Spotted a bee that’s more bushed than busy? Here’s how to give him a boost
We’ve all heard the advice about reviving bees that are grounded in hot weather but there’s so much conflicting advice buzzing around, sometimes it’s hard to remember what the best thing to do is. Here’s The Simple Things’ truly simple guide to reviving a bee.
If you find a bee on the ground (not on a flower - those ones are just having a well-earned sit down), here’s what to do:
Mix two tablespoons of caster sugar (not demerera*) with one tablespoon of water.
Place the solution close to the bee so it can have a drink. A spoon will do but most bees find it easier to get the sugar solution off a flower head, such as a chive or dandelion flower, or from a flat surface, so if it’s on hard ground just put a blob of the sugar solution on the ground next to it.
Back away and give the bee some space but hover nearby to see off predators.
Eventually watch it fly away and feel the glow of having done a kindness for a small beast.
*And definitely never use honey. Honey can kill wild bees as you could be introducing a virus to the bee.
Other bees in a tight spot.
If you find a bee soaked after a heavy downpour and unable to get off the ground you can bring it inside overnight to dry off. A box with plenty of ventilation holes is a good spot for it. Don’t be tempted to keep it for any longer than necessary. Bees are not pets.
Sometimes a bee that is old or has been attacked can look pretty scruffy. It’s worth trying the sugar solution trick. However, try not to get too attached. If the bee is missing wings, limbs or other bits of its body it’s probably not a good prognosis and it’s best to just let nature take its course.
Are you sure? People often assume a bee is dead when it’s simply exhausted. Give the sugar solution a go and see if you can breathe new life into it before writing it off.
If you’d like to learn even more about bees, buy our July ‘Embrace’ issue, on sale now, which includes a comprehensive primer on all things bee.