Saturday, 9 May 2009

Lady Bumble



Today I found this little lady…


She didn’t look so well

She was unable to fly

I first noticed her climbing up an Aquilegia and attempting to fly

Only to promptly fall to the ground

I carried on doing my gardening

And our paths crossed again, I took her to a different Aquilegia

And carefully directed her into a flower head, in case she needed nectar

A smaller, Bumble going about her business as usual

Buzzing away gathering food.

It got late, and eventually she took a liking to my glove and wouldn’t get off

So I let her rest, I don’t think she’ll make it through the night.


I wonder what was wrong, there were no obvious signs of injury or parasites. She is a huge lady, much larger than the healthy Bumble… At least twice the size, is it possible she is a queen attempting to find a nest site to start a colony??

20 comments:

Pete said...

interesting series of shots.

wonder why she couldn't fly?

Snowbabies said...

Fantastic images, not keen on anything that buzzes so I'd never get close enough.

Debbie.

ShySongbird said...

I suspect your bee was drunk Liz! Yes really! They often gorge themselves on pollen to the extent they are 'drunk' and can't fly.

Liz said...

Pete - I'm unsure, but I suspect she was drunk although I'm not sure just how long they will remain drunk for because it was at least a couple of hours.

Liz said...

Debbie - I'm not overly keen either, but felt somewhat protected by the gardening gloves (never would've tried with my bare hands!!)

Liz said...

SS - Yes I'd thought this too, do you know how long they will stay drunk for?

Do they actually get drunk on nectar?
I thought it was on felled fruit in late summer/early autumn and as the fruit ferments in the sun they get drunk- which is when Wasps get crazy and sting people!

I wonder if she ever made it home? :D

Tatyana said...

Liz, I have such bees in my garden in early spring. They come out from somewhere, look barely alive, and then I find them dead. Thanks for trying to help that one...

ShySongbird said...

Hi again Liz, yes they can apparently get drunk on pollen but I don't know how long the effect lasts, I believe they can also become intoxicated by certain chemicals such as pesticides. Of course alternatively if it was cold it may just have been that she may not have been able to get warm enough to fly.

Liz said...

Tatyana - Thank you for visiting my blog, it's much appreciated! :)

I'm still unsure what was wrong, I guess it was just 'her time'

Liz said...

SS - Ah, that is interesting...

I had thought perhaps she was too cold, but it was a lovely sunny day - a bit windy but in the sun it was fine. I sat her in the sun to warm her wings up to get going but it just didn't work.

I found her in the greenhouse the next day still looking bad (I checked she wasn't in my glove!!! Good thing I didn't put my hand in!!! Ouch)
Left her in the sun again and put her on the Aquilegia but still couldn't fly.

I'll assume she's passed on, last I saw her she was on the wall very still and when I got close would stick one leg up to warn me off.

Never saw her again.

With any luck she made it...

Liisa said...

I really enjoyed your photos. I tried to find some info online about lethargic bees, but I didn't have much luck. :( Hope she recovered.

emmabond said...

these are beeeeeeautiful! (sorry...) I love them. Writing about bees for my next article so will call on you for some advice! Have faved you on my blog too!

Liz said...

Liisa - Thank you so much, and also thank you for looking into the cause of the Bee's lethargy it's much appreciated :)

Liz said...

Emma - Lovely to see you and I'm thrilled you visited/favourited my blog!

:)

Bee's are not a strong point of mine, have you had a similar problem with them seemingly dying?

Dirt Princess said...

Poor little thing. Let us know if it makes it! That is terrible

Liz said...

DP- I think the Bee may have died, although I cannot confirm this. The last I saw it was on the wall after I'd given it some Aquilegia nectar, very still and only raised a leg when I got close - it did not fly away.

I did something else and by the time I went back it had gone. I wasn't gone long though, perhaps 5 minutes, so who knows!

Thank you very much for visiting my blog, it's much appreciated!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Wonderful shots of the bumblebee. I have seen bees like this but did not realize what was wrong. Never knew about drunk bees.We need are bees so much.

Stephanie said...

Aren't you afraid of bees? I am :-( The shots are great! Hello. I am a member of Blotanical too. Happy gardening and snapping great photos :-0

Tricia said...

Just catching up! A lovely set of images - hope she recovered OK but we'll probably never know.

Barbara E said...

Love your pictures and fascinating story. I have a friend who knows about bees and will ask him if he has any ideas. Thanks for sharing.