Bees need water

Due to the hot weather I have noticed a huge increase in activity on all of the water sources I have set up for the bees as well as some not set up for them like dog watering bowls and birdbaths. I am also receiving reports of bee activity around neighbouring water supplies some welcomed others not so.
It is absolutely necessary that you provide many and adequate watering sources for your bees to encourage them to stay at home as much as possible. Cool shady water with plenty of places for them to stand.
The situation is aggrevated by the fact that people are not watering their gardens as much so there are less moist soil spaces.

Wish I could train mine to drink in the right places. I have a saucer with rocks in it set up that gets topped up by our drippers, so it always has water…works well, though is not well shaded, but they seem to like it. There’s an old wine barrel with fish and weeds in it that they like too, and they mostly seem to drink on the outside of the lip where it is constantly moist, but they can drink from the surface without drowning (mostly).

Even so, one of my neighbours three doors down has a swimming pool, and mentioned to me that she probably has a lot of our drowned bees. I also see them commonly drinking from the soil surface of various plant pots we have about the yard (at least I think that’s what they’re doing)…anybody else get this?

Yes they actually prefer to absorb water from wet soil rather than from a free water surface. aka many drowned bees in open water sources like swimming pools. Your observations are correct which suggest floating and absorbent materials in the water sources are best.
I have also heard it suggested that they have a fatal attraction for swimming pool chemicals