to ask you to save a bee

(101 Posts)
wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 07:55:10

As you know bees are very important, but the numbers have decreased by alot over th epast couple of years.

i saw a post on the dreaded facebook, asking if you found a bee not flying. or laying around. mix up some white suger with water, pour on some tisue and put it next to the bee, or if the bees to sick place the bee on it.

it acts as a quick engry intake and hopfull the bee will fly off.

i found a huggeeee bee in my living room today, and i have to admit i am scared of them to. but it was trying to get back out the window but couldnt fly high enough. so i did the mixture, it crawled onto it and drank it. i have to admit it was pretty amazing seeing this so close up.
it had it fill and flew right out the window to the flowers below.

i just wanted to share, as i ts pretty cool and to ask if that if you can, help them. we need em.

Also, make sure there's water about somewhere in the garden in this heat, and if you can, plant "open" bloom flowers (ones where you can see the polleny bit) as more "frilly" flowers are inaccessible by bees.
Geraniums are easy to grow and bee-friendly.

saintmerryweather Sun 07-Jul-13 08:02:01

i want to find a bee to save now!

wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 08:04:00

saint i know... iv been waiting weeks to test this out

A little drop of honey works as well. I have watched bees for HOURS doing this. It is quite wonderful and they don't mind having their photos taken.

wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 08:04:49


i shall check out town to see if i can get some smile

ArtisanLentilWeaver Sun 07-Jul-13 08:09:43

Next door neighbour found a limp bee on my doorstep so we put a tiny bit of honey and water on a lolly stick and the bee licked it. Great long tongues.
Neighbour took bee to her greenhouse and watched it. It licked the honey and water for about an hour then flew

Very interesting.

We are currently hosting a beesnest hmm so we have plenty of dopey/knackered bees around this year. I'll see what I can do!

claraschu Sun 07-Jul-13 08:13:19

I'm always rescuing bees who got stuck inside our house, but I didn't know to do this. Thanks!

wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 08:14:50

apprently honey is not safe to give them? honey that is not local can contain viruis, which they then take back to the nest.

though im sure its got to be better then n othing? also brown sugar isnt good as they cant digest it.

it is pretty amazing to watch.

wasps on the other hand.. can foookkk off. they give me the shivers just thinking about them

meganorks Sun 07-Jul-13 08:17:10

I keep finding limp bees sitting around. Been trying to move them so they don't get trodden on, bit will try this next time.

Pixieonthemoor Sun 07-Jul-13 08:22:01

Thanks for the fascinating tip. I quite often spot exhausted bumbles on the pavement so will try this next time. Glad it's not only me - we are always getting whopping bumbles in our kitchen and as I throw myself around trying to shoo it out, my children regard me with this face hmm

Burmobasher Sun 07-Jul-13 08:22:16

I actually did this last night for a little bee I found on the patio. Just been down to check on the little fella this morning but sorry to say Eric didn't make it.
I know from others though that it does work, great advice op smile

CheungFun Sun 07-Jul-13 08:27:49

Cool! I will try this if I get the chance! We have lots of bees in our garden at the moment as our flowers are blooming smile

Burmillababe Sun 07-Jul-13 11:07:33

That's amazing, I have never heard of this before but I will make sure I do this!

HarderToKidnap Sun 07-Jul-13 11:13:04

EricA, surely, bees are almost always girls!

My mum did this all the time, thanks for reminding me OP!

LEMisdisappointed Sun 07-Jul-13 11:16:10

I am seeing so many poorly bees lately, much more than i used to - why is this? I also rescue bees

ElectricSheep Sun 07-Jul-13 11:17:33

I've got loads of clover on my lawn at the moment so can't mow it as there are loads and loads of bees in the clover. Ohhhhh dear!

HarderToKidnap Sun 07-Jul-13 11:19:38

They just get tired, literally work til they drop. They'll have been going mad in this hot weather.

I didn't know they could be saved, I saw two yesterday on their backs while out walking with DS. Will definitely try next time. Thanks!

Oldraver Sun 07-Jul-13 12:58:02

We've got Bumble Bee nests in our garden but havn't seen any dozy ones yet.

They do like to get tangled up in the washing though.

SoupDragon Sun 07-Jul-13 13:11:32

I've done this for years smile Sometimes I'll pick them a flower (this is how I get any bees out of the house if they won't fly out of the door/window)

Shame that won't work for spiders, Soup.

redwellybluewelly Sun 07-Jul-13 13:46:08

We are hosting a bumblebee nest in our eaves this year ans keep finding tired and worn out (and dead) bees all over our doorstep. Its marginally frustrating as its over the nursery window which stops us opening it.

Will try to help as many as possible!

D0oinMeCleanin Sun 07-Jul-13 13:50:52

We saved a bee last week. DD2 must have been learning about them at school because she came rushing in from the kitchen begging me to save it before it died of "flying into the window too much"

It wasn't limp or tired, just stupid. It kept flying into the window pane repeatedly trying to get through it.

We caught it on a feather duster and took it to the park to let it go near flowers. Dd2 was very pleased.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 07-Jul-13 13:51:31

That is a good idea OP.

TheMoonOnAStick Sun 07-Jul-13 13:53:16

Ooh I'll do that next time I see one. It's funny I notice bees all over lying about. I wonder why they keel overconfused

(I draw the line at mouth to mouth resuscitation thoughgrin)

ouryve Sun 07-Jul-13 13:53:55

I've seen lots of tired bees, this year. I'm usually away from home at the time - someone had attempted to revive one of them, by the look of it.

DS1 made a "bee cafe" at his B&Q class, today - a hanging basket full of flowering plants!

Bluecarrot Sun 07-Jul-13 13:59:56

Redwelly - you can by screen netting stuff to go over your window to stop bugs coming in smile

I stopped someone from stamping on a bee yesterday, does that count? It seems the sight of me trying to haul my 7M pregnant bulk over the picnic blanket, whilst shouting "NOOOOOOOO!" was enough to stop them in their tracks! grin Sadly no sugar water around to offer them, but the would-be-stamper moved them closer to a flower, and a couple of minutes later the bee was up and off.

crikeyitshot Sun 07-Jul-13 14:04:56

Also you could join the Bee Conservation Trust. Bees need all the help they can get at the moment.

Especially with news that 50,000 were killed in the US recently due to the use of pesticides.

MrsEdinburgh Sun 07-Jul-13 14:10:33

We have been saving bees this way for the past few years.....even saved the odd wasp (I must be mad.)
Though wasps are useful too, as they can also pollinate flowers and they help control the insect population.

Artyjools Sun 07-Jul-13 14:38:15

I've been doing this for years too! Only with honey. I've always thought people would think me a sandwich short of a picnic, so really pleased to see I'm not the only one.

wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 15:22:37

I think the numbers have gone down due to thwarted type of flowers being planTed. People tend to get rid of hives. Pollution etc.

I'm glad to see so Many people helping the bumble smile

mango that defiantly counts smile

ChuffMuffin Sun 07-Jul-13 15:25:27

I had a gigantic bee in my lounge the other day, it scared the crap out of me, but I managed to gently guide her outside!

I read somewhere that the UK lost a THIRD of it's bee population last winter because the weather was so bad. sad.

PS I haven't seen a single wasp this year so far. HOORAY!

FruOla Sun 07-Jul-13 17:04:39

Now I know what to do with those Gu pot/ramekin things! I've just dotted about 8 of them around the garden with water in them, near to the plants which the bees like.

FruOla Sun 07-Jul-13 17:10:11

.... and we'll be keeping an eye out for 'sickly' bees too. Nice to know what to do with the sugar/water thing.

I live this bees! I nearly cried the other day when my SD told me her mum had been putting ant powder on other shite on a bees nest in their garden. angry


Bees are a protected species, aren't they? shock Deliberately destroying a whole nest is unthinkable.

DharmaBums Sun 07-Jul-13 17:47:18

I just did this and it actually worked! T

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 07-Jul-13 17:50:08

Also, please check paddling pools in your garden as bees have a tendency to go into the water later in the day.

MarianForrester Sun 07-Jul-13 17:55:12

Thsnks for the tip. We have a bee rescue kit (cup and postcard) in the conservatory to free them, but will bear this in mind if find a sickly one smile

elfycat Sun 07-Jul-13 18:17:37

We've just put up a bee hotel and a more general bug one (with a floor for solitary bees). My planting schemes include a good look at bee-friendly plants and DDs are being taught to be kind to all sorts of garden critters pity DD1 doesn't understand that the snail house is to drown the buggers in ale, not to line with leaves and find snails to rehome

Have rescued 3 bees this year who were lethargic. We lost one when DD1 accidentally trod on it running around the clovery bit in the lawn sad She didn't have shoes on so she did learn that lesson well but at least she still likes them.

FrankSpenser Sun 07-Jul-13 18:18:08

I luffs bumblebees.

Lovely tip.

It's a very odd 20 year cycle that's been noticed since 1869 that seems to have multiple causes. This time the problem is being made exponentially bigger because the number of beekeepers has dropped a lot (in the States, it's about half as many as the last cycle).

issimma Sun 07-Jul-13 19:23:26

Just tried this one, but the bee looked at it with disdain and buzzed off grin.

Am feeling bee-inspired - what can I plant that's easy and bee-friendly (I see geraniums are on the list)?

treesntrees Sun 07-Jul-13 19:27:17

I saved one of those huge ones with white bottoms this afternoon. It was stuck in a spider's web. I lifted it up on glossy leaflet and carried it over to my flowerbed and managed to untangle it. Wish I'd known about feeding it as it was probably exhausted from struggling.

Catmint Sun 07-Jul-13 19:28:32

We do this too. I love bees.

Bees seem to love honeysuckle in my garden, verbena too.

FatPenguin Sun 07-Jul-13 19:32:03

Issimma - yes they love geraniums, we have a big purple/blue one and I counted 8 bees on it the other day smile

I find buddlia is great for attracting bees, butterflies and hawk moths, which bear an uncanny resemblance to humming birds.

Traceyloveshoney Sun 07-Jul-13 19:35:59

Please don't feed honey to bees!!

You may be saving one only to pass on disease to it which could kill the whole colony when the bee goes back to it's colony. White sugar water is fine (never brown) but don't bee (ho ho) too upset if it doesn't make it. The workers/foragers aren't designed to live more than 6-8 weeks when they're working hard in the summer.

DrHolmes Sun 07-Jul-13 19:38:44

Don't bats do more pollination than bees?

I like bees though, We had a nest every year in our loft and once me and my brother found a nest on the ground in a field. My mum called a beekeeper and a while later came back to us with some jars of their honey. smile

MrsGeologist Sun 07-Jul-13 19:41:52

I knew the sugar water thing! Yay! A fried had to feed her bees sugar water last year because there weren't enough flowers.

Also, this is anecdotal, but my Gran's lavender flowers attracted LOADS of bees.

peggotty Sun 07-Jul-13 19:42:00

Why not brown sugar Tracey?

HouseAtreides Sun 07-Jul-13 19:44:55

I tried to rescue a bee last week. It went badly.
I tossed a cup of boiling water into my sink and accidentally launched it over a bumblebee which was already doggy paddling in some dishwater. I fished the poor thing out and put it on a plant on my windowsill.
It came round and started exploring- straight into a tiny spider web with a mini spider who thought all its Christmases had come at once. It bit and tried to wrap the poor bee but couldn't even move it- it was like a squirrel on a rhino's back!
Poor old stunt bee got free and didn't seem to be especially bothered by the bite. However it did walk straight into another cobweb, this time vacant. (I kept going away and returning to find it in another predicament- I wasn't watching the whole time)
I freed it from the web and put it into a bowl with some kitchen towel soaked in sugar water.
15 minutes later and bee actually seems revived and is buzzing its wings. I tipped the bowl up a bit so it could climb up the damp paper and climb out into the sunshine, and left it to get on with things (me too!)
When I returned the poor bloody creature was legs up, drowned in the pooled sugar water.

Grumpla Sun 07-Jul-13 19:47:23

I have a couple of Bowles Mauve perennial wallflowers in my garden. The other day I had about twenty monarch butterflies and almost as many bees on one bush! They are very easy plants to grow and take cuttings from, lovely blue green foliage and purple flower spikes.

Also have a massive clump of comfrey which is always full of bees - easily 15-20 at a time.

Nothing better than a garden full of fuzzy bumbles smile

wonderingsoul Sun 07-Jul-13 19:52:26

bees cant digest brown suger.

yess to the op who mention the bumble with a white bottom. it was one of thouse that i helped today. it was huge and at first i did flap and run out the room [blus] before i remebered the suger thing.

LackaDAISYcal Sun 07-Jul-13 19:58:07

We have a cotoneaster and the bees absolutely love it; chives, sage and thyme flowers seem popular, and of course a lawn full of clover!

I usually pick up exhausted bees and pop them on the nearest bee friendly plant; it seems to do the trick.

We found loads of dead bees on the footpath a couple of weeks ago. Couldn't figure it out until a few days later some brambles growing over a wall on some waste land started dying off. I think someone (the council?) had sprayed the brambles, but being in flower, the bees had collected the pollen which was already poisoned. My poor children are a bit distraught about it sad

though DS1 stood on a bee in the garden and got stung, so he is less enamoured with bees than he was before.

Traceyloveshoney Sun 07-Jul-13 20:04:04

Brown sugar gives them dysentery (diarrhoea) which can kill them. Great to see so many people trying to help bees, they really are great creatures. My (honey) bees were having a great time today, really busy out in the sun.

LEMisdisappointed Sun 07-Jul-13 20:10:40

Managed to rescue a bee on the beach today, i noticed it on our baby wipes. We had melons so i put it on a bit of melon over on the breakwater - after a while it started eating and buzzed off. I like bees

Wasps can do one though

DeathByTray Sun 07-Jul-13 20:20:00

Thank you for this thread. I had absolutely no idea that you could save a bee.

I thought they were just dying because their time was up blush

Happy to report lots of bees in my garden this year and I've not seen any poorly ones yet but now I'll know what to do.

hiddenhome Sun 07-Jul-13 20:56:13

They also like the liquid from the top of jam.

Oh this should be on the front page. I can imagine people going out and about with a bit of tissue and a spray bottle of sugar water, like a little bee first aid kid! I'm gonna be on a bee-rescue mission now I know they can be saved.

redwellybluewelly Sun 07-Jul-13 21:07:25

Right. Tomorrow starts the great plan of converting an old cd rack into a bee hotel. Been meaning to do it since last summer.

bee paramedic!

I usually take them outside and put them on a flower, I like to watch their amazing curly tongues.

Aren't the big bumbles you see the new queens from previous colonies? If so that means by saving one big bumbler, you may be helping to repopulate the bees for next year.

Bumble bee are called drumbledrones in old Cornish. Such a descriptive name.

HouseAtreides Sun 07-Jul-13 21:24:44

Don't forget that other old English word for a fat bumble... A dumbledore smile

LouiseSmith Sun 07-Jul-13 21:37:34

My DS has an obsession with bees at the moment, our local field is filled with them. I will give it a go.

FruOla Mon 08-Jul-13 16:32:51

So. We've had the little Gu pots out with water since last night - I've filled them with fresh water today too. And we're keeping an eye out for 'sickly' bees.

DP thinks I'm completely mad, but has accepted that as the "MumScapers" (that's what he thinks we all are called?!) have said it's OK - then it's OK.

This morning he was out on 'Snail Patrol', came back inside and handed me a little piece of paper - about 3cm X 2cm - saying he'd found a little note in the back garden, which he handed to me - I was intrigued ....

.... it said "Thank you for water. Mr B (Buzzy for short)"


cardamomginger Mon 08-Jul-13 16:36:37

Great idea - thank you! We have lots of bees where we are. All I've done with the knackered ones I've seen has been to move them so they don't get squashed. DD will LOVE helping them like this!

Flobbadobs Mon 08-Jul-13 16:37:34

What a fabulous thread!
Will keep an eye out now I know what to do, we get loads of bees in our garden.
Dumbledores... grin grin

Januarymadness Mon 08-Jul-13 16:48:15

I am glad my instinct not to give a toss about the nest in our loft is doing the world some good. I will leave them bee....

FruOla Mon 08-Jul-13 17:29:51

BTW, anyone who has an entire 'nest' of bees - they might have escaped from their own hive. It's possible that bee-keepers in your area might have 'lost' their colony of bees. Keep an eye out for local apiarists who're trying to find their bees.

digerd Mon 08-Jul-13 17:44:06

I've noticed my lawn is full of clover flowers this year. First it was daisies and now clover.
I remember one year in Germany, my german DH was very tidy and particular. with house and garden. The suddenly he said to me " There's a clover patch in the lawn at the back and I've mown round it as it's covered in bees. I'll mow it after the flowers have finished and the bees gone". Bless him.

HouseAtreides Tue 09-Jul-13 10:30:53

"Keep an eye out for local apiarists who're trying to find their bees"
What a lovely mental picture I now have! grin

SoupDragon Tue 09-Jul-13 10:43:05

I've always been slightly disappointed that apiarists don't look after apes.

FruOla Tue 09-Jul-13 10:49:15

blush I've just realised what sort of mental picture I've created, by that comment - Apiarist grin

The reason I said it was because, quite recently, there have been signs up on some lamp posts in my area about a lost colony of bees - there was even a photo of the bees and the apiarist's phone number! grin

HouseAtreides Tue 09-Jul-13 10:54:11

The poor apiarist, wandering round in a white outfit with giant hat, forlornly calling "Beeees! Where are yoooou?"

TylerHopkins Tue 09-Jul-13 11:03:09

Great tip, thanks for sharing.

I try and save anything that gets into the house, even flies. They always head for the light so a swift closing of blinds and they fly back out towards the door. Works every time! Or, close most of the blinds except one, keep the window open and they leave.

It will be spider season soon. Not looking forward to it but I'll still save the hairy little fuckers!! grin

FruOla Tue 09-Jul-13 11:03:26


The bees and the apiarist have obviously been reunited, as all the signs have now gone. How does it work, I wonder?

Does the apiarist take the hive to where the bees are and sort of swoosh them back into the hive? Or does the hive get left where the bees are, waiting for them to go back inside? Or do they have some sort of radar system which takes them back to their hive in its original position?

SoupDragon Tue 09-Jul-13 11:05:06

What is the point of a picture of the bees? confused

Realistically, any large buzzing mass is likely to be theirs.

FruOla Tue 09-Jul-13 11:06:17

I have no idea Soup, confused too!

HouseAtreides Tue 09-Jul-13 11:08:18

I think he/she smokes the swarm then literally picks it up and puts it in a box! If he/she has the queen the rest of the colony will follow.
That's just reminded me... Last year I was out in my front garden when I saw a swarm of bees go past my house about 15 feet in the air. It looked like one of those cartoon ones that chase Donald Duck.

FruOla Tue 09-Jul-13 11:08:30

Ah, maybe because people are so used to seeing photos of lost dogs or cats the apiarist thought that a photo of bees would catch people's eyes and make them read the sign?

A bee flew into my glass of prosecco the other day! I couldn't let him drown so I had to tip it out on the grass and he flew away all squirly like, tipsy from his little tipple.

Not sure prosecco is good for bees but it was his choice!

FruOla Tue 09-Jul-13 11:19:51

I've just remembered, when I was a kid I had a friend whose dad kept bees. We lived in Middlesex and I was invited to join them for a day out, taking the bees to somewhere in East Anglia - I can't remember where now, but somewhere there was heather.

I just did it, theres been a mad bee in the conservatory all afternoon and despite my best efforts i have been unable to shoo it out of a window or door.

Finally the poor thing was just sat still exhausted on the wall, I managed to pick it up in an old yogurt pot and put a tiny drip of sugar water in the bottom, it had a big old drink, groomed itself, flexed it wings and took off. It landed on the nearest elder tree so hopefully more nectar was to be had there.

FruOla Wed 10-Jul-13 18:39:33


LippyDiDooDah Sat 20-Jul-13 16:26:36

I've always done this as it just made perfect sense to me. My DD now just runs to get the sugar when she sees one. Not done it so far this Summer plus DD got stung on the foot by a bee while running on our lawn last weekend so she may now be too frightened to get up close.

So glad this is the recommended way to treat ailing bees smile

skyblue11 Sat 20-Jul-13 19:09:32

That's amazing and in ashamed to say didn't know this trick, I shall definitely do this next time I see a bee in need, I love bees and its so sad they are disappearing fast without them we'd be lost. I was glass it's highlighted this in a programme this week we all need to help them.

Jux Sun 21-Jul-13 16:13:56

Can I use icing sugar? It's the only white sugar I've got; otherwise we only have brown/golden in the house.

(We've not had many bees here yet though I've seen a few over the last couple of weeks, certainly not many though. And my honeysuckle is a riot atm!)

Jux Sun 21-Jul-13 16:15:24

Also would garlic solution damage bees? I use it to keep blackfly and things off my tomatoes and strawberries.

diddl Sun 21-Jul-13 16:31:59

This has just reminded me that I haven't seen/heard any yetsad

pinkpanther79 Sun 21-Jul-13 16:41:58

Sugar water works for tired butterflies too. Lovely to watch them fly off.

FruOla Tue 30-Jul-13 16:56:23

I've got loads of those Gu ramekins dotted around the front and back gardens with water in them. As it's been so hot, I've been refreshing the water every day. I've also put one with sugar water in it - just in case. But we've got loads of lavender, which the bees are loving at the moment.

I took a few photos yesterday, maybe I'll get around to uploading them onto the 'Have You Seen This' topic.

FruOla Tue 30-Jul-13 17:37:24

I've started a thread in 'Have You Seen This' with pictures of our 'happy bees' grin

FruOla Sat 03-Aug-13 08:48:16

There was a fascinating documentary on BBC2 last night (Fri 2nd Aug) called What's Killing Our Bees? A Horizon Special, which was presented by Bill Turnbull who has been a beekeeper for a number of years. If you didn't see it, try and catch it on iPlayer.

Cheeseatmidnight Sat 03-Aug-13 08:49:31

I have a little bowl of sugar water in the garden under the lavender which is the hang out if choice for our bees

daisychain01 Sat 03-Aug-13 09:04:38

2013 will go down in history as a bumper year for bees! There has been a worlwide alert about the scarcety of bees and how serious it would bee (ha ha) if they were to diminish too much. We would eventually starve due to lack of pollination. But fear not, this year it has been much better.

We have had loads of beez buzzzzzing around our lavender. In fact we kept our commitment to creating a bee friendly garden and planted lavender, delphiniums, gladioli, hollihocks and other delights and they hav been pigging out all summer.

Must bee off, byeeee x

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 09:47:56

We get a lot of sleepy bees in the house, they often get confused by our roller net blinds. I open the blinds but they still can't work out how to get out of the window. I shall try this!

Jux Wed 07-Aug-13 16:33:39

I am getting bees (?) on my Nemesia. They are collecting pollen on their back legs, but they look like wasps. Same shape and size at any rate. Hairy thorax but the body isn't - as far as I can see, anyway! Are they bees, or wasps? Anyone know?

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