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Bumble bee help needed

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Joined 2017-08-17

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I found a bumble earlier that couldn’t fly as it was heavily infested with mites. I read that someone had removed these with a toothpick with some honey on it (to stick to the mites). I did this and successfully removed them all. It took nearly two hours as there were around 60-70. However I am worried that bumble is now covered in honey, so gently brushed with a wet cotton bud.

The bumble has since buzzed its wings so I know they aren’t stuck, but it still seems really tired and hasn’t went all fluffy again? It seems to look wet and I’m not sure whether it will clean itself or what I should do.

I have popped it in a box with holed lid and have put in some tissue, flowers and sugary water.

Help?

     
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Total Posts: 343

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi Scottis bumblebee,
Welcome to the forum.  Well done for trying to save the bumble by removing the mites but it sounds like you have got your bumble a bit gummed up with honey and probably quite stressed with the process.  Bumbles are wild creatures need to be outdoors, not in boxes .  Put it on to the flowers and see what happens.  Remember however hard you try, only the newly mated daughter queens will go into hibernation, all the others [old queen, her workers and drones] will die when the the cold weather comes in autumn - they only have an annual life cycle.  Did you manage to identify your bumble species ?  Check out on this website, click on “About Bees” and Identification - “Common Bees” and the i/d video and see if you are able to sort it out.  Lots to learn in time for the bumbles next year- do you have lots of flowers in your garden?  Autumn is the time to plant lots more early flowers, ready for when the new queens emerge from hibernation next spring, ready to set up their colonies. Urbanbumble

     
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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2017-08-17

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Thank you. After reading through some of the older posts I realise that I could have gently brushed some of the mites off and sent bumble on her way.
I put her outside on the flowers today. She isn’t there anymore and I am hoping that she got away safely before the rain came.

I do have uploaded a picture before cleaning the mites off.

We have quite a few flowers and a butterfly tree which attracts the bumbles but will definitely Try plant some more.

Thanks for the help grin

     

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Total Posts: 343

Joined 2013-01-10

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Hi Scottis bumblebee again,
Thanks for the pic of your bumblebee - with lots of mites trying to hitch a ride from A to B.  She is a Bombus lapidarius - a black bodied red-tailed bumblebee , perhaps a new daughter queen?  [male would have a yellow collar and facial hairs].  Have you seen any others like her on your flowers recently?  Perhaps you have had a nest nearby?
I have not seen many of these this year in my garden,  the only ones at present are the brown Bombus pascuorum-  Common Carder bumblebees, and Bombus terrestris - Buff-tailed bumblebees.  Keep a notebook of all the different kinds you see - its good to know what species make use of your local patch - and which flowers they forage.  Keep watching!  Urbanbumble