Posted: 12/08/2013 at 23:53
Thinking of the devastating bee colony failures that started to occur a few years ago I've been really pleased recently to see just how many more bees have been in my garden this year compared to previous years... Then yesterday I found a bee looking very sluggish and wondered whether there was something serious happening again or whether it was just 'having a rest'.
I've also wondered about bees being adversely affected by extreme heat - We did have several weeks of unusually high temperatures recently. I know they can get dehydrated.
I remember a few years back I found an almost comatose bee and suspected dehydration because of the heat. I mixed a tiny amount of honey in a teaspoon of tepid water and poured a little pool of this homemade 'nectar' next to the bee. I then gently nudged the bee up to the pool until it could feel the liquid with its antennae. After much immobility (the bee!) I was so gratified to see it eventually take interest. I was absolutely thrilled when, literally within minutes, it had recovered and flew away.
This may not be what's been happening to the many deadbees StillLearning found but it is a 'feel good' story that might help other 'thirsty bees who just can't find enough nectar to sustain the immense energy usage they expend in just flying!