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Talkback: Bumblebee rescue

Wish I had seen this earlier, I found a small bumblebee in the house the other day on the window blinds so I picked it up and took it outsid...

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I work in a garden centre, & they all laugh at me when I collect up wet, cold bees (usually bumble bees), bring them to some of the flowering plants we have under cover. I usually have some kitchen towel or tissue to set them on, if they're really soggy. Once they've dried off a little, I try to get them onto an open flower, in the sun (when we have some!) I didn't know about the sugar solution myself, but I may arm myself with a small bottle of it for future use. I often get asked why I'm not scared of the bees when I'm sorting through the flowering plants (rhododendrons,lavender & scabious being the most heavily visited)& I explain that I think they know I'm not trying to hurt them.
Thats amazing. Well done x
Yes, I watched my brother rescue a very dozy bumblebee and feed it, I thought he was nuts. Afterwards the bee got its energy back and zoomed off - brilliant - and now I do the same. Keeping some sugar solution handy at this time of year is a good idea.

I have become an expert (even if I say so myself) with the glass and credit card method of rescuing bees in my conservatory!




I've seen so many bumble bees this past week struggling or perhaps half dead :( Great tips which I'll keep in mind!
David Matthews2

Even though today has been overcast, grey and quite a chilly wind, the bumblebees have been cavorting around the various clumps of flowering hellebores in the sheltered borders. Last week when it was warm & sunny, there were several wasp-mimicing flies around the same areas too. Spring is definitely here, at last!

Great advice. I've seen about three struggling this last week and moved them onto flower heads. Just thought they'd flown into something and fallen, didn't appreciate they were just emerging from hibernation
Kate Bradbury

@KEF sorry to hear your bee didn't survive. I had another one last week that was so weak she just dropped her head into the sugar solution and couldn't lift it out. So I gently stroked her thorax (head) with the back of my finger. I think this must have inspired a defence reaction in her as she suddenly stuck out her proboscis and started drinking. She drank for an hour, and the next morning I set her free. Maybe the stroking was a coincidence but I will definitely try that again as I too have lost bumblebees that I've taken home but have been too weak to feed.


michael 58

How absolutely heartwarming. A lovely story.

How often do we see them flaked out on the floor and just walk by... I now know what i`ll be doing next time. Thanks for sharing.

Found a bumblebee clinging to one of my plant pots in my greenhouse this morning. He wouldn't even move when I gave him a 'bottom nudge' so he was well on his way to the big bee heaven.

Took him + pot outside and used a leaf to put him on the soil, then dashed in for my pouring maple syrup and put a large dollop in front of his head. This totally confused him as I found out when he moved a little that I'd plopped the syrup in front of his bottom by mistake - I thought he was an orange bottomed bee!

He started eating - I could actually detect his tongue prodding at the syrup and his little bottom going up and down as he fed. He ate for about 5 minutes as I kept plopping syrup in front of him. Then he wiped his back with his wings, did a few turns then flew off! It was so satisfying to see.

I'll be checking my greenhouse more carefully before I shut it for the night in future.

After the pouring rain one day last week, I found a bumble sat on a muscari totally soaked and not moving at all. As it was still raining I put a washing up bowl unturned balancing on a brick so as to give it shelter from the rain and give it a chance to dry off. I checked the next morning (sun was out) and the bee had not moved at all

I decided plan B was needed and so I picked the flower with her on, moved her to the sunny front garden and popped some delicious organic honey down in front of her. After a few minutes she was pacing around the honey lid whilst feeding and then prompting walked off to to a patch of weeds to dry off! She flew off shortly after.  I was surprised how quickly she recovered.

Here is a couple of photos of Mrs B




I have found that, i do not find bees in distressed, in my gardens!

I do find them on the street/pavement out side and since this thread started i now carry a small syringe with sugar syrup around in my pocket. (people think that i am diabetic OH!!!)

I lay on the pavement and give them the drop they need.

They thinks, I'm mad,  i may be but they stop and watch the results. (They loves to see what happens after.)   If i cant pick them up and put them in my pocket then at least i can give them some energy to go beyond and not get squashed by passers bye. 

Its funny as i have found many obsessive/compulsive and eccentric people on here, with so much knowledge and experience, that they have been cornered into  GW forum.  (we now have a niche of people that i just love AND KNOW TOO MUCH)  

Even small places that we mention and can put earth into and (ENJOY GROWING

Spent far to much time on this thread.

Sorry, Edd.


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