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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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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 outside into the garden. If I had known about the sugar solution I would have made some up, I do hope it was alright after I let it go.
Gosh what a simple solution that could help a bee no end!
a sad end to the first bee that arrived in our garden yesterday sadly it did a fly past my dog and he got it in mid-flight and killed it I lost count how many
bees he kills each year I just cant stop him as it is
not very nice to see
Clarington wrote (see)
Gosh what a simple solution that could help a bee no end!

And that's a joke too Clari!!! 

Think I'm going to make up a little bit of sugar solution and keep it in a jamjar in the pantry so it's there ready, just in case


Make sure you keep the jar firmly sealed Dove - you don't want to be actively attracting the bees and wasps into your pantry!


Ashleigh 2

Wow, that's amazing, good to know.


Or worse Dove - an army of ants.

That is fantastic to hear, I never knew one could save bees in this way!

Fortunately I have not seen one dead bee yet this year which gives me lots of hope, every year about this time I find many struggling. This year I went to the garden and loads of bumble bees were buzzing around the primroses. So I bought I put more primrose in ;)

hi i found a bumble bee lying on the grass in the park yesterday, i picked it up and put it onto some flowers, it appeared to improve and flew off! i read somewhere that gardens should have somewhere for bees to take a drink. i always have little pots of water dotted around the place. 


We get many bumblebees in our conservatory, and they exhaust themselves 'bumbling' around (no pun intended), trying to get out. We always rescue them, but I have used a little of whatever jam we have in the fridge. My boys now happily get a little on their fingers now and rescue them alone. They wait until the bee has nearly had it's fill, then take it to the nearest nectar-rich flower. It's great to see them get back to work, or fly home.

At the moment, though, we have no nearby flowers, so I'm unsure about releasing any I find. Not that I've seen any yet, but we have fed and released a couple of early tortoiseshell butterflies from the garage.


 Sorry the pics aren't too clear, but this was my son with a bb last summer.

We had nests under our shed and in the fruit cage last year. Lovely to have them buzzing around your head, checking you out while you work. Such beautiful creatures, and never a sting between us. They got used to us quite quickly, and seemed to know that we would not hurt them, although I will have to be extra careful when I go in to weed, prune and mulch later on. I wouldn't want to damage a hibernating queen.

Hi kate

More commonly than not it is actually a low supply of pollen that causes a poor number of brood in the spring, which later causes hive collapse later in the year. It is rather uncommon for bees not to return from foraging as bee are highly social they communicate the distance and direction to other foraging bees in the hive and show them the pollen/nectar bounty to be had in the location.

This way the hive travels to the most efficient source of food in the area. If you really want to help your local bees I would suggest

1) Plant bee friendly plant species in your garden (more info here) - Snowdrops and blue bells are springs lifesavers for bees

2) consider if you have the space to home some British non commercial bees. set up one of these solitary bee hives in your garden.

Matt Day :

i agree with Matt about planting bee friendly flowers, especially simple flower types - avoid double petal varieties.

Honeybees sometimes  lose their sense of direction because of over exposure to chemicals, particularly neonicotinoids. This is now affecting the BB populatio as well.  


Earlyer this week we were out and saw three or four large field's of oil seed rape in flower.

Jess is in the Garden

Lovely story.

Here is a bee we 'saved' a few months ago in North London - it got prime organic Greek honey (our bees are posh y'know) 

 and flew off, happy as L


arry, in no time.

I have often revived exhausted bees with honey.


What a lovely story! I'm glad you rescued the bumble bee - every single one counts! We need them!

I've currently got one in the GH. I had to go to plan B after reading Jess' post.

Found it on the soil about 3pm so lifeless I nearly missed it. A very thin weak looking one. So I put "him" on a plastic plate, pulled some blossom from the Choisya ( only had two bits in flower) put that near him, and a flower from a hellebore!   That was first stop in A & E.

Next step after admission, I didn't have jam, so he got the suggested water & sugar on a very shallow jar lid. He slowly with prompt crawled to it and just flopped head first in it. I had to pick him out and put him on kitchen towel to dry.

Then I popped back on here and read about honey, so he got a spoonful of M honey. Currently still on his plate with food offerings, gently covered with a double piece of fleece.  

Not holding out much hope, but I've done my best.

Total opposite I've had two lovely fat bees visiting the Hellebores. Lovely to hear them buzzing.

Fingers crossed for him  

A brilliant story, one that we should all adhere to. We can make a difference if we are receptive to any bees we see that are looking a bit bewildered, as they emerge from hibernation. Thanks for the info Kate, you are a very special bee saviour.

Don't think I was meant to be a "bee nurse", patient hasn't survived the night.

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.