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Bee First Aid:How to helpbees in need

31st May, 2022

31st May, 2022

It’s no secret that bees are crucial to the planet, carrying out 80% of all pollination across the world. So next time you spot a bee that isn’t looking so perky, it might be time to roll up your sleeves and bring out the first aid kit. Discover our guide on how to help the bees and save our furry friends in need.

HOW TO TELL IF A BEE IS TIRED

A tired bee is a slow moving one, usually found on the grass or pavement. It won’t be buzzing, and its movements will be lethargic and sluggish (a little like us on a Monday morning). This means it’s exhausted and needs some assistance – which is where you come in.

Tired bees are different to visibly injured or dying bees. Active adult bees only live for 4-6 weeks, so if you spot a bee that has a noticeably darker body, has lost their hair or has tattered wings then it’s best to leave them alone.

If you spot a bee that isn’t moving but is still alive, it may have gotten too cold. Gently move it into direct sunlight and let it warm up. Did you know that bees are known to sleep? If a very still bee seems visibly unharmed and is already in the sunlight, it may simply be resting and will wake up in its own time – we would also want a nap after working that hard!

bee-on-purple-flower

WILL IT STING ME?

An exhausted bee will be in no position to sting you, so there’s nothing to fear when helping the bees. If you move slowly and avoid making the bee feel threatened, they can even crawl onto your hand.

Honeybees, which are either black or brown with yellow stripes have the ability to sting but will sadly die in the process. They avoid stinging unless they feel it’s their only option to protect the rest of their colony. Bumblebees (which are much fluffier and rounder than the honeybee) as well as solitary bees both have the ability to sting, but unlike the honeybee, this is non-fatal to them. Despite this, they are non-aggressive and rarely sting unless feeling threatened.

SHOULD YOU FEED SUGAR TO A BEE?

Offering sugar water is the best way to help your tired bee. First, try placing them on a nearby flower to see if they will feed from the nectar and pollen. If they are too tired to do this, give your hungry bee some sugar solution directly. You can make this at home by mixing sugar and warm water.

You’ll know your bee is drinking the sugar water if you see their long tongue extended into the mixture. Put a drop or two directly below their tongue if you think they need some encouragement to get drinking. If you’re giving them the mixture from a small dish, make sure they’re not able to fall in.

bee-on-honeysuckle

BUY A BEE REVIVAL KIT

Help the bees with your own sugar water revival kit and be prepared to save exhausted bees that are tired from a long day of pollinating. Avoid using brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, corn syrup or hot water to avoid giving the bee any harmful compounds or diseases.

The Original Bee Revival Kit has a ready-to-use sugar solution made especially for bees and contains ambrosia, which is resistant to spoiling and can last longer. Attach the kit to your keys using the keyring and have a bee-saving sugar solution on hand at all times.

LET IT BEE

Now you can identify what kind of help your bee needs – from warming up in the sun to drinking life-saving sugar solutions. Carrying a revival kit around with you means you are on hand to help a tired bee even if you’re out and about.

Keep a lookout for tired bees, especially during autumn and spring when the weather is more unpredictable, and flowers are less abundant.

Don’t forget we can all do our bit by planting bee-friendly flowers in the garden. This is an amazing way to keep bees fuelled up and prevent them from needing our help in the first place. Besides, we don’t need extra encouragement to plant beautiful flowers.

Want to know more about our fuzzy friends? Discover 16 amazing facts about the humble bee.