Posted: 05/07/2014 at 21:42
"Just like Lunicorn I also love to feed the bees sugar water if I find them sitting on the ground. I found one a few weeks ago lying in the grass and seemed hardly alive but, I moved it to my lavender plant and remembered an article I has read a few days earlier about finding bees and feeding them so I made it some of the sugar water mixture and it certainly did seem to enjoy it..."
I feel that what the bumblebees needed in my garden when finding them on the ground under spent chives. I can see you already mentioned the recipe (approximately two parts sugar to one part water). How can I serve it without fear of the bees drowing in it? How long can I leave the syrup before it goes off? Many thanks for your reply.
I have found some answer on this website "http://www.bumblebee.org/helpbees.htm". I have shortened the quote "What to do if you find a bumblebee that cannot fly?
The bumblebee is either sick, too old or too cold to fly. If it is sick or infected with a parasite then I'm afraid there is not much that can be done.
If it is cold, you can supplement the supply of nectar during the first few weeks of food emergence by putting out a mixture of 30% sugar and 70% water, the proportions do not have to be exact. This need only be done if there has been a frost or strong wind that has damaged the flowers. Put a small amount of the mixture onto a small container, e.g. the top of a lemonade bottle or the cap of a pen and put this amongst the flowers. This works very well in a patch of heather, and will be appreciated by the queens. If the temperature of the thorax falls below 30 oC the bumblebee cannot take off. During cold days you may find what appears to be an injured queen, that is a bee that is not dead but doesn't fly away. She has probably got too cold and does not have enough energy to build up heat. If you take the bee indoors and provide the sugar and water mixture the bee will soon recover and be on her way, though it is best to keep her inside if it is snowing or raining outside."
In another website someone mention how to stop sugar syrup fermenting by adding chemical Thymol, which occurs naturally in Thyme plants and Thyme honey - at low levels. Quote from http://bumblebeeconservation.org/forum/viewthread/18/#274 by Clive: "Since thymol is the active chemical in a good many commercial Mouthwashes (eg. Colgate Plax) you should be able to prevent the syrup you are feeding to the bees fermenting (recognised by a boozy smell and in bad cases bubbles of CO2 produced), by adding a few drops of Mouthwash to the syrup when it has been freshly made !
Then you should be able to go much longer between “throw-out and wash-up” sessions.
I would suggest adding the mouthwash dropwise, shaking or stirring as you go: and probably at a final level strong enough to give the blend a faint odour and taste of Mouthwash.
If it still ferments, try adding a bit more !"
As I lost bee loving plants due to the flooding I wish I knew at least about the sugar syrup I could subsitute.