Saturday, 26 April 2014

Bee Rescue Number 3 (pics and vid), But What Species Is S(he)?

J takes her driving test next week, so to get in some extra practice she drove M, L and I over to the leisure centre this morning where there is ample opportunity to practice reversing and parallel parking among other things. While she was doing this, I happened to notice a small bee lying Very Still on the tarmac. He (She?- are there any boys out at this time of the year?) looked dead, and as he/she was lying in a place where cars would certainly run him/ her over, I scooped him/her up. Upon which, he/she was revealed to be still alive, but very sleepy.
 
Sufficient parking practice having by that time been had (and everyone still speaking to one another and no parked cars crashed into or scratched) I got back in.
'What's that you've found?' M asked.
 'A bee,' I replied.
'Ah,' said M in a resigned sort of voice, 'I rather thought it might be.'

And so J drove us all home with a sleepy bee on my lap who could, it occurred to me after we'd set off, have woken up at any moment and started buzzing round the car. This realisation gave rise to a small flair of panic when I considered what would happen if the small flying person decided to buzz round J as she was driving.... I'm not sure I would manage not to crash under those circumstances, never mind an inexperienced teenager. And what on earth would we have said to the insurance company? 'I was bringing home a tired bee in order to resuscitate it with some Waitrose honey'? You can just imagine the reaction.

Fortunately, small flying person was extremely knackered and didn't even attempt lift off, just lay there on the tissue looking rather pathetic. I was pretty certain it wasn't a honey bee, but had small panic number two when I thought: what if it's part of a nest and I've taken it miles away? Then I decided that was still better than leaving it to die.

Anyway, I think but I'm not certain, that it's a type of Mining Bee (Andrena flavipes), in which case it is a solitary bee who will probably do better here because we're out in the sticks and have lots of flowers and we like insects mining in our lawn (well, I do).

I am not remotely a bee expert though, so if anyone knows different please do tell me. The bee has remarkable front feet (I want to call them paws). I've never seen anything like it before and can't find anything similar in my books. Any thoughts?

Here are some pics, and after them a short video I shot of him/ her feeding on the honey. The amazing front feet are in pics 5, 6 and 7.








 
 And here's the video....



There was a Happy Ending to this tale- the little bee recovered after feeding for quite a long time, buzzed his/ her wings and took off, flying with no problems at all. Phew!

Have a great weekend all,

CT :-)

30 comments:

  1. Wonderful video. I never knew that bees had a 'tube' like that,--Jane

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  2. Hi Jane and thanks for the comment :-)

    The tube is the bee's tongue, called a proboscis. They vary in length according to the type of flower the bee has adapted to feed on. This one is quite long, which means it is likely to feed on tube type flowers like jasmine and honeysuckle (although at this time of the year most bees will feed on fruit tree blossom). Glad you enjoyed the video - it was lovely to see the bee recover and fly away :-)

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  3. A wonderful rescue with a happy ending. The video is fantastic watching how it feeds! Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah- it came out better than expected. Such a relief bee was OK x

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  4. Fascinating to watch the bee feeding in such close detail! Well done for another rescue :-)

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    1. I know- I was mesmerised and feel very lucky to have seen this close up three times over the past few weeks. Just shows its always worth giving a tired bee aid. I think I might market that as an energy drink: 'bee aid: for all your sleepy bee needs' !

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  5. How wondrous is that ~ amazing to view !
    What a good deed.

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    1. Thanks Willow :-) Glad you enjoyed it. When are you going to post some pics of your tortoise please? :-)

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  6. Great rescue with a happy ending. Its lovely to see the bee close up.
    xx

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    1. Thanks Linda. I was really pleased with the video. A nice record to have :-)

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  7. Lovely rescue and brilliant photos. Well done. Good luck to J with the driving test - my son's learning too.

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    1. Thanks Sarah- I'll pass it on. Good luck to your son too. Have you been out with him yet? Rather Scary for me!

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  8. Fascinating video CT, and well done on your kindly act

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  9. Good on you, it's not just me that saves stranded insects, we usually give them sugar and water,but I might get a little pot of Honey in, I realy can't stand the smell of the stuff, but if it helps that's ok. You can realy see the frount "paws" never noticed this before on a bee. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I think sugar water is probably the better option which I would have done but this little one looked so exhausted I was worried he/ she would have died while I made it, whereas the honey is already there. I haven't been able to find those paws on any other bee, which has left me scratching my head?

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  10. Happy Rescue, happy "to-be" driver and loved the video - I opened it on large screen and it was really neat to watch. I've rescued the odd bee here n there. I think they are grateful when you do - I think there's a "Buzz" in the bee community that I work for Bees Red Cross :) Wonderful Post :)

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    1. I like the idea of bees red cross :-) Think of all that good karma you are storing up by helping them. Its really nice to know people all round the world are doing the same things to help our small flying friends. :-)

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  11. Perhaps Waitrose would like to sponsor your efforts with a few free jars of honey? xx

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    1. I did email them and suggest it, but so far, nothing.... x

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  12. Well done on another bee rescue - great video :) Good Luck to J with the driving test. My son has just started to learn!

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    1. Ah, good luck Ragged Robin Jnr too- J has her test on Weds....

      Did you think this was a miner bee? I'm not convinced and I can't find those feet anywhere.

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  13. Very cool and interesting photos, CT. Amazing creatures.

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    1. They are that. I feel very privileged to have had such close contact with them in recent weeks.

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  14. How lovely to see a bee feeding like that, poor little thing, sorry no idea what type of bee it is.

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    1. It is fascinating to watch- so glad I managed to get a video of it :-)

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  15. Wonderful, CT. I'm so glad you rescued it

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    1. Thanks Wendy. Have you got any idea what species it is? I'm assuming I'm right and it isn't a honey bee?

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  16. Hi, I tried this last summer after I heard the technique described on QI. I used some squeezy honey I had to hand and it was amazing to see the blob disappear into the bee which just perked up, climbed a blade of grass and buzzed off!

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    1. Hi Paul and thanks for the comment. It is so gratifying when you're able to make a difference like that. Glad your bee was OK too.

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x