Welcome guest, please Login or Register

Welcome to BBCT Forum Home

You are here: HomeForum Home → Bumblebee forums → Bumblebee discussion → Thread

   

Seeking Queen Rescue Advice

Rank

Total Posts: 3

Joined 2014-03-26

PM

Hello all,

first time poster and new member to the BBCT from Rochester, Kent.

I have found yet another queen this evening - the fourth in a fortnight.  We had a mini blizzard today in Kent, where temperatures dropped rapidly to around 3C.  I’m pretty sure she was caught out by it.

When I found her she looked dead, with her legs tucked up and wings stuck to her soaked body.  I picked her up and noticed that one of her front legs was “trembling”.  I though I’d try and revive her, not expecting to succeed, given her state.  I could not apply my usual sugar water and sunshine treatment as I was on the way to pick up my boy from school, and there wasn’t any sun anyway.  So I had her in my fist breathing warm air at her.  Yeah, I know, I’m weird!

So, we got home and I proceeded to gently warm her up with a hair dryer on a low setting from a safe distance.  I read that her body temperature should be similar to ours so I figured a bit of warm (not hot!) air would help.  And it did.  After a few minutes the legs unfolded and there was movement.  She started to groom her antennae, and I saw her tongue coming out.  I strategically placed a drop of sugar water which she sucked up.  She seemed terribly weak and I noticed that she made no use of her rear legs.  Also, the usual buzzing of the wings to warm up was absent.  She dragged herself across the table for a little while and then stopped.

I prodded her gently to make sure she’s still ticking.  My son built her a bed from toilet paper and tucked her in.  And this is where we are now…

I have successfully “rescued” many queens over the years, but never had one in such a bad state.  Did I waste my time?  I certainly didn’t waste my son’s, he was very engaged and interested in the whole process, which was a pleasure to watch.  Should I have left her to die?  Did I prolong her inevitable demise?  Is there a humane way of putting her down?  How long should I wait?  So many questions…

Oh yes, I’m pretty sure she’s a buff-tail, maybe a white-tail, not that good at identifying them yet.  I believe they are quite common, but I still would like to rescue a nest, given half the chance.

If anyone has any advice, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Tim

     
Rank

Total Posts: 15

Joined 2012-08-21

PM

Hi TimK and welcome to the Forum.

I am no expert. I have rescued a few bees but they were not in the same poor state as you describe.
I am wondering what is best to do. I think I would keep the bee somewhere indoors in a warm room but not a hot one. I put a bedraggled and wet one on a piece of card on the floor about a foot from a warm - not hot - radiator once which seemed to work well. When it was drier and had groomed itself a bit and flown to the window I offered food.

Your bee sounds too exhausted to do anything. You could try leaving a little sugar solution nearby. Not deep enough to do her damage should she fall into it in the night. Put her somewhere warm and see how she is in the morning bearing in mind that she could possibly fly if she perks up. I don’t think I would wrap her in anything as this may be a hindrance if she needs to move. She may not have the strength to get free.

If you can get her to drink more sugar solution somehow, then this may help her to gain the strength needed to recover.

Hopefully other Forum readers who are more experienced can offer better advice?

Do let us all know what happens. Good luck!

vicbee

     
Rank

Total Posts: 3

Joined 2014-03-26

PM

vicbee - 26 March 2014 09:19 PM

Your bee sounds too exhausted to do anything. You could try leaving a little sugar solution nearby. Not deep enough to do her damage should she fall into it in the night. Put her somewhere warm and see how she is in the morning bearing in mind that she could possibly fly if she perks up. I don’t think I would wrap her in anything as this may be a hindrance if she needs to move. She may not have the strength to get free.

Hello vicbee, thanks for your response.

When I say “tucked her in” I actually meant that my son placed a small bit of single layer toilet tissue over her body, like a blanket.  Bless him.

She hasn’t moved at all in the last hour.  I suppose bees sleep at night? So, maybe that’s exactly what she’s doing right now.  I have her in a small insect breeding enclosure, protected from anything getting to her.  There is a bottle cap nearby, in it is some cotton wool soaked in sugar water.  It’s great for supplying a drink without the risk of drowning.

Let’s see what the morning brings.

     

Image Attachments

IMG_20140326_214415.jpg

Click thumbnail to see full-size image

Rank

Total Posts: 3

Joined 2014-03-26

PM

Regretfully, I have to report that she didn’t make it through the night.

Now I do wonder if I should have attempted it in the first place, or just let things go their way…