

During the summer months, Hitokotonushi Shrine has a tradition of transforming a section of their water basins, intended for human visitors, and dedicating them to our pollinating friends.

Bees don’t only drink the water but they also use it to regulate the temperature of the hive, feed their young, as well as dilute stored honey. And bees can sometimes drown when searching for water so the shrines has spent a good deal of time and consideration on the design of their bee oasis, which includes moss and several other had surfaces to climb on.

Hitokotonushi Shrine is located roughly a 45 min drive from central Tokyo and is easily accessible if you have a car. Here is the exact location and you can also visit their website for more details.