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,