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!