Just as the weather was turning bad yesterday I noticed a bumblebee huddled up on top of the grass, it looked like he wasn’t going anywhere as his wings were all folded back.
I didn’t want to leave it there as the rain was starting, the wind was getting stronger and the magpies were about.
I encouraged it onto a piece of paper and took him over to some rolls of weed membrane I have laying around on the floor, I held the paper infront and without any encouragement it waddled into the tube. I kept an eye on it until it got too dark and the worse the weather got the further into the tube it went.
I have just gone out and had a look and it has ventured up to the opening, but still doesn’t look like it wants to go anywhere.
I assume I did the correct thing in moving it? the weather is showing no signs of getting better and the wind here is quite strong (even the spiders are in hiding). How long can they go without the need for food, will it just sit there and die of hunger if the weather doesn’t get better?
Below is a photo of his temporary home.
Thanks in advance
Well done - and you’ve thought of an interesting place to shelter a bee !
Bees will get sluggish when they are cold and low on food but in good weather they can sometimes stay still to sunbathe and fall asleep.
(A sleeping bee has it’s antennae down !)
An active bumblebee has a thorax temperature at about 35C, but when they stop, they will soon cool down to ambient, so become sluggish, or chilled. They can “re-start their motor” by shivering to warm their muscles; and once warmed u can fly..
It is quite easy to feed them - and a hungry bee sticks it’s tongue out to suck up sugary fluids.
The best feed would be sugar plus water at somewhere between 30 - 50 % sugar.
If you were to put a quarter of a pinch of granulated sugar in an egg spoon, then add enough water to about match the volume of the sugar crystals, and a total volume of around 0.1 - 0.5 ml that should suffice and be much more than enough for a single bee !
The crystals won’t all dissolve quickly, but if you were to stir it about with a Cocktail stick (or similar) enough of the sugar would dissolve to make the fluid taste sweet to the bee.
At this time of year the bee might have a home already, so will eventually fly off back there.
Alternatively, your boost food would help her get going at home-searching again.
I hope this helps. Yours Clive