Save Bees


Bumble beeHelp revive a cold or wet bee

I’m often asked by folks what to do when one finds a cold, wet, or sluggish bee. The good news is that in many cases, you can help! And depending on the , you may not just be helping one bee but many, because your bee may be a queen bumble bee.

Spring and fall are often unpredictable weather and flower-wise, and sometimes you’ll find a bee who’s simply run out of steam and needs a helping hand. Unseasonable weather and a lack of flowers may trip them up, especially at these times of year. A foraging bumble bee is only ever about 40 minutes from starvation.


Chamomile flowers look like daisies

My first word of advice is don't panic. In most situations, you can help your bee (and you've almost certainly nothing to fear from an exhausted, cold, struggling bee)!

My next advice is to consider simply moving the bee onto a sunny bee-friendly flower (one close by, ideally where you see other similar bees foraging).

This works well for bees that are not too badly off, but it does require that they feel up to clinging onto a flower. Take care to move them gently (using a leaf works well), and observe them to see if they seem to recover. If your bee doesn't improve, keep reading.



Tap the closest button to your situation:

A quick sugar-water fix

Bee Boost Elixir

  • 1 part room temperature water (not boiled)
  • 1 part sugar crystals (avoid brown sugar / honey)

Mix vigorously, then offer small portion

The first thing to do is to feed your bee. A cold, hungry bee is nothing to fear (in fact, bees are nothing to fear anyway, and you’re probably not too worried if you’re reading this page… but if you are, keep in mind that a cold sluggish bee is in no position or mood to sting… they’re simply hungry and cold, and will be happy for any help you provide)!

Sugar Water Mix

To feed your bee, mix up some organic granulated cane sugar or refined white sugar crystals (never brown sugar or honey) to create a sugar-water solution. A 1:1 mix (50%-50%) is appropriate, and this can be achieved simply by stirring the sugar rapidly in room temperature drinking water (lukewarm is fine, but not boiled).

Offer a small portion of this solution (just a few drops is plenty for a bee) in a shallow lid or teaspoon placed near the bee’s head. Alternatively, add a drop or two of sugar-water to some cut bee flowers placed near your bee (orchard blossoms, dandelions, or any pesticide-free blooming flowers nearby).

Honey bee

When drinking, you’ll see her long tongue extended like a straw below her head. Try placing drops of sugar-water mix directly beneath the tip of her tongue. If you do offer a small dish, make it impossible for your bee to fall clumsily into sugary water.

Honey Bee

Watch her tongue unfold from beneath. Often a light touch of the antennae signals to a bee that there's an energy drink nearby

Bumble Bee

Adding a pebble to the dish would avoid any chance of your bee falling in (but the bumble bee above managed just fine)!

It often works within minutes

In most cases, your bee will recover quickly after drinking some sugar-water. Offering sugar-water often works even if it appears to you as though your bee is dead! A quick sugar-water boost should help your bee on its way to living another day 😌 It may take a few minutes or a few hours for her to recover, depending on how weak she was to begin with. Don’t be surprised to find your bee gone if you’re not keeping a constant eye on her!

Try warming up your bee too

Note that if it’s cold out (particularly if it's near or below 55°F / 13°C), you’ll speed your bee’s recovery by warming her up. You may do this by placing her in direct sunlight, by letting her sit on your warm skin (a hand or arm), or by bringing her indoors briefly (in a ventilated box) to warm up and drink some sugar-water.

Definitely stay within your comfort zone if you offer up your skin, but if you move slowly and unthreateningly, your bee may crawl right onto your hand or arm (she'll warm up through fabric too, so a dark-colored shirt is good if there's sun). Remember that a tired, sluggish bee is not likely to sting!

Bumble bee warming on hand

Shared with kind permission by reader John (read his full bee story)

Is your bee still not flying away?

If it's getting late (near sunset) or particularly cold or rainy, you may want to consider to protect her from predators while she is in a vulnerable state.

Bees do stay out overnight in odd places if they're caught out in bad weather, and they may wait (almost unmoving!) for several days while they await better weather. So if you're not comfortable housing your bee, look for some pesticide-free bee flowers nearby, and gently place your bee on these flowers. The best flowers are ones on which you've seen similar bees foraging, growing close to the ground (not far for a sluggish bee to fall), out of sight from predators like birds overhead, and bathed in sunlight in the days to come.

Bumble bee sleeps in flower

A bumble bee queen sleeps in a flower

This is my own story of a bumble bee queen who found the perfect spot to spend a series of nights in early spring. Safely tucked inside a crocus flower, she enjoyed a delicious energy bar, whose enclosing petals would open to the sky only once the sun hit! Read more

Types of sugar to avoid

It’s important to avoid brown sugar (which contains extra solids from molasses) and avoid maple syrup (which contains extra minerals), both of which are difficult for bees to digest. Also, do not use boiling water (when sugars caramelize at high heat, they can create indigestible and possibly bee-toxic compounds).

It can be tempting to reach for a few drops of local raw honey, but this can be a vector for spreading bee diseases, so to be safe, avoid feeding honey. If you’ve fed honey in the past, don’t worry about it too much though. Chances are you helped by giving the bee the quick energy boost it needed (flowers are also a conduit for bee diseases, so to some extent, bees are always taking risks when they sip nectar).

Avoid high fructose corn syrup at all costs, as compounds toxic to bees can be formed during manufacturing (as a result of overheating). And it should go without saying to avoid the fake stuff! I avoid conventional sugar because of pesticide usage (especially when sourced from sugar beets, which account for most sugar production and consumption in the United States; Monsanto licenses a Roundup Ready trait to sugarbeet seed companies).


Sugar-water is only for emergencies

The sugar-water solution I detail above should only be used in bee-saving situations. Sugar-water is not sufficient for bees’ nutritional needs long-term (they need all the other trace components of flower nectar for a balanced diet). Putting a dish of sugar-water out may attract bees, but it is not a good idea and it will not help bees in your area, however much they may appear to appreciate it as free food (it can also incense some bees and cause them to be more aggressive than they usually would be, as they compete for such an unusually easy food source).

Bees need pure water though! One of the best things you can do (especially on hot days) is to provide a large shallow dish of fresh water with pebbles in it so that bees may easily reach the water without falling into it. Honey bees in particular need water on hot days in order to cool their hives, and you may see a variety of pollinators and other insects coming to your water dish if you watch for any length of time!

Bumble bee on hand

John’s story of the ‘Bee that Stayed’

Reader John first wrote to me in reply to my post about how to revive a cold, wet, or exhausted bee. In his words: “I can’t believe this, I love Bumble Bees, and when I find one in the garden lying there exhausted, I mix a bit of sugar with water and let them crawl on my hand have a drink, then they sleep for 3 minutes and fly off revitalized. Well. I found one lying on the lawn in a bad state, so I did my usual, NOW he has stayed on my hand and won’t go away, he stayed there whilst I mowed the lawn, and he is still here 1 hour later, he has stayed on my finger whilst I am typing, so I put him on a piece of kitchen roll next to me on the table.” Read more

Keeping your bee overnight

Sometimes you’ll find a bee in need of help in unseasonable weather (particularly in early spring, when bumble bee queens are emerging from hibernation). After , you may decide that the best thing to do is to keep your bee safe overnight. If it’s late at night and cold (below 55°F / 13°C), or raining or even snowing outdoors, then releasing your bee may not be an option.

Base your decision on the time of day, the weather, and your observation of the bee… if it’s morning or afternoon, and she looks ready to go after sipping sugar-water, then she’ll likely want to bee on her way (even if it’s cool and a bit rainy). If it’s approaching evening or night, the weather is worsening, and the bee seems sluggish, her chances will improve by keeping her overnight (some people even end up keeping their bees several nights in a row, until the weather improves… just be sure to mimic as much as possible typical day/night light cycles and temperatures, so your bee doesn’t get confused).

Creating your own Air Bee-n-Bee

In this case, it’s time to make a cozy home for your bee for the night. A shoebox works well for this (with small holes punched in it to provide ventilation). Although we like soft things to lie on, it’s best not to add materials inside the box, as things like fabric may catch on a sluggish bee’s feet and make moving even more of a struggle for her.

Place her in the ventilated box, and provide a little greenery too so that it’s not just a bee inside a stark, empty box. Generally speaking (for overnight stays), I’d avoid placing flowers in the box, as they will lose their nectar fairly quickly, and may confuse a bee looking for food. However, I’ve heard of times when having flowers inside the box is just the thing to “cheer up” a bee and speed her on her way. If the time of day and weather is just “iffy” and might still be good enough for your bee to go out in, then try adding flowers into her box and seeing if she buzzes around sufficiently to bee on her way. If you’re still left with a sluggish bee, remove the flowers but put something natural of interest in the box for the night.

Place the box somewhere that’s not too warm and not too cold… err on the side of cooler, simply because it’s going to simulate their natural environment better. But certainly don’t allow the box to sit in freezing temperatures! Somewhere “in-between” such as a garage, utility room, or other sheltered and lightly-heated area is ideal. I'd recommend removing any dish of sugar-water overnight, so as not to attract ants or risk the bee falling in. You can put it back again in the morning.

Gorgeous red-tailed bumble bee queen shared with kind permission by reader Emily

Keep an eye on your bee

Check on your bee from time to time; if she’s full of energy and buzzing, she may well wish to take her chances outdoors. Bumble bee queens in particular are fairly well-equipped for unseasonable weather. Bumble bees are quite special in terms of their ability to decouple their flight muscles from their wings and vibrate (or “shiver”) in order to warm themselves up. But if it's totally inhospitable out (very cold or wet) and she's still full of energy and buzzing, simply move her box to a cooler location and she'll settle down.

Prepare to release your bee

If your bee seems comfortable and settled in her box, then wait to release her until the weather is more favorable (at least 55°F or 13°C). Bees are not particularly early risers! On the next day of decent weather, make sure your bee has had a little sugar-water for breakfast, and then leave her box open in a sunny warm spot outdoors. Release your bee near where you found her, ideally near flowers where you see other similar bees foraging. It can take anywhere between minutes and hours for her to feel ready to leave. If you hang around watching for a little while, you’ll likely see her buzz around her box a bit first, before finally taking off happily!

Sometimes bees stay a few days & nights

A few years ago I read the most charming story about someone’s encounter with a bumble bee queen and how she rescued it with sugar water and a night in a shoebox. Read her inspiring story on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website:

The Plight of the Bumblebee

Bumble bees mating

Hosting tiny guests at an Air Bee-n-Bee in San Francisco

Today I heard from Ann in San Francisco with a question after she found my post about how to revive a cold, wet, or exhausted bee. Astonishingly, a queen bumble bee—carrying three little worker bees, no less!—had sought out Ann’s help in the garden. In her words: “Hi, I have a queen bee that visited my back patio yesterday and she kept following me around and trying to get under a bag of potting soil…I moved the bag and then her…to under a sunny bush…she was then crawling back to me! So I put down my glove and she hopped on and I found a more protected area of the lawn where she spent the night. Today she is back with three small bumble bees on her back she is not moving and will not drink its going to get cold and windy soon…what do I do???” Read more

Rescuing bees from water

The easiest way to rescue a flailing bee from water is to use a leaf or some other object close-to-hand to scoop them up quickly. If you rescue your bee from water, the first thing to do is to put her in direct sunlight so she can dry out and warm up. While we generally prefer recovering in the shade, bees recover far faster in full sun.

Bees don't have lungs, instead they have a series of air sacs, with a number of spiracles (openings) along the sides of their bodies. You may see your bee's body pulsing as she recovers. This is the equivalent of us breathing heavily, and she's doing it to move more oxygen through her circulatory system.

Warm up and reenergize your bee

Avoid attempting to separate your bee's wings or correct other physical issues that appear amiss. Warm sun will help “reactivate” your bee, after which she can clean herself (if she needs) much more gently and effectively than us. It’s also a good idea to as above, if your bee doesn’t take off soon after being scooped up and drying off somewhere warm.

Offer a night's safe rest

If it’s too late at night for there to be any warmth or sunlight, then in a ventilated box, and release her the following morning.

Alternatively, look for bee-friendly flowers nearby, ideally low-growing (to avoid falls) and in sunlight come morning (also choose a spot where your bee won't stand out too much to a bird flying overhead)! Place your bee on these flowers, so that the following morning, she'll have breakfast ready as she awaits the warming day.

Preventing future accidents

Bees end up in pools of water for the most unsurprising of reasons: they hope for sips of water. Honey bees also use water to cool their hives in summer (they bring it back to their hives in a special stomach).

One way to help prevent bees falling into water is to offer a bee-safe drinking area (or several) nearby. Use something like a shallow dish, and place a number of pebbles to provide easy drinking perches. Keep the dish filled (ideally with filtered water), especially on hot days!


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Knowing your bee helps

There are so many different kinds of bees, but when you find a bee, it’s very often one of the more common types. If it’s large and fuzzy, it’s probably a bumble bee. If it’s really large and fuzzy, it’s probably a queen bumble bee (especially in early spring and late fall). Honey bees are smaller by comparison, less fuzzy, and have that classic “striping” (light and dark bands) typically depicted in pictures of bees.

You can revive any kind of bee by , moving them somewhere warmer (into direct sunlight, ideally), or even warming them up a bit gently with your breath. If it's a bumble bee and it’s late in the day or the weather is worsening (dropping below 55°F / 13°C, raining or snowing), you can also potentially in a ventilated box. Release your bee the following morning once the sun is up, and offer sugar-water again to give your bee an energetic start to her day!

These are all bumble bee queens:

Black-tailed bumble bee queen Yellow-faced bumble bee queen Sitka bumble bee queen

These are all honey bee workers:

Honey bee worker Honey bee worker Honey bee workers

Honey bees need to get back to their hives for the night, but bumble bees can stay out a night or two just fine. Honey bees are most often found in need of help when they’ve on a warm day. Honey bees collect water in order to cool their hives, hence they face more dangers from falling into pools and ponds while trying to get to the water. Help drowning bees by quickly scooping them out of the water, followed by placing the bee in direct sunlight to warm and dry it naturally. Offering replace lost energy quickly.

If you consistently find yourself rescuing bees from pools of water near your home, try placing pebbles in a shallow dish of water nearby to provide them a safer place to drink, especially on hot days!

Early spring brings bumble bee queens

In early spring, large fluffy bumble bee queens are emerging from their winter hibernation. They’re searching for the earliest spring flowers and looking for the perfect underground burrow in which to start their colonies for the year (colonies that will number in the low hundreds of cute, fuzzy bumble bees). Sometimes they'll appreciate a little help, especially if they're nearly out of energy. Since they're relatively large bees, they need more energy simply to get off the ground.

Although cold-blooded like all insects, bumble bees are capable of generating their own heat (which they do by decoupling their wings from their flight muscles and then “buzzing” to warm up)! Bumble bees are more likely to get caught out in bad weather, simply because they’re more likely to fly in cooler temperatures (even in the rain), whereas honey bees stay tucked in their hives on cold and rainy days.

Any mites you see are probably not harmful

The bee mites we read about in the news are a very specific type of mite (Varroa destructor) that only affects honey bees because of their unique life cycle. If your bee is a larger, fuzzier bee, chances are it has harmless bumble bee mites instead. Bumble bees often have harmless mites… they’re far smaller mites, and they’re not dangerous for the bee. They’re typically “hitchhiking” to the bumble bee’s nest from flowers, where the mites then feed on small bits of detritus around the nest.

So there’s typically no need to try to remove tiny mites from bees you find. The only time these much smaller mites can be a problem is in rare instances, when hundreds pile onto a bee at once, impacting its ability to fly. I’ve seen photos documenting this, but it is highly unusual. Honey bee mites are far larger by comparison… it would be like one of us having a rabbit-sized tick!

Reviving bees while out and about

When I go for long walks in spring, I carry a small vial of sugar-water with me in case I see a struggling bee in need. This way I can drop a few droplets onto something like a leaf or flower (right below the bee’s head), in order to give it a top-up of energy. If you don’t have sugar-water with you, you might instead try gently moving your bee (using a leaf or similar) onto nearby flowers where you (ideally) see other, similar bees foraging.

And if you'd love to carry sugar-water with you at all times just in case you find a bee in need, I’ve discovered the neatest solution, complete with protective keychain carrying case for the glass vial! Although UK-based, they'll ship elsewhere too (note that I have nothing to gain by linking, I simply think theirs is a neat product):

Beevive, inspired by a spontaneous encounter with a tired bee


Wondering who's writing this?

elise-fog

I’m Elise Fog, a lifelong bee lover and hobbyist photographer. It struck me (more than ten years ago!) that it’d be cool to share the bee love with others. Bees are a wondrous and vital part of our world, and it wouldn’t look the same without them.

While searching for the critically endangered rusty-patched bumble bee, photographer Clay Bolt poignantly commented: “We spend so much time and effort trying to make life better for ourselves. The least we can do is make life possible for this bee.” I truly believe every single bee’s life counts. I also think that saving a bee’s life creates a special connection that will never bee forgotten.

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If you find what I share here helpful, donations are much appreciated


Bee Art

Greeting Card

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Still have a question about your bee?

I hope your bee is feeling better! If you're still concerned, drop your question here and I'll try to answer promptly (keep in mind I'm on the U.S. west coast, and sometimes I'm simply not around at the right time). The response to this page has been incredible, and I keep adding to this page based on hearing so many bee stories.

I only use the information you provide in order to help with your bee question. Read my full privacy policy.
Your email is important so that you know I've replied, and also in case we need to exchange photos of your bee.


1363 responses to “How to help revive a cold or wet bee

  1. I was watching a bee on the side of my pool and a splash knocked it in. I quickly scooped it out on the edge of my net and was watching as it recovered. After a minute or so it cleaned off and then turned and put its abdomen in a large drop of water. It then flew off. I have never seen this before. Was it cleaning itself?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bev

    1. That's wonderful that you scooped your bee out of your pool so quickly, and it must have been neat to watch it recovering! I have never seen nor heard of the behavior you describe. Bees are not given to cleaning themselves with water though; they are able to clean themselves simply with their legs typically. So I'm not sure what answer to offer, other than that your bee was a bit unusual!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. I love my honey bees and though it's a small yard, I plant for the wild things. I was amazed at the actions which is why I tried to find an answer. It may have been a mistake but it looked so deliberate. Hope I see my little buddy by the pool again. Thanks!

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Bev

  2. Bee found on porch barley moving and kept going on his back. Have it sugar water and placed in garden on a flower but 24 hours later I came home and it’s on the couch on my porch in even rougher shape. Any ways to help him come back?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lyndsey

    1. Could it be another similar bee, perhaps? What's your weather like currently? Was the flower one you'd seen similar bees foraging on?

      I would try more sugar-water, to see if your bee perks up. If warmth and sugar-water don't improve your bee's condition, then sadly there may be something less obvious that it is suffering from.

      It's kind of you to keep an eye out for your bee! Feel free to reply with photos or video over email, so I can take a closer look.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  3. What is happening to the bumblebees in my yard . I have a large lavender plant in my front yard and usually I see lots of bumblebees enjoying the blooms. But lately, I have noticed several dead ones on the sidewalk and driveway on 2 sides of the plant.

    It seems unusual.

    When I noticed the 1st one struggling on the ground, on a hot day , I moved it to some shade. Is it the heat or is a neighbor using an insecticide? Or?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Beanie

    1. How hot is it where you are, exactly? Bumble bees begin to struggle at temperatures over 100°F, though smaller bumble bee workers can still manage above that (larger queens have more trouble).

      It's hard to say with any certainty, but it might sadly also be a sign of pesticide exposure. It's unusual to find numbers of bees dead on the ground, and yet I found a number of them myself a few weeks ago, displaying signs (walking in circles, falling over) of acute pesticide poisoning. Since I saw them dying, I'm certain it was the result of someone spraying nearby (though I couldn't locate the source).

      The one other thing I can think of is that during extreme heat, plants can be stressed too, and produce far less nectar as a result. So it's important to keep plants well-watered for the sake of pollinators. But I'm guessing your lavender is well-cared for, so that's not it!

      Usually bees do better in direct sunlight, but temperatures are often hotter than they used to be for local bees. If you move any into the shade, I'd also offer a drop or two of sugar-water, or place them on a flower, just to be sure they're not hungry too.

      Let me know if you see any more (feel free to reply with photos or video to the email you'll receive, if you wish).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  4. I found a bee stumbling around in the grass. It use unable to fly but was budding it's wings well enough. It couldn't fit tho and was just walking super fast dropping off of any elevated platform. I scooped her (?) up to give her some rest. Have her hummingbird nectar we have (fresh) and water, She loved the nectar and drinks off my finger. It is the next morning butt still no flight. She actually seems to prefer just sitting on my hand it my shirt and cleans herself often. Her bum wiggles around, I assume cleaning her legs. Now in in love with her lol. I need her to be okay. Any advice outer know what may be going on with her?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to April

    1. ugh the typos, "buzzing" her wings around, not budding. The rest you can figure out lol. Sorry

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Spell

      1. She may simply be taking a while to "buzz up" in the morning, that's my guess. Have you tried her in direct sunlight? I see it's already warm this morning where you are.

        Sitting on your hand helps warm her too, and bees often spend a significant amount of time in the mornings cleaning themselves. I've seen the whole process of warming/cleaning take a good hour or two some mornings! So I think what she needs is likely simply warmth and time (have you offered more sugar-water too, or tried placing her on a bee-friendly flower in the sunlight)?

        If she continues not to fly off with more time, feel free to reply to the email you'll receive with photos/video so I can observe her behavior too. And yes, they're so adorable, it's easy to fall in love with them! 💛🐝✨

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  5. I found a bed that keeps rubbing its head, and walking around in a circle motion in the same small area. It doesn’t look injured but isn’t really trying to fly much.

    I’ve given it 2:1 sugar and water which it’s drank out of. There are no nearby flowers but it’s in the sun and near green plants.

    What can I do to help? Is it poisoned? Should I try putting water on it? Hope to save this little guy. Thanks

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Steph

    1. That’s good to hear your bee took a drink of the sugar-water mix you offered. It’s hard to know whether some kind of pesticide poisoning may be involved without lab analysis, but it’s definitely something I’d suspect given what you’ve observed. Your weather is certainly warm enough for it to be able to fly. Sometimes bees will act like “cold bees” when they’ve had pesticide exposure. So what happens is that even though they’re uninjured (in terms of their wings and legs), they move more slowly, often circling.

      In acute poisoning cases, they tend to circle and fall over a lot. In less-severe cases, they often sit quietly for extended periods of time, unflying, and don’t head off somewhere safe before nightfall. I’d keep an eye on your bee, and if it looks as though it’s not going to fly off somewhere safe for the night on its own, then I’d gently encourage it into a ventilated box in the early evening, simply to protect it from predators while it deals with whatever is in its system. Place the box somewhere cool and dark for the night, so that the bee doesn’t get confused that it’s daytime (bees naturally slow down when cooler).

      In my experience, bees can recover if they’ve not been too badly exposed. I don’t know if it’s always possible, but I’ve had some luck offering plentiful sugar-water (not too much at once, so as not to fall in and get sticky, but kind of encouraging them to drink a lot if they feel like it, by offering small amounts often). After trying to flush their systems in this way (and keeping them overnight), the bees I’ve treated have flown off, in seeming better health, the following morning once the sun hits and they warm up again.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you SO much for your reply Elise. I will put together a ventilated box for it shortly.

        I’m going to pick up a couple sunflowers as well for it!

        Do you suggest I try to douse it with water to try and wash away any pesticide it might be trying to rub off? Im afraid to overdo it but something is clearly irritating it’s face. :(

        Also; for its box- Pinhole size holes will suffice and be good enough for air flow? And should I put anything in there for the night? Like a small dish of water and small dish of sugar water?

        Thank you again. Im trying not to get attached!

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Steph

        1. I know what you mean about getting attached 🥰

          I don’t think I’d try dousing your bee fully with water, since bees really don’t like getting wet (and they breathe through openings along their sides, so dousing might result in further issues for your bee). That said, bees do get wet at times naturally (caught out in light rain, though they try to avoid it), and they recover by cleaning themselves and air-drying.

          So if it seems to you that your bee is continuing to be bothered by something on its face, you might try dropping some room-temperature water just on the spot that’s bothering it. Bees spend a lot of time cleaning, so in and of itself, what looks like excessive cleaning to us can be normal. But continued cleaning of a specific spot on their body is something you’re right to consider. If you do try, just be conservative in the amount of water used, and try to “listen” to your bee, adjusting your treatment to what it feels comfortable with. Additional stress is something to avoid, and of course there’s no way to explain to them how we’re trying to help them!

          For the nighttime, a number of small holes are sufficient, probably larger than a pinhole but still quite small. I tend to put in things like leaves and flowers for the night, as in nature if they were caught out at night without being able to fly off, they’d hang about on flowers if they could. I’d probably not put a dish of sugar water in there though… for one, it can attract ants, and a weak bee is fair game for ants. For another, a clumsy bee can fall in at night unobserved, and dealing with a sticky bee is tricky. So long as you place the box somewhere cool, your bee will fall into a less active state overnight, where it won’t expend energy nor have need of more energy top-ups.

          If you do keep it overnight, I’d certainly offer sugar-water again first thing in the morning (and offer some just a bit before you close the box up for the night too). That’s worked well for me in cases similar to how you describe your bee. It can take bees a little time to get going in the morning, but once the sun is up and begins to warm their bodies, they’ll start to “buzz up” with energy. It can be nerve-wracking opening the box first thing in the morning, but each time I’ve done this, I’ve awoken to a bee that was in better shape than the day before!

          I do hope the best for your bee, you’re doing everything you can for it, and every bee we take care of is one more bee out there in the world, buzzing for another day! The more studies done on bees, the more we realize they’re thinking, feeling creatures, and it’s so amazing when we can help them 💛🐝

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

          1. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your advice Elise!! I have taken it all in detail and feel confident in my care. ♥️

            I bought it a sunflower, and some tiny leafy (ensured no pesticides) plants to put inside it’s box for overnight. I used a pen to punch several many holes that it certainly cannot get through. It’s shelter is near complete and perfect…

            After putting together everything, I went outside to give it the sunflower and I can no longer find it. 😭😭 I’ve searched everywhere nearby with no luck!!! UGH. It was only circling a small perimeter from when I first found it but I’m truly hoping it flew off somewhere after feeling better from the water and sugar-water. I just hope it isn’t instead suffering nearby that. You don’t have to reply back, but I’m hoping you’ve heard similar stories of quick recovery like this?

            I will continue to keep checking outside throughout the remainder of the day into night in hopes of finding the little guy. I will give an update if I am lucky. I’m trying to stay positive, that not locating it is instead good news. 🐝 ♥️

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Steph

            1. It may well be good news, not finding your bee... I'd say that's almost certainly the likeliest explanation: your bee simply felt better enough to fly off. Though you're certainly prepared now, if your bee happens to turn up again! Sunflowers are excellent for pollinators 🌻🐝

              I had kind of an unfortunate experience the other week here in California, but it's given me some direct observational data that feels relevant. Before the wildfire that destroyed my home and bee meadow, I lived in rural Oregon, and bees were plentiful and never once needed the help I detail on this page. But since fleeing to (and then remaining in) the Bay Area (since I have family here), I've witnessed the pesticide-related "bee kills" of which I'd only read until recently.

              I went out one morning, and bees were literally raining down, so it felt... I counted 15 or so in various stages of acute distress, some dying within minutes of falling out of the sky (mostly honey bees, plus a few carpenter bees and tiny solitary bees). All these bees' symptoms ranged widely, from quick death, to falling over constantly, to simply circling slowly, to just resting oddly unmoving even in the warm early evening.

              I administered sugar-water to all that were still able to drink some, and that's kind of why I'm telling you all of this, because there were a couple of bees that, within an hour or so of drinking (maybe less), appeared to feel much better again, and they flew off (their flight looked positive too, as if they really were feeling better, and knew where they were headed). There were a few more that weren't so well, and looked as if they'd simply sit out all night if left to themselves (out in the open, and easily targeted). Those bees flew off the following morning (having overnighted in safe enclosures), seemingly much better.

              So, all this to say, recovery time varies widely, depending on the individual bee and its overall health beforehand, as well as the amounts of whatever substance (or cocktail of substances) to which it's been exposed.

              I do think that sugar-water at such times is a good way to boost their energy quickly, while also (I hope) helping bees to rid themselves of whatever it is they have in their systems. You certainly gave your bee a better chance at continuing a happy bee life 💛🐝✨

              Reply

              Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  6. I found a bumblebee on the ground in the parking garage where I park yesterday evening. It was alive and seemed to be breathing heavily. There didn't appear to be anything physically wrong with it. It could crawl slowly and when I flipped it over, it righted itself by kicking and moving its wings. I didn't have anything with me except honey, so I put a couple of drops in front of it and it started sucking up the honey. When I arrived at work this morning, it was a couple of feet from where it had been the day before, but still doing the same thing. I gave it more honey and it started eating it. I'm at work now and I left it in the parking garage. I just read that honey wasn't the best thing to give it, but I didn't know at the time. Does it possibly have mites in its airway? Is there anything else I can do for it?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kathy

    1. Finding your bee in a similar spot to where it was last night isn't surprising, but it is a sign that it needs an energy boost of some kind, and if honey isn't doing the trick, sunlight and added warmth might.

      Have you tried putting it in the sun? Do you have bee flowers near where you work, where you might place it? It sounds as though it's acting like a cold bee (although they can be suffering from other things and also act similarly).

      If you use a leaf or piece of paper or something similar, you might then transport it to nearby flowers in the sunlight (even with your weather already warm, full sunlight may well help revive it). Ideally nearby flowers where you see other bumble bees foraging.

      If it has tattered wing edges, that can be a sign of age too. As far as mites in airways, it's impossible to diagnose, but "breathing heavily" is typically something they do as they warm up, so it's not a concerning sign in and of itself. I hope your bee perks up!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thanks, Elise. The bee was shaded in the parking garage, but it's been 100+ degrees here this week. If it's still there this evening, I'll move it to an area with sunlight. I'm hoping it'll be recovered and gone when I come back.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Kathy

        1. Yes, I did look up your weather before I wrote, and saw that it should really be warm enough, even in the shade, for any bee to get going again. If it's an old bee nearing the end of its life, that might explain the behavior. Also, to be honest, bees are exposed to such a range of stressors in human environments these days, that I think more and more struggle. If honey and warmth don't revive your bee, but it looks "young" (with untattered wing edges), then there's something else amiss. They do suffer from a range of internal parasites that may cause premature death, and the number of chemicals in their environments isn't helping them at all either (at their best, these chemicals simply cause chronic low-level issues that shorten bee lives).

          I do hope your bee was able to get going when you look later, but if not, I'd try moving it, as a parking garage is no place for a bee! I just attended a lovely seminar on bee cognition yesterday, and studies suggest bees do feel emotions, including positive and negative outlooks. Sunlight and flowers should at least "raise a bee's spirits" a bit, which may also aid in its recovery, if it is suffering from something sufficiently non-acute. It's good of you to notice your bee and try to help it out!

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

          1. For anyone following this thread:

            I checked on the bumblebee when I left work and it was gone! It had tracked a thin trail of honey on the concrete and then the trail disappeared. I'm hoping that means that it received energy from the honey, warmed up during the day, and was able to fly away. Thanks so much for your support and advise, Elise!

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Kathy

  7. The last 2 days I've "rescued " 7 bumblebees off my drive and patio that aren't moving much or flying , but my question is this...well 3 actually

    Why are some stuck to the floor as if some sticky liquid has leaked?

    Why do they have very small wings, much smaller than I'd expect?

    And one had yellow spots or clumps in the yellow stripe across its back. Is this something to be concerned about ?

    All have white bottoms and are plump little bees 🐝

    Thank you 😊

    Deborah (bee)

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Deborah Iddon

    1. Hmm, this does seem strange. Especially given your weather, which looks comfortably warm at the moment.

      What time of day are you finding the bees? If it's late afternoon, I'd be particularly concerned (I'll go into that in more detail below).

      For the yellow spots or clumps... could those be pollen? I'm kind of guessing you've already ruled that out, but I really can't think what else it might be.

      Sticking to the floor is something I've not seen either. I suppose they might have regurgitated their collected nectar? Though that's not behavior I'd expect, nor something I've seen in struggling bees, who usually are in need of extra food, and would not be giving any up like that. The only other thing I can think of is bee blood, which has a transparent/pale/yellow look to it.

      Smaller wings may be slightly easier to explain, especially if it stands out to you, and you're accustomed to seeing these bumble bees with normal-sized wings. It's likely a sign of not having had enough food in their larval form. Which is probably a sign of a dearth of floral resources at the time they were raised.

      I don't wish to raise the specter of pesticides when other causes may explain what you're seeing, but I will suggest it as another possibility here. I used to live in rural Oregon, and all our wild bees were so healthy and happy there. After wildfire, I relocated to an urban area in California (to be with family), and I'm seeing many more problems in this area, somewhat similar to what you're seeing. There were a few days the other week where it felt as though dead and dying bees were raining down from the sky (I found sixteen in an hour I believe). All were acting as though they were cold (barely moving, tilting to one side, not trying to fly), and yet it was warm out. Most died within minutes, but a few weren't as badly affected, and for those I administered plentiful sugar-water and kept them overnight, since they clearly weren't going anywhere under their own power. In the warm sunlight of the following mornings, these bees all departed, seemingly alright, but to me the signs point to acute pesticide poisoning (some simply weren't as exposed as others, and perhaps I managed to flush their little systems, I don't know).

      I mention this since finding large numbers of bees acting like this (as though they're "cold", even in the late afternoon on a warm day), is likely a sign they've been exposed to something acutely toxic. Another aspect of the "bee kill" I witnessed was that many of the bees were smaller adults than usual, which speaks also to malnutrition. Smaller, undernourished bees will be less able to deal with other stressors, sadly.

      I wish I had more positive answers for you! I do hope you find fewer of them in the coming days. I'm still finding the odd bee acting as I described on sunny and warm late afternoons, but thankfully they're not everywhere I look anymore. Other than encouraging neighbors not to use chemicals that might harm bees, it's hard to know how to help prevent this.

      Again, I'm not able to say with any certainty why you're finding bees struggling as you are, but I'd suspect something along these lines may be at least part of the answer. Though I do wish that weren't the case!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you elise

        Yes its certainly warmer here than it has been.

        I've not seen any for a day or 2 so I'm hoping that's a positive

        I'll let you know how it goes

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Deborah

  8. I found a bumble bee wandering around a large dirt patch in my yard, I tried shooing him, but he wouldn't fly away, so I offered my hand. (I'm seeding the dirt, and it needed watered, and I know bees shouldn't get wet.) He (she?) crawled right up and I brought him to my flower pots, and he went at every flower in there. He still won't fly, though. Offered a little sugar water, which he drank off my arm, and he still won't fly. It is warm today, already 90F, so I moved the plant pot to the shady bit of my yard in case he was too warm. Wings look ok, but for one itty bitty spot at the edge. He's not shiny, nor can I see any bugs. He's a little longer than the pad of my thumb.

    And he's still not flying off. Every time he tries, he just crash lands on the ground.

    I've left a small dish of fresh water (only 1mm or so deep) and dropped a little more sugar water on the flowers. He's been here more than an hour now, and I'm worried about him. He's a docile, friendly little thing.

    Any advice? If he doesn't fly away? Have I just acquired a new "pet" ?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Becca

    1. That's surprising if your bee continues not to fly off, on such a warm day. I'm trying to recall the temperature, but it's definitely above 100°F that bees may have trouble (105-110 perhaps, if I recall)? Since they're cold-blooded, they respond well to heat generally.

      Crashing when attempting to fly can happen when they're cold, but it shouldn't happen if they're well fed and warm. I wonder if there's some kind of wing damage that is hard to see? Feel free to reply to this email with photos or video. That's good you've provided sources of energy and a very shallow dish of water too.

      I've been meaning to write up what to do if one ends up with a bee that can't fly, as they seem to respond positively to being given a safe place with food in which to live out their days. That is what I'd suggest, if you're up for it: some kind of enclosure for some or all of the time, along with access to flowers that such bees show an interest in, and also supplementing with sugar water to ensure they're getting sufficient energy. Ideally keep them somewhere cool and dark at night, basically mimicking indoor/outdoor rhythms of light and warmth.

      I hope your bee does regain their ability to fly though! That's one thing that I wish we could help them with. There are interventions for monarch butterflies to allow flight after they've lost it, but bee wings differ between bee species considerably. They're also quite complex: all bees have two pairs of wings, and the wings on each side hinge together with little hooks that catch as they extend their wings to fly.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  9. My daughter found a bee (we think bumble) today, we initially thought it might be dead as it was moving so little but I noticed a small amount of movement in the legs so we gave it some sugar water on a leaf. It was doing so poorly it didn’t manage to do more than fall into it with its tongue out so I rolled the water and bed into a position that it wasn’t sitting in a pool. We’ve since moved the bee to a large net enclosure with flowers and sugar water on a butterfly feeder. The bee seemed to have perked up a little but then stopped moving entirely. I assumed it was asleep so gave it time but after around an hour there was still no movement. I moved her gently on a leaf and still nothing. We thought she had died but in a last attempt I tried breathing on her and after a few attempts her legs began to twitch. Do you know what could be wrong with her and what we can do to help her?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Emma

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your bee, I don't think it's too promising from what you've said. If she has tattered wing edges, she might be an old bee. She may also be suffering from any number of other ills that may have shortened her life (internal parasites are surprisingly common in bumble bees).

      Have you tried putting her in direct sunlight to warm her up? If her tongue continues to be out, with only occasional leg twitches, it typically means she's at the end of her life, and all you can do for her is to make her comfortable (and keep her safe from ants, which would pull her apart while she's still clinging to life). Did you see her drink any sugar water? I would try sunlight and extra warmth if you haven't already, to see if she improves at all.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thanks for your reply. Her tongue has been continuously out but her wings look in good condition - but they’re up and haven’t moved?

        The sun is setting here now so I can’t put her in sunlight, she responds if I breathe onto her to warm her though so don’t know if I should try to out her to a source of heat? (It is fairly warm weather though).

        If it’s parasite should I be concerned about them spreading in anyway - we are using a butterfly net that we may one day use again for caterpillars.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Emma

        1. Oh, I should have known by your locale that there's no sunlight to be had right now! I'm concerned about her tongue remaining out, that's not generally a good sign. I would still keep her overnight, somewhere a little cooler but safe from ants and such. Then, if she's still with you come morning, I would put her out in direct sunlight and offer more sugar-water then too.

          I'm honestly not hopeful that she'll make it through the night, but I am curious if you've tried putting a very small drop of sugar-water right at the tip of her extended tongue? As to any internal parasites she may have (which is just a guess, knowing it's common for them), they'd be bumble-specific, and they'd be confined to her gut, so there's no danger of contaminating your butterfly net. I wish I had a more positive prognosis for you, but her signs are not so good 😢

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

          1. Thanks again for your reply. I do think she has drank a bit of the sugar water. I have put some daisies in with her too and at one stage she moved slightly from the daisy back to the sugar water (less than a 1cm distance) but since then she’s been laid on her side. She doesn’t look good at all 😞

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Emma

            1. Quick update: since last night she hasn’t moved at all and appears to be dead in every way, but when go to check we get a little bottom wiggle in response to warm breath. It seems really bizarre as in every other way the bee appears to be gone. It’s as if the bee is in a deep sleep/coma. Is there an explanation for this? Is there any way she could recover or is it kinder to stop trying to prolong the process at this stage?

              Reply

              Leave a Reply to Emma

              1. Sorry for the late reply, I'm on a different time zone (plus we keep odd hours). I'm sorry to hear about your bee too, she does sound on the edge of leaving this world. I think other than making her comfortable, there's nothing to be done. It is at least better for her to pass away somewhere free from ants (who would certainly try to carve her up and take off the pieces in her current state). I had really hoped that today in the warm sunlight, she might recover (I have seen that before), but it sounds like whatever she's suffering from is terminal 😢

                Reply

                Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  10. There is a swarm of bees on a grass verge, who do I contact to relocate them somewhere safer?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kat

    1. I'm sorry that I only just saw this! I'm also not quite sure about your location (I did see you put in what may be a town name, but I didn't even know the country for sure). So what I'd do is a web search for your area along with the words "beekeeping association". You may find one immediately in your area, or you may find a website that links to various associations in a larger surrounding area. Beekeeping associations typically post phone numbers and email addresses for people who are involved in running their associations, and I'd call one of these folks, as they'll be able to figure how to get one of their members out to relocate the honey bee swarm.

      The honey bees will be trying to work out where to go too! They may well find their own spot that's a safe place to start a new hive. They'll have sent scouts out of their own looking for a suitable new home, and so they may be able to take care of themselves in this way, even if they chose to stop somewhere precarious briefly. Though it's a bit early in the year for a swarm.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  11. Hi Elise. Firstly thank you for all the information and time you give to us to help bees. I found a grounded bumble bee last night and it had a small white patch on the top of its left wing which I assumed was ant powder or some kind of poison as it had a tremor in its paws like it was tapping its feet so I assumed toxins were taking affect so I followed your guidance and popped a droplet of water on the area and the bee washed it off. However, when the bee tries to fly the white stuff appears to be coming from the top of the left wing where it attaches to the bees body. I took the bee in over night and followed your guidance (sugar water/flowers) and it’s feeding/drinking fine and wants to fly but can’t fly as the little wing on its left doesn’t move at all and white stuff keeps appearing. I can forward photos and video if I may have your email address. Any advice is much appreciated! H x

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to H

    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your bee. Without seeing the photos yet, I'm still going to guess that it's losing "blood", which in an insect's case is "hemolymph". It is not red like ours, but usually a transparent or pale yellowish color. Their circulatory systems are much different than ours, and their "heart" is a long thin organ stretching lengthwise from their head to abdomen. Their hemolymph bathes all their organs freely inside their bodies (rather than being contained in veins), and it is moved around when they move or fly, when certain special muscles contract, and also when this long heart of theirs acts as a pump.

      Bees don't go through any further metamorphosis once they're adults, so their exoskeleton stays the same, rather than being able to molt like a spider and slowly regrow a leg or heal damage. I read once somewhere that there may be some very limited capacity in exoskeletons to seal an open wound (I think I read about it in crickets or grasshoppers).

      You'll get an email from my website to which you may reply with photos and video if you wish! As to where to go from here, it sounds as though your bee is destined to be a flightless bee now. I will say that the urge to live is so very strong, and your bumble bee will continue to try to live so long as you're taking care of it. It's probably a matter of keeping it comfortable right now, and safe from attack by ants (who'll tear pieces off a live bee up to carry bits away, not exactly a comfortable way to leave this world).

      I don't know if you feel yourself in a position to offer this bee a home for the rest of its natural life, but that is probably the best case in your bee's situation. I've been planning to write up more details of doing so, as I've had a number of folks contact me lately, who are caring for bees with wing damage. Perhaps that's a judgment call that depends on the bee too, as I wouldn't like to see one suffer, but bumble bees are adaptable creatures with good learning capabilities, and some seem to transition positively to a flightless life with a human caretaker.

      I wish we could repair their wings! In the case of monarch butterflies it's been done, but bees wings are quite complex, they have four, two on each side, which hinge together with little hooks when they go to fly.

      In terms of long-term care, it's seemed that a mix of freshly cut bee flowers supplemented with sugar water works, and keeping the bee cooler at night, with an interesting habitat in which to become accustomed to its new, more handicapped, lifestyle. Some folks take their bees out in a supervised fashion during the day to walk over and drink from flowers outdoors, before bringing them in safely for the night. I do wish we could do something to restore their flight though!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you so much Elise. I will email you the photos/video and keep the wee one safe and fed. X

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to H

  12. Hi, thanks for what you do 🙂.

    I found a Tree bee on the carpet at work 3 days ago, she seemed to be struggling with movement and there was also some kind of sticky goop on the stinger, she kept trying to remove to no avail, so I assisted with a piece of paper.

    I gave her some 50/50 suger water, but didn't want to place her outside while I was working, so I put her in a tub with tissue and suger water, then turned that rooms radiator on and continued my work, checking up on her from time to time. Hours later, she was still struggling and wouldn't fly, so I brought her home in a container with some cut flowers and suger water inside.

    3 days later, she's more mobile, but not even trying to fly. Any advice to help her is greatly appreciated 🙂.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sol

    1. I wonder what was stuck to her, and if whatever she got into is still having an effect on her? Do you happen to know if she's a worker tree bumble bee (smaller, around 11mm) or a queen (larger, around 15mm)? I don't think she'd be a male, as those are usually around later in summer. I'm guessing she's a worker based on the time of year, but it'd be good to know for sure. As a worker bumble bee, she'd be best released near where you found her, so that she can return to her colony when she's feeling better. Although I realize she's not in any state to return yet, if she's not even trying to fly.

      Warmth and sugar-water should have revived her, and she should at least be trying to buzz her wings, even if she's not getting liftoff. If she's not responding to these, then there's something else amiss. Since she's still with you 3 days later, it would seem that overall she may be in good health, but perhaps there's some damage that isn't obvious that is preventing her from recovering fully and flying off?

      If you could try taking some close-up photos of her (perhaps some video too), it might help me with diagnosis. Feel free to reply to my email with photos/video, so that I can take a closer look at her. In the meantime, I'd continue to keep her safe while she's not as mobile as she should be, and continue offering cut flowers and sugar-water. I think it depends on the flower how long a cut one will retain nectar, so I'd keep adding those regularly for her, so that she has some real nectar as well as sugar-water (the latter is great for emergencies, but there's no doubt that nectar—with its additional trace elements—is healthier in the long run).

      Bumble bees can also suffer from various ailments, including internal pathogens and parasites, but those shouldn't really affect her flight as far as I know. The fact that she had some kind of sticky goop on her when you found her suggests some kind of physical damage... even a little bit on her wings could cause her problems, though I think you'd have noticed if she had any elsewhere on her body. My only other thought is that perhaps she simply needs to be a bit warmer... have you tried her in direct sunlight to see how she responds? I'd try that at work, so that if she is able to fly off, she'll know where she is, so she can find her way back to her colony.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  13. Hello! I have recently come across an injured carpenter bee. He is male, and almost one of his entire wings looks like it’s been ripped off, it’s still attached but most of the wing is missing. We have had several bad rainstorms and so we took him in and put him in a bug habitat with a couple live flowers and sticks, as well as some dirt, honey water, and water. I’ve been misting the flowers in the morning to give him some few for when he crawls around but I’ve noticed he’s been losing his balance a lot and falling into the shallow caps I filled with water and the honey water mixture. If I have live flowers in there and am picking flowers daily for him, do I need the honey water dish and the water dish, or could I just keep the water dish and give him some more walking space so he hopefully doesn’t fall in? Any help would be greatly appreciated! He’s already perked up a lot and “flies” around in my hand and up my arm, and by fly I mean more like propels himself forward because he still can’t fly off ground!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kale

    1. There was someone else here who took care of her male carpenter bee (who had wing damage) for a month. I wish I’d heard back as to whether the feedings she mentioned were only flowers, or whether she also supplemented with sugar water, as I was curious about this too. My inclination would be to supplement with sugar water to be on the safe side, since it’s hard for us to tell how plentiful nectar is on a given flower. Also, once picked, I’m not sure how long their nectar lasts… it likely depends on the flower variety.

      I do think it’s a good idea to be offering flowers, you may simply need to offer a large number, and be sure that they’re ones you’ve seen other carpenter bees on too ideally. You can also add a drop of sugar water to the center of some cut flowers at times in the day. I did hear from the other person that her bee had many feedings daily, though I never did find out the frequency. I believe he’ll get enough water from the mixture, without needing water separately.

      I’d be really interested to hear how it goes for you, and see some photos/videos too (feel free to send them in reply to my email). It certainly appeared in the other person’s case that they both settled into a happy routine together, and she took him out for supervised visits on the flowers outdoors too. Had her neighbor not maliciously put pesticide there one day, I think the bee would still be with her, as these have relatively long lives (around a year), although your bee will have already overwintered as an adult, so his natural lifespan probably ends sometime around the end of summer there.

      Not having a working wing is sure to make him clumsy for awhile. I wonder if he’ll learn to adjust a bit, and be less clumsy? In the meantime, I’d definitely keep shallow caps/dishes away, and go with adding single drops of mixture to cut flowers to ensure he’s getting what he needs. The more you can provide live flowers though, the better, since there are trace elements in different nectars from which he’ll benefit. I’m not sure how one might design an enclosure for him to walk across his favorite seasonal flowers, but it’d be cool if it were possible to come up with a “bee run” outdoors! Though he’s certainly safer with you, indoors in a cool room at night 💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  14. I have a conservatory with flowering plants in. The door is open all day and I don’t use pesticides!

    I find all types of dead bees every day. It is so upsetting. If still alive I try to resuscitate with a drop of organic honey but it is often too late.

    Any advice?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lisa

    1. It is certainly concerning, and shouldn’t be the case. I take it that this is unusual compared with previous years? Are they honey bees, bumble bees, or other bees (many types of bees are quite tiny)?

      I saw something similar here one day last week (since our wildfire, I’m temporarily living in an urban area). Although it was only for one day, it felt as though bees were dropping dead from the sky, it was dreadful (I ended up finding 15 in under an hour). Mostly honey bees, but there appeared to be some tiny (1cm or so) solitary bees dead and struggling too. Some bees were in better shape than others (a single honey bee seemed less badly off than the others, though it still needed an overnight stay; I was surprised that it seemed better in the morning and flew off, but I certainly did my best to flush its system with sugar water, and it drank a large amount too).

      I’m guessing that in instances like these, it’s likely acute pesticide poisoning. Somewhere nearby the bees are getting into something dangerous. There are plenty of dangerous pesticides still on markets, and homeowners particularly tend to overuse them when they use them (thinking that more will work better). That’s really the only explanation I have for seeing dead bees in any number, as documented “bee kills” have always been traced back to pesticides.

      By the way, it’s better to use sugar water than (even organic) honey, as honey from one hive may introduce problems to another (in the case of honey bees), and some illnesses that bees have also spread between types of bee if they share the same food. Though flowers are sadly another vector, so we need more healthy bees!

      Other than trying to raise awareness in your area, I’m not sure what can be done. Lab analysis would reveal the source, but it would be involved to test for the many different substances. If they’re honey bees, you might inform your local beekeeping association. If they’re bumble bees, I’d mention it to someone at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust ( https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/contact-details/ ) to see if they might know whom to put pressure on (if it’s pesticide usage overseen by a part of government). The problem is that it could be from any number of sources when you’re in an urban environment.

      I wish I had a better answer! Education and awareness in the end, we simply need to keep promoting it, as a livable world depends on us.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  15. I found humble bee with baby on it's back crawling ... What should I do ? 🤔😭

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Gille

    1. Sounds like they’re mating! Male bumble bees are quite a bit smaller than females, and pairs often crawl about while coupled 🐝💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  16. I saved a bee out of my pool at around 5pm last night. I immediately put him in the sun to dry off. I noticed the little guy was not flying away when the sun started to set. I put him in a ventilated shoe box over night in my house. I went to release him this morning at 10, and he won’t fly away. He is also not drinking any sugar water. He just walked to and sat in the middle of the flower I put next to him. He is still there. Is he ok? What is wrong and why won’t he fly away? The temp is hot out so I did put shade over him. It’s suppose to be 90 degrees today.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kels

    1. It may well take your bee a little time to get going! Being cold-blooded, they take longer to warm up in the morning. I would actually remove the shade and let your bee "soak" in sunlight, as it'll help your bee get moving faster. They're not like us in terms of needing shade, unless it gets super-hot (90 is fine for them). So long as it's a bee-friendly flower (one that you see other, ideally similar, bees feeding from), your bee should be able to have breakfast too, which will help it get moving again!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you ! I actually did not know that shade would be bad for them. I was sitting in the sun with the bee to ensure no lizards would get him since I have a bunch in my backyard and I was burning up lol i thought he would be too. I actually just went out to remove the shade and the little dude was gone :) he flew away !

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Kels

  17. We rescued a bee from our pond- we took her in to warm her up, despite her becoming more lively her tongue was still sticking out.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Salena

    1. I take it that she did not try drinking sugar-water, or if she did, that her tongue was still extended after? It's possible she simply spent too much time in your pond... bees breathe along the sides of their bodies, and she may simply have had too little air for too long.

      Unfortunately I don’t think there’s much one can do in such cases, other than helping your bee to be comfortable in her last moments. According to a research paper I read recently, tongue extension that persists into death can be associated with a number of causes: starvation, suffocation, insecticide poisoning, and food contamination.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  18. Hello, so this morning saw a bug bumble bee in our garage on the floor it wasn’t moving and I though it was dead but when we came home hours later it had moved a foot or two . We’ve gone through a drastic weather change here. It’s been in the 70s and 80s and now we have a freak snow storm so I think the cold and wet got to this bee. I made a shoe box and a little sugar water and was able to get the bee to crawl onto a paper towel and into the shoe box. It’s supposed to snow and be cold the next couple days . It already started moving more and warming up I think in the house . So not sure how long to keep it for Or if they can be released in the snowy weather . Thanks!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ashley

    1. It'll help to provide a safe haven for your bumble bee overnight (for likely a couple of nights). I wouldn't release your bee in snowy weather, as she'll be too cold to fly (and nectar will be harder for her to find). Such unpredictable weather isn't good for bumble bees!

      Keep your bee's ventilated shoebox in a cool room (or even in the garage, so long as it'll remain undisturbed by things like ants or mice). That way she won't get confused by warm temperatures in your house, and think it's time to go, when it's still snowy outdoors.

      So long as your bee is kept somewhere cool, she also won't need much sugar water, but still offer some from time to time (carefully, since cold bees are clumsy, and falling into sugary water is no good)!

      I'd keep an eye on your bee at first (and from time to time), just to make sure she's settling in and calm. It's helpful to give bees a safe place to shelter until warmer weather returns. I'd move her enclosure into an area with natural light during the day, but still keep the temperatures cool to discourage her wishing to fly off.

      Any day in the 60s (even low 60s) would work for releasing your bee. Hopefully your weather warms up again soon! Feel free to reply with any questions, and enjoy your temporary house guest 🐝💛🏠

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  19. I had a bee fly in my house two days ago but when I opened the door to let him out, he disappeared. Fast forward to today, I found him belly up on my kitchen floor and brought him outside immediately with sugar water. He started drinking it and after 10 mins I figured he’d be ok so I went in the house. I noticed it started raining heavily so I went to make sure he was gone but nope. He was still there, alive but weak. I brought him in to dry and it’s been 3 hours now. He’s still having trouble moving around and is now refusing sugar water. I made him a little set up for over night but will he make it?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Toricarole

    1. I hope your bee will make it! There are other things that might be happening, but optimistically, your bee has simply had enough sugar water, and is simply cold (or still a bit wet) and moving around slowly as a result.

      There are a couple of hints to determining if you have an old bee: tattered wing edges, and a less fluffy appearance compared to a bee of that kind normally (I'm not sure if you have a bumble bee or a honey bee—or another kind of bee—so fluffiness is kind of relative).

      They also suffer from other things including internal parasites, viruses, and pesticide exposure. It's not possible to diagnose those in a live bee, but you're giving your bee the best chance for survival, for sure! It's promising that your bee drank up the sugar water earlier, and is now (I assume) standing on its legs properly, even though moving slowly.

      I would check on your bee from time to time, to ensure your bee is in no obvious distress, and then leave the enclosure somewhere cool but safe tonight (access to sugar water is fine, so long as there's no way to fall in clumsily).

      I hope your bee feels better in the morning! Hopefully your weather will improve, and there'll be some sunlight for your bee to bask in, come morning.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  20. After we had a bout of bad weather i keep getting bees in my bathroom about four and couple in the kitchen i have been feeding them but why do they look like they are dying i cant understand where they are coming from i found one in my washing basket too..

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ruthie

    1. Hmm, there must be some small outdoor entrance into your bathroom (near a window, possibly)? I'm guessing they're just seeking shelter from the bad weather? Do you know if they're honey bees, bumble bees, or some other kind of bee? If you reply with photos to the email you receive from me, I might be able to say a little more, but right now I'm a bit puzzled too!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  21. It’s 50 degrees F. here, pouring with rain. I rescued a small black and white bee from the ant moat of a hummingbird feeder. I’ve put in in a box covered in plastic with holes punched in the top. I put some dry flowers in and a little dish of sugar water. It is hiding under the foliage but has been moving around. I don’t think it’s flying yet. Is it OK to release it when it stops raining?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Penny

    1. Yes, I'd try releasing your bee when it stops raining, even though 50°F is a bit cold. I'm guessing your bee was wet from being in the ant moat (and rain)? Ideally put the bee box somewhere indoors where it'll be able to dry and warm up a bit. Hopefully the sun will come out after your rain stops, and then you can put your bee (either in its box, or placed on a bee-friendly flower) somewhere in the sunlight to finish drying and warming up. It might take a little time to get going, but so long as your bee is warmed up (with a bit of sugar-water as a boost if it wishes), it should be able to fly off and continue on its day!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. It’s stopped raining finally. The bee had some sugar water - quite a lot actually - then started buzzing and flying around the box so I took off the cover and he’s flown away! Success! Hope he makes it back to his hive safely - still 50 degrees.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Penny

  22. I rescued a cold wet bee in the rain in Vancouver. I brought it into my kitchen in salad greens container that I poked some holes in. It perked right up with some indoor warmth and a little sugar water. However it is only been 10 minutes and now I have it in a container in my kitchen and it is buzzing around. I think it would like to leave. What do I do now? Keep it for the night or release it into the cold rainy night? It’s not raining that hard…

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to El

    1. It's sort of up to you... your bee is already better off, and having been "charged up" with warmth and sugar-water, it might well make it back to wherever it was going. They can fly in light rain, it's just harder for them.

      If it's a honey bee (there are photos above on this page) then I'd let it go back to its hive tonight. If it's a bumble bee, consider keeping it overnight (putting it in a cool room should stop it buzzing around inside its container). Though as I said, it's already better off, so if it looks like it really wants to go, consider letting it out (so long as it's not heavy rain nor below 52°F). It'll head to shelter if you let it go tonight, and it'll keep its warmth just by flying for some amount of time (using their flight muscles does warm bumble bees up too).

      If you do decide to keep your bee overnight, keep an eye on your bee at first to make sure it slows down (so it's not still trying to get out). Cold always slows them down. In the morning warm your bee up in a warmer room and offer more sugar-water before releasing it.

      Bees do have to shelter in odd places sometimes (waiting out cold and rainy weather), so it's nice to give them a safe overnight spot if they seem to need it 🐝💛

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. I should’ve mentioned it is 6°C here which is 42.8°F. I don’t really have a cold room in my house although I could open the window and shut the bathroom door with the container in there I suppose. I had put her back outside sheltered from the rain but it sounds like it is too cold so maybe I will bring her back in and try to keep her cool in the bathroom if you think that is a better idea.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to El

        1. That's cold for a bee! She may be fine overnight outdoors, if she's sheltered where you put her. She'll be pretty much immobilized by cold if she doesn't fly off, so ideally she'll be in a spot where she can't easily be seen as potential prey by a bird, for instance (birds, being warm-blooded, will be up and flying tomorrow morning sooner than her).

          If she's still out just where you put her, you might consider giving her a home for the night, though it means moving her again, which she might not be so keen on (and it's good not to stress her).

          If you do bring her in, I think leaving your bathroom cold with an open window would work well. If there's some outdoor safe area to put a bee container overnight that's another option, but you'd probably have mentioned if there was.

          All this to say, try to "listen" to your bee, but I don't think she'll be going anywhere in 43 degree weather (certainly not far, even warmed up beforehand). She'd likely be safer with you overnight, I'd think!

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  23. Yesterday, we noticed a honey bee swarm on our property. About half of them were in a cluster in a pine tree; about half were spread in a flat pile on the lawn beneath the tree cluster. As the day got warmer, more moved into the tree cluster. Today, as the day wore on, the tree cluster disappeared and only the oval (about foot in diameter) on the lawn remained, and with a cool night coming they are very quiet. Tonight's low is forecasted to be 38 degrees Fahrenheit. TWO QUESTIONS:

    (1) Is the colony on the lawn in danger of night critters (deer, skunk, groundhog, ???)? If so, we could try to wrap wire fencing in a large circle around their oval.

    (2) Is the forecasted low of 38 degrees likely to harm them?? If so, is there anything that can be done to promote their survival??

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Gerry

    1. I'm more familiar with wild bees than honey bees honestly, though I do have some knowledge of honey bees from both extensive reading and also from beekeeper friends.

      What I can say right off the bat is that something seems wrong here, as honey bee swarms should all be clustered together, and I'm not sure why a large number of them ended up on the ground. Also 38 degrees is too cold for them, I think it will harm them. Critters might harm them too, but I think the cold is their most immediate danger. Also, if this was part of the swarm on the tree, and all the main bees in the tree have already left, then their queen likely went with the main swarm, and so any remaining bees are ill-fated in any case.

      I would suggest verifying this with local beekeepers, and I have a link for you with contact information for some folks that should be able to help further with suggestions, even at this time of day I hope:

      https://www.mdbeekeepers.org/swarm-retrieval-list/?sort=wp_s2member_custom_fields-swarm_counties&dir=SORT_ASC

      The results at the top of this page show people you might try calling right away, to find out if there's more to be done for the remaining bees. Perhaps they could be picked up by a local beekeeper and added to an existing hive safely, before it's too late for them.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  24. Hello Elise! I found a carpenter bee on my porch tucked between the screen and railing like it was seeking shelter. It’s 52 degrees and rainy here. I read your post on helping bees warm up and making an “air-bee-n-bee” inside but she’s not perking up. I offered sugar water and she didn’t seem to drink so we put her in a box but I’m worried she’s stressed and it’s making it worse. I want to keep offering sugar water even with her inside the box but wondering if leaving her be to warm up would be best? How long should I wait between checking in so I’m not causing undo stress? We love our carpenter bees and even made them a home to use if they wish (though the usually prefer the porch wood haha) but really hoping this one pulls through. Any pointers or even things specific to this bee type to help improve her odds? Much appreciated by myself and my guest.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lauren

    1. It's definitely good to "listen" to your bee (each one is different in their own ways, individually as well as between species). This one sounds as though she was likely looking for a place to shelter until the weather improves. Usually carpenter bees shelter inside their nesting tunnels, but as I mentioned, they don't all do the same things, and perhaps this one was caught out in the rainy weather unexpectedly, thinking she had time to make it somewhere else.

      If your bee looks as though she wishes to get away, you could try warming her up inside her enclosure in a warm indoor room, keeping a close eye on her as she warms up. As soon as your bee looks very active, try putting the box open out on the porch. Your bee will probably be surprised by the change in temperature (and the rain!) if you do this, but she might well be warm enough to get back to wherever she'd planned to be heading (especially since that may well simply be a small excavated hole in your porch)! Although I know it's getting later where you are, so I'm a little tentative about recommending this for sure, but it does depend on her too, and her desire to be on her way again, even if it's late in the day and cold out.

      If your bee has no interest in the sugar water, that's fine, she may not be particularly hungry. If you have better weather in a day or so, you could also keep her in an enclosure indoors, but only if she seems relatively content (and in a cooler room, where she doesn't waste energy trying to get out). I realize that's a bit of a judgment call! Bees often have to wait out spells of less-than-ideal weather, and the colder they are, the less able they are to move (which leaves them fairly defenseless if they happen to choose a poor spot to wait). It's for these reasons that I often encourage folks to keep their bee overnight—plus it's also a way to bring people and bees together, which tends to bee beneficial overall!

      Since there's no way to explain to a bee that we have their best interests in mind, they may feel some stress. I think the stress can be reduced by placing things in their enclosure enabling them to hide if they wish (some fallen leaves, for example). Keeping her cool (matching outdoor temperatures while keeping her out of the rain and away from predators) also helps, since bees naturally slow down when they're cold. I'd probably check in on her at least every half hour or so to begin with, and if she's hardly moving, check less often. At night, so long as she's in a cool location, she should be fine unwatched. You might also try dropping a bit of sugar water in the center of some cut bee flowers (ideally ones you've seen other carpenter bees on during the day) and putting those inside her enclosure, to give her the option of lapping up some energy without the stress of a human watching overhead!

      I've been meaning to write more about carpenter bees, as they're much maligned pollinators. It's interesting that they can be semi-social bees: in environments with more nesting resources, each female tends to be solitary, but in environments with fewer nesting resources, females tend to pool their resources by living together. They reuse nesting cavities too, which end up being multi-year projects. There's some interesting information about their lifestyles here (albeit with mention of deterring them too): https://extension.psu.edu/the-eastern-carpenter-bee-beneficial-pollinator-or-unwelcome-houseguest

      I'm so happy to hear that you consider your carpenter bees to be welcome guests! Feel free to let me know if anything changes with your bee, and I'll try to respond quickly with thoughts.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  25. Thank you for your help Elise, I had a honey bee on my screen barely moving today. I brought it in and gave it the sugar water you suggested through an eye dropper and with in 15 minutes it came back to life and started buzzing. I placed it on my window seal and it left shortly after that. Thanks again for your help!😄

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Debbie

    1. That's wonderful to hear! It's amazing how quickly bees often recover with a little extra energy boost 🐝✨

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  26. Found a bumble bee in a container of water. Looked almost dead, very wet. Placed it on a pice of kitchen roll and offered the end of a teaspoon with some sugar water which she eventually drank from. After half an hour her legs which looked all over the place, started to look more normal and she started to dry her body with her legs. Another half hour passed and she started to fluff up and had another drink from the spoon. It's too cold to release her tonight so we've put her under a ventilated see through grape carton with the teaspoon of water with the view to releasing her in the morning. My question is, would it be a good idea to put a few small flower heads in with her overnight? Many thanks Elise

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tone and Treeze

    1. I'm so happy to hear that your bee is feeling more revived, and that she's had some sugar water. I think it'd be a nice idea to put some small flower heads in with her overnight. Even though they lose their nectar fairly fast once cut, I think it still might help "raise a bee's spirits" as it were (the more research that's done, the more it seems as though bees are subject to various states of mind, for instance being delighted at times, and at other times stressed). It strikes me that a happier, more comfortable bee will recover better.

      Make sure to keep her enclosure somewhere relatively cool tonight, so that she doesn't waste any energy attempting to escape, thinking it's warm enough to be out and about. Also make sure there's no way for her to fall into the teaspoon of sugar-water (she likely won't need anything more to drink until morning anyway, so long as she's somewhere cool and not expending energy).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  27. Thank you for your website. I appreciate what you’re doing. Yesterday I found a bumble bee outside which seemed to be struggling. It was on a road and seemed unwilling to fly but can walk. I brought it home and tried to feed sugar water but it was refused despite being easy to access. All it seemed to want was my warm skin and my black jumper or socks to crawl into. So I brought it in yesterday evening in a box as you suggest. You said about light so we moved it to a box with light but it just kept trying to get out. We then tried it outside but it didn’t seem to like any flowers we tried it on and only wanted black fabric and skin to walk on. We aren’t sure if it’s been feeding or not but it’s had access at all times. As it still doesn’t want to fly or be on flowers so we brought it back in again. We have put it back in the original dark box now for a rest in the warm as that seems to be what it wants. But we don’t think it’s prognosis can be good if it won’t fly or be happy on flowers. What do you think we should do? We are happy to do anything to help it.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Rowena

    1. That's good that you're "listening" to your bee! Although I could be wrong, it does sound as though you simply have a cold bumble bee there. Is your weather forecast more promising tomorrow? 12°C is cold for a bee, though a well-warmed bumble bee might well still be able to fly at that temperature (so long as it's not raining too).

      Definitely make sure that your bee isn't so warm tonight that she wastes energy trying to escape. Placing the enclosure in a cooler room helps slow them down for the evening, mimicking outdoor temperatures—all without the danger associated with being stuck on a road, or seen by predators while being unable to move.

      In the morning, assuming your weather is more favorable, I'd place her on flowers in direct sunlight and leave her there for awhile... sometimes it takes them several hours to get going again, and so long as she's on bee-friendly flowers, she'll be able to sip nectar while soaking up warmth from the sunlight.

      If it's a cooler day, you might try warming her up well indoors first, before placing her outside on some bee-friendly flowers and keeping an eye on her to see how she behaves. If she's well-warmed up, she should be able to fly.

      Let me know if anything changes, or if you have any further questions. It's kind of you to be offering a helping hand to a bee!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you so much for your help. She’s downstairs now where it’s a bit cooler. Unfortunately it’s due to rain tomorrow as well and we think she may have an inured wing. She moved her wings a little a few times but asymmetrically so we think there is likely a problem beyond being cold now. Hopefully with some good fortune tomorrow she’ll be a bit perkier and the sun will be shining. We will take her out and see if she’s up to it or if not she can stay longer. I really appreciate your advice. Long live all the bees.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Rowena

        1. I wish there were things we could do to help in wing injury cases! I have seen bees hold their wings asymmetrically (when they're cleaning, for instance), but I admit it's a possibly concerning sign. I looked up your weather forecast, and Sunday looks potentially promising? It'd be good to see how she does once she bathes in the sun for awhile.

          All bees have two sets of wings, by the way: a larger and a smaller wing on each side, which they use together as one wing. Before flying, a bee hooks each set of wings together (with a row of tiny hooks on the leading edge of their hindwing, which grab onto a ridge on the rear edge of their forewing).

          If you end up keeping her indoors in her enclosure for most or all of Saturday, simply keep an eye on her from time to time. You might try dropping sugar-water onto the center of cut bee flowers in her enclosure, if you haven't already.

          I hope she perks up with better weather, and that any possible issues with her wings don't prevent her flying!

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

          1. Thank you for your information about their wings. 🐝 It is very interesting to know that. It was sunny for a bit and so I took her outside but she again didn’t seem to want flowers, and chose my hand again so I brought her back in. Then she stung me when she got stuck in the back of my top but she’s no less welcome. She has a box to live in with nice things in it. She seems very keen on the sock in it. Although we have given her moss and flowers as well. If it’s nicer weather we will try putting her out again or we could just keep her here for the rest of her natural life if she keeps choosing the hand over nature. We will keep giving her the choice to leave if she wants to though.

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Rowena Lawrence-Thorn

            1. It's quite amusing to think of a bee so fond of a sock ☺️ It's also kind of you to offer her a home for as long as she wishes, even after a bit of stinging! I've spoken with a few other folks who've kept injured bees, and it seems as though it can work out quite well for both people and bees, if the bees choose to live with them. It certainly beats trying to survive outdoors without being able to fly, which is a dangerous life for a bee, and inevitably one that will end quickly (either from starvation or predation).

              Like all living creatures, their desire to live is strong even when injured, so having you helping her makes all the difference! It's hard to say how long her natural lifespan might be... it's typically fairly short for bumble bees (one or two months), but without the ongoing wear-and-tear of foraging she may live a little longer than average. If she were a queen, she'd live for about a year (having been born in late summer, hibernated through winter, and in spring founding a colony lasting throughout the ensuing summer; if she were a queen, she would look unusually large though, and she's definitely not a he, as males are only about in late summer).

              Do let me know how it goes, I wish you and your possibly long-term guest all the best! 🐝💛

              Reply

              Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

    2. Just to add it’s about 18 Celsius in the house and about 12 Celsius or less outside and due to rain this evening.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Rowena

  28. Hi, a bumble bee landed in the doorstep. She didn't move, but rolled onto her back, stretched out her back legs, rubbed her tum with her front legs. It was a showery warm and sunny day. I brought her in after 15 minutes, fed her as you suggested, but she remains with her head pressed into the ground and her back legs rubbing together. She's made no effort to drink. I'm worried she's been poisoned.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lizzy

    1. I apologize for replying so late (I've been dealing with some unusual disruptions in the neighborhood). Your bee's symptoms don't sound good, and I'm sad to say that I don't think there's anything you can do for her. Bees shouldn't ever be rolling onto their backs like that, even if they're exhausted. I wish I could give more advice to help her. There's no way to know for sure if she's been poisoned, but it's certainly a possibility. Even with occasional rain showers, bumble bees are typically able to forage happily enough, and get back to where they wish to be at night, so long as it's still warm and sunny some of the time. If she's still with you come morning, I'd try placing her on some bee-friendly flowers in the sun, but I think that making her comfortable is likely all you'd be able to do for her at this point. It's kind of you to care about her, I wish I could offer happier advice.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Hi Elise, thanks for getting back to me so quickly! Sadly you were right and the poor soul suffered on for a couple of hours before becoming permanently still.

        I'm going to place her beneath my honeysuckle tomorrow morning. Looking back on it all, she was thin looking and sparse of hair, so maybe she just got old ( I'd like to think that anyway).

        Thanks so much for your good advice, from now on I'll be looking after any struggling bee I find.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Lewis

  29. Hi!

    This afternoon I came across a drowning bee in my dog's water bowl. I scooped her out with a leaf and after having read an article on your website I moved her to a flower in the sun. Unfortunately the sun was setting and it was getting colder so I moved her again, to a different flower, so she could catch the last rays. I also gave her some sugar water.

    I left her for a while but when I went back she hadn't moved and was still soaking wet and it was cold outside even for me, so I picked her up again and took her inside where I put her inside a large metal basket-like container with some more sugar water and a few flowers I picked from the garden. Her wings unstuck and she dried perfectly and started walking around. I decided to keep her in the "cage" overnight because I was afraid she would be too weak to fly and she might walk and fall, and because I wanted to put her back near where I found her so she wouldn't get lost. I am however afraid that maybe after she had dried up I should have just let her go? Will she still be okay in the morning? Thank you!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Fran

    1. She should be fine come morning! Is she a large, fluffy bee like a bumble bee, or a smaller, less fluffy bee like a honey bee?

      In either case, she probably wouldn't have moved much further had you taken her back out after she dried, since she'd probably be too cold to fly at that point (and yes, they do 'bumble about' and even fall when they get cold, especially if they're too cold to fly, but still trying to walk). So she's safer with you in all likelihood for the night, rather than cold and unable to move (as well as easily spotted as prey on a flower).

      Make sure you keep her enclosure somewhere cool-ish overnight, so she's not expending energy trying to get out, thinking it's warm enough to be flying outdoors. In the morning, put her out near where you found her, in warm sunlight ideally. She should be on her way once she warms up fully!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  30. Hi there, I was on my building's roof today, and saw this big bee (almost a quarter sized) that was barely moving ,and had its abdomen area throbbing. It was trying to fly, but couldn't really do it, and kept using its back legs to clean its abdomen/butt area. I couldn't tell if it was injured so I tried so many things: sugar water (using both a shallow plastic lid and a dropper to put puddles near its face), moved it to a less windy area, and also a sunnier area - I even put it on a slice of pineapple. It really wanted nothing to do with me and kept moving away from me. I think I saw it suck a little juice off of the pineapple slice for a second before it went off of it. Not sure what else I could do? I have pictures of it, but not sure how to post them.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Serra

    1. It sounds like a queen bumble bee who was cold (since they're so large, it takes quite a bit of energy to fly).

      I don't think there's anything else you could have done, and it sounds as though she would have been fine after flying off. Everything you reported was normal, from her abdomen throbbing (a kind of heavier breathing, since they breathe through little apertures along their bodies), to her continued cleaning (they're clean little creatures, and often clean themselves while they're warming up), to her trying and failing for awhile to fly.

      Moving your bee to a less windy and sunnier area is definitely helpful (as is offering sugar-water). They're not typically attracted to fruit, but perhaps she did try a little! Even though they're cold-blooded, bumble bees can also warm themselves up by decoupling their flight muscles from their wings and vibrating them (which makes them appear to "shiver").

      Feel free to reply to my email with photos!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you! She seemed to be gone by today, hopefully she found her way. Glad I did everything I could do to help her, that's good to know for the future. I appreciate your love for the bees, our planet, and sharing your knowledge.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Serra

  31. It's been a bit colder at night here, not normal for this time. And I have been finding "dead" bumble bees in my yard. I don't use pesticides and I have been making a more friendly environment. Why do I keep seeing dead bumble bees all over my yard?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Shannon

    1. What are your temperatures currently? There are a couple explanations that come to mind. The first, more hopeful one, is to wonder if these bumble bees are really dead, or simply cold and unmoving. Being cold-blooded, bees caught out in cold or rainy weather often cling to the undersides of flowers, waiting for however long it takes for warmth and sunlight to return.

      The other thought is that somewhere nearby, perhaps someone is using pesticides? One should never see large numbers of dead bumble bees, that's highly unusual. The only time I've seen large numbers have been after acute pesticide poisonings, and along roadsides at certain times of year. Dead bumble bees could be a result of someone using pesticides nearby, even while your yard is bee-friendly.

      Feel free to reply to this email with photos. Dead bees are distinctive with their legs curled in towards their bodies (often with tongues protruding), whereas cold living bees look normal enough, they're just not moving. I hope you simply have cold bees there!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  32. Thank you so much for your reply yesterday! I have a new dilemma today for the same bee. She is still alive, I've moved her to a cooler location. Today's issue is that our efforts to make sure she has safe access to sugar water have led to some sticky spots in her box, which she got stuck on! Is there a way to "wash" her, to get rid of the excess stickiness?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bianca ("B")

    1. Yes, there is a way to wash her gently, though it's good to be very careful. Keep in mind that bees breathe through tiny holes along the sides of their body. That's not to say they can't get wet (they do get rained on occasionally, and get wet when they've not found a perfect place to shelter in). But she can't be immersed in water.

      What I've advised others (and had positive feedback on) is carefully dropping just-slightly-warmer-than-room-temperature water on the sticky spots... not too much, your aim is to moisten and dilute the stickiness. If you have a clean dropper, that's helpful. You'll want to warm her up afterwards too, so that she can dry off. Once she's warmer, she'll also most likely begin cleaning herself, removing any last sticky residue loosened by the water.

      If the sticky spots aren't on her wings, it's of less concern, by the way. But if there are any spots on her wings, it's important to dilute that dried sugar-water so that she can freely move her wings. You'll probably want to have her in a room where it's warm while you're doing this, as it takes them a little time to warm up, so even with her box open, a still-cold bee isn't going anywhere.

      Keep a good eye on her afterwards, ensuring she's warm enough to finish cleaning herself, but not so warm that she starts to buzz around inside the box, which could be stressful for her, since it's still not good flying weather outdoors yet (hopefully tomorrow)!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  33. I found what I think is a baby bee lastnight...it was on my hand keeping warm I think. I found your website and made a little box home and gave some sugar water too. Today it hasn't had any sugar water and is just sitting there although it has had a little walk around. It's around 10 degrees and it's a little before 8am uk time as I write this. Concerned first time bee momma 😟🥰

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to BeeKind

    1. I apologize for my late reply, I'm on west coast US time, and fell asleep earlier (and awoke later) than typical, so I'm only just seeing your message. Do you have any warmer weather coming up, closer to 13°C (ideally above that)? It's not particularly concerning that your bee is just sitting around, not drinking sugar water today. If it's cold, your bee will be naturally slowed down, and since she's not flying around, she won't be using or needing much energy.

      If you have better weather on the horizon soon, you might consider keeping her indoors in a cool room in her enclosure, since she's safe with you, and she'd otherwise simply be sheltering outdoors, immovably cold (which would make her easy prey, were she found). She'll drink if she's hungry, so occasionally offer sugar-water, but don't leave it in her enclosure (so she doesn't clumsily get sticky while you're not looking, and also so as not to attract ants).

      Once you have a warmer day, move her enclosure into a warmer room, and offer more sugar-water to give her an energy boost. Ideally, your warm day will come with sun, and you'll be able to place her box in direct sun, near some bee flowers. It may still take her awhile (a few hours) to warm up and get going that day (placing her gently on a flower is a good option too once the day is warming up).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  34. Help! Found a struggling queen bee 2 days ago. Gave her some sugar water on a cotton round to avoid drowning. She hasn’t moved. I used a Qtip to see if she has succumbed to the cooler temperatures. Her reflexes are still in tact.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Gloria

    1. I'm guessing you mean a queen bumble bee? How has she reacted when placed in the sun (if you have sun)? Have you tried warming her up, to see if that gets her moving again?

      When they're cold, bees can be quite immobile, but given warmth (and a sugar-water boost), they usually respond quite quickly. If you don't have any sun, but it's still above 55°F outdoors, you might try placing her on some bee-friendly flowers to see if that helps. If it's cold though, she may simply need to wait until it's warmer to fly.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  35. I found a lovely bumble in my driveway last night, close to sunset. She was very still but alive. I found your site, and I brought her in the house, made a box up for her and gave her some sugar water. I could see her drinking, so I was encouraged. This morning, I could hear her buzzing in there! Here’s my question: it’s only 34 degrees today with snow flurries!! It is forecasted to be 56 degrees with sun on Friday, will she be ok for 2 more nights in her bee hospital? Do I keep giving sugar water?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bianca (aka “B”)

    1. She'll be perfectly fine with you for two more nights! Just make sure to keep her enclosure somewhere relatively cool but still protected (mimicking the outdoor weather to some extent, but without the snow flurries)! Keeping her cool will naturally slow her down, so she doesn't waste energy buzzing around her box. She'll definitely be much better off waiting until Friday, when there's sun and temperatures closer to 55°F!

      I would look in on her occasionally during the day, offering sugar-water from time to time (especially if she's been moving about a bit more). If she's buzzing/flying, move her box somewhere cooler. She'll let you know if she's hungry by extending her tongue into offered sugar-water (if she puts a middle leg straight up in the air, it means she feels a little concerned that you're a bit too close)!

      Depending on where you put her box, it is probably wise not to leave sugar-water in there (owing to ants finding it, and attacking her while she's too cold to defend herself properly). Also there's the risk she'll fall into the sugar-water accidentally if you're not keeping an eye on her. She won't need much if she's mostly inactive.

      Once Friday comes, you can take her enclosure out and place her in full sun, also offering sugar-water that morning to top up her energy. It may take as many as a few hours before she leaves, but you can give her a head-start by warming her enclosure up in a warm room indoors first, and then releasing her once the day is warming up well (often late morning, depending).

      If anything changes or you have any other questions, just let me know! I've spoken with many folks who kept bumble bees for several nights at a time. Outdoors, they'd simply be sheltering somewhere (likely under leaves or a flower), immobile owing to the cold, so she's safer with you currently until the weather improves 💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  36. I found a bumblebee curled up on the ground this mirning. it was around 45°F. I didn't think it was alive until I moved him and he started to twitch his little legs. I brought him inside where it was warm, I didn't have sugar but I had stevia, I mixed it with water and tried to get him to drink. no use. he was moving, cleaning himself, but then fell flat on his lil face. he shot out some liquid, I assume was emptying his bowels? and then some yellow stuff came out from his back end :( he laid motionless, so I put him in a flower bed. is there anything I could have done differently?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to shay

    1. I'm sorry to hear that your bee didn't make it, but it sounds as though your bee was most likely near the natural end of their life when you found them. The yellow stuff that you saw was simply bee poop, and it is likely a natural feeling, to go before expiring. There's nothing else you could have done, other than keeping your bee safe and comfortable so close to the end of its life 💛

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  37. We have appx 20 acre property that we are working on slowly so we go every few days, and we found a bee swarm in a low bush about head level. It was large but when we went back hours later It was double the size or more. we went back about 3 days later to find it gone, except about 20 bees. All on top of each other, I thought maybe it was the queen hanging out while the workers got her hive ready, but another 4 days went by and those same bees are still hanging out. What should we do?

    I wanted to cut down the branch but don't want to hurt the bees.

    Fyi, I rescue bees from my pool all the time and I tried giving them a better place to get water but they still use my pool.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Starfish

    1. Hmm, I'm not sure what to advise honestly (I'm more experienced with wild non-honey bees than honey bees). I'd contact one of the beekeeping associations close to your area (I believe these would be the Houston Natural Beekeeping Association, the Houston Beekeeping Association, or the Harris County Beekeepers Association). The name, phone number, and email address is available for each association's main contact person here: https://texasbeekeepers.org/local-beekeeper-associations/

      Usually beekeeping associations will offer advice on dealing with local swarms, and someone might even come out, depending on whether or not there's a queen bee there still? From what I know of bee swarming though, twenty bees seems way too low, they swarm in their tens of thousands, staying together with the queen in the center, only sending out a handful of scouts in different directions.

      That's too bad about your pool, perhaps you could float a few odd things in it more permanently, so they're more likely to be able to scramble back to safety? Honey bees certainly are drawn to water!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  38. Hi I found a bumblebee on its back in my garden. so I put it in my strawberry plant bed and offered it sugar water. It had a drink and I went about my gardening as it was a warm day I thought it would just be tired,at around 8pm noticed it was trying to fly but could only manage afew inches off the ground. I decided it would be best to bring it in for the night, so I made a shoe box up of so greenery, cherry blossoms and dandelions. When I held out the cherry blossoms it did seem to eat from them. I then brought it in and kept it over night. This morning as I opened the lid I could here it buzzing around do I was hopeful it would fly away. I took it out side but the same thing happened again, it tries to fly but can only manage a couple of inches. So I offered it sugar water but it wasn’t interested, I picked new cherry blossoms and it did seem to eat this. The weather isn’t fantastic today (7c/44f) and it does look like it will rain so I am unsure of what to do. It’s currently resting in its shoebox with the lid off on the window sill, I’m hoping it’s just to cold for it ? Any advice on next steps would be grateful :)

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kirsty

    1. It definitely could simply be too cold for your bee... I've seen them try to buzz and fly, only to fall from being too cold (but able to fly once warmed up). Other than keeping the shoebox open in the direct sun throughout the day (and offering more sugar water), there's little one can do (another way to offer sugar water is to add drops to the center of picked bee flowers such as cherry blossoms, by the way).

      It is possible that there's some wing damage to your bee, but your temperatures seem low enough that it's likely just cold. Once your weather is warmer (closer to at least 13°C/55°F), your bee should be able to take off, even if it takes them a few hours of warming to get going. Sometimes bees do spend several days waiting out chilly weather, hardly moving at all. Sheltering safely is the best thing to do during such weather spells (beneath leaves, underground, or like your bee is right now with you).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thanks Elise for advice we are currently on day 3with bea (her nickname) you may be right about some damage as yesterday the weather did get warmer and she was actively buzzing but still didn’t taken off. Everyday when the weather allows I Put her outside in my strawberry patch (which my cat has now taken to guarding from birds lol) with a very small branch off the cherry tree and then I bring her in, in the shoe box on the evening where I put a few drops of sugar water in the blossom for the night she seems to eat them and off she goes under her leaves for the evening. I will keep trying to put her out in the sun but it looks like I may of acquired a pet bee for now lol

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Kirsty

        1. Yes, you may end up taking care of Bea for awhile, if you're happy to do so! Is she a particularly large bumble bee (do you think she's a queen)? Or do you think she might be a (smaller) worker bumble bee?

          Someone who contacted me recently ended up keeping an injured male carpenter bee for a month. She and her bee sounded quite happy together, with feedings on flowers during the day, I believe some supplementing of sugar-water, and a safe place to rest each night. Had her neighbor not sprayed a shared garden area with pesticides without her knowledge, I think her bee would have lived out its entire natural lifespan with her (which can be close to a year for carpenter bees).

          Bumble bee workers don't live for so long (usually a few weeks), but bumble bee queens may live for up to a year. And it may be that as far as the workers' lifespans go, they'd live longer if they weren't out foraging each day (honey bees are like that... workers in summer that forage daily live short lives measured in weeks, but when it comes time to overwinter as a ball of bees together, the workers live for months instead).

          Let me know what happens, I'd be interested to hear. It sounds like you're providing as natural a life as possible for her currently. If by chance she heals from whatever is preventing her from flying, then one day, perhaps you'll see her take off. Otherwise, you'll have a fuzzy bee companion for awhile 💛🐝

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  39. It’s chilly today. Found a medium size bumblebee on my lawn. Looked you up and voila! Fed the little guy sugar water out of an eye dropper while holding him on my fingers. Out came his proboscus and he’d had a long drink. Recouping in a container of dry leaves and dandy lines. Moving around a lot better. I’m gonna feed him again at bedtime. Hope tomorrow is warmer and that he makes it thru the night. Thought I might get stung but he was so gentle. Thanks.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Di

    1. That's great to hear! Good idea with the dropper too. Your bee may not need a drink at bedtime, if it's not moving around much (though feel free to offer some, as it'll choose if it wants to have any or not). Bees wind-down naturally as evening comes on and temperatures drop, so don't be surprised if you find your bee sluggish later on (it's good to mimic approximate outdoor temperatures if possible, while still keeping the bee's enclosure safe from the elements and tiny predators such as ants and mice).

      I'd imagine your bee will welcome an energy drink tomorrow morning, once the day begins warming (though don't be surprised if it takes awhile for your bee to get moving, as bees seem to wake up slowly, in my experience). Hopefully tomorrow will bee warmer (though occasionally bees end up waiting out several days of cold or rainy weather, before they're able to fly about foraging again).

      Yes they're gentle creatures, I'm sure your bee appreciated the warmth of your fingers, as well as your kind help! 💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. My little guy had a good rest and a big breakfast. I found a yard with tons of bumble bee loving flowers and placed him lovingly on a bunch with his relatives. He went right to a bud . He hasn’t opened his wings yet which worried me a bit but it’s a beautiful day and hopefully they’ll strengthen today. I think I have too much time on my hands lol. However my brief time with this cutie gave me such pleasure. Oh, he’s living across the street from me so he can come and visit. Male worker bumble bees don’t sting right?

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Di

        1. That's wonderful to hear you had a beautiful day for your well-fed and rested bee, with plenty of other bumble bees around, and all the good bee flowers! Nice to bee right across the street too ☺️ You are right, male bees don't sting: bees' stingers are modified ovipositors, originally used for egg-laying rather than defense (by their waspier ancestors).

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  40. I found a bee yesterday and mixed water and sugar put in sun brought in at nite nd still not flew away just walking about but keep rolling on it’s side or back what can in do I got flowers but don’t want it to be suffering can someone help me

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jax

    1. If your bee is still not able to stand on its legs or fly, and is not improving after drinking sugar water mix, or when warming up in the sunlight, then unfortunately there is probably something else wrong. It may be suffering from an unseen injury, dealing with internal parasites, exposed to pesticides, or it may simply be near the end of its life (older bees tend to have frayed wing edges).

      I wish I could offer more advice on helping your bee further. I realize it's late there now, so it's not as though you can try your bee outdoors on the flowers again tonight. Did the bee extend its tongue and drink any sugar water, that you saw? Sometimes putting drops of sugar water in the center of cut flowers helps a bee realize that there's energy to be had. Also, it does take them time to warm up, depending on how cold they are, maybe even a few hours. But it does sound to me as though there may be something wrong in your bee's case, other than simply being cold and lacking energy.

      If it's beyond help, but still alive, it'd be good to make your bee as comfortable as possible. I'd likely place a bee gently on flowers, or keep it undisturbed in a semi-enclosed spot open to the air in the day. I'd place bee flowers in the box, and locate it somewhere that ants won't discover and carve up the bee while it's still alive. I'd likely bring it in at night, leaving the enclosure in a cool spot away from any discovery by ants or animals.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  41. Hello Elise. This is the second day in a row that I have woken to find a cold and exhausted bumble bee in my living room. I don't know if it's possible for the same one to make the same mistake 2 days in a row, but today I'm worried. The bee I found yesterday wasn't nearly as still as this one, and after just a short time, I was able to let it climb onto the cherry blossoms on a tree I have. Immediately, it started drinking nectar and in just a few minutes was able to fly again. The bee I have today, was on its back trying desperately to right itself and had stopped trying when I found it. I had to follow the sound. Anyway, I scooped it up with a scrap of paper and let it slide gently into my hand to try to warm it. The wind is terrible today and it's not much above 50 degrees. The bee was struggling, naturally it was scared, I don't know if talking in a soothing tone works for bees or not, but that's what I did, and it didn't seem to work. It just struggled until it couldn't. It was on its back, not moving at all in the palm of my hand. I held it for about 30 minutes and it started trying to right itself again and when it started to crawl from one hand to the other, I brought it out to the cherry tree and held it to a blossom, but it didn't have the strength to hold on, and the wind was really whipping so I brought it back into the house and put it in a small box, where it just laid on its side, exhausted again. (I'll have to take the towel out now though.) That's when I turned to the internet, and yours was the first site that caught my eye. I made some sugar water with organic, raw sugar and spring water and tried putting a tiny drop on its proboscis? Under the tip of it like you instruct. It took a long time, but it did start to move again and seemed to go for the branch full of blossoms that I put in the box with it, just in case, but my hope was dashed once again when this bee started trying to get out of the box. It has been in the same position for almost 2 hours now. I put sugar water in the cap of an empty gallon water jug and put a couple pebbles in it so it wouldn't tip over if the bee tries to drink, but I'm losing hope. It's still alive, but won't try to move. I was wondering what kinds of greens to line the box with. It's supposed to remain windy and they are calling for rain again tonight, so I don't want to put the bee outside. Also, you write to put things that may be interesting in the box. I was wondering what kinds of things they might be. I really want to save this bee.

    Thank you so much for your time, and all the information you've provided to people who care.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Suzie

    1. Thank you for providing so much detail, and for caring for your bees so much! I hope it’s not the same bee making the same mistake too! First off, I wouldn’t lose hope, as a cold exhausted bee can seem much closer to death than it actually is. I would certainly keep her in her enclosure for the night, since wind and rain are difficult at the best of times for bees, and no good at all when they’re so much out of energy. I think the cherry blossoms (small twigs with blossoms) are a good thing to put in the enclosure, as you’ve done already. Since flowers don’t keep their nectar for long once they’re detached, I’ve sometimes dropped small amounts of sugar water mix on the centers of the flowers, so that the bee is able to get energy quickly, whilst still “naturally” drinking from a flower (sometimes, though not always, individual bees have a hard time recognizing a small dish of sugar water mix as food). I’m happy to hear you protected against the bee falling clumsily into the sugar water mix too. In terms of other things to put in your enclosure, sometimes they like to hide under dead leaves, as it likely makes them feel safer and more protected. I would keep the box somewhere cooler (but indoors) tonight, and keep checking on your bee from time to time. It’s probably going to look very sluggish for awhile, but so long as she’s had a little to drink, she should be fine, even if she’s moving very slowly. It’s not the best sign that she’s not always able to stay on her feet, but I think if she has sugar water available (both in a dish, and drops on the flowers in her enclosure), she should be able to improve with time. You might keep her enclosure somewhere indoors that’s a bit warmer currently, so that she has enough energy to stay on her feet, and also to drink some more sugar water mix. Not so warm that she tries to buzz off, while it’s still such intemperate weather outdoors, but warm enough that she’s able to move about if possible. Let me know if you have any further concerns as you observe her, and feel free to reply to this email with photos/video should you wish. I do wish you and your bee all the best!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you for responding so quickly, Elise. I took the towel out of the box and lined it with fresh green moss and put a couple pieces of twig just for something different. I hope the moss is alright. I know it has Iodine in it, but I'm hoping it won't hurt her. I put her box in my bedroom. It's the coolest room in the house but is heated. I will pick up some dead leaves for her and thanks so much for suggesting the sugar water in the blossom centers. I never would have thought of that. She was starting to move around a bit but was dragging her big back legs. I get very emotional when another living thing is in distress. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been born with so much sensitivity, but times like this make it bearable. Thanks again Elise. I'll let you know if anything changes.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Suzie

        1. Dear Elise,

          It's a very sad day for me. The bumblebee died late this morning. She started dragging her back legs late yesterday afternoon. She managed to burrow under the moss last night, so I was hopeful when I brought her back out of the bedroom. She was having a hard time getting out from under the moss, (Just small chunks), so I thought maybe she was cold. I put her box in the sun and tried to warm her in my hand, but her back legs were still not working. She was also curling up often. I had a feeling she was in pain. She pulled herself onto my sweatshirt and just stopped moving. I had to touch her once in a while to make sure she was still alive, but eventually her legs started curling around her abdomen, and about an hour later, she was gone. I'm so sorry I couldn't save her. Thank you for your help, and for this website. Most of all, for caring.

          Sincerely, Suzie

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Suzie

          1. I was just thinking about you and your bee. I had almost written earlier, to say that the behavior of dragging her large black legs might be a sign of unseen injury (that symptom seemed more than simply one of exhaustion, especially when she didn't perk up with warmth). We've no idea what happened to her before you found her. At least she had a comfortable and safe place to rest, rather than being targeted by ants while still alive, as often happens to injured bees on the ground. It's really good of you to care, I know how it feels seeing these little creatures in distress, but you did all you could for her 💛

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  42. Went and checked on my bees today we had a bad storm yesterday and the lid blew off the one box ..it was raining and turned to snow I put lid back on .would the bees have survived threw this cold weather ?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chris

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that. It depends on how long the hive remained open. Honestly it's unlikely that they would have survived, but it really does depend on the length of time the lid was off, the amount of rain and snow, and the health of the colony itself going into this. Colonies will try their utmost to survive by huddling together, but you'll have lost some bees on the outer edges, and likely brood too.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  43. I have found a bee with paint on its wings what can I do to help it I have it o a plate with flowers and things to keep it on its feet for now in my porch

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Zoe

    1. I wish I had a happier answer for you. It depends on the amount of paint, and whether the bee can still move its wings properly to fly.

      If the bee can't fly, there's little you can do besides making your bee comfortable. Cut flowers won't keep their nectar for long, so you could either set your bee up in a warm but sheltered area outdoors with a flowering plant, or offer sugar-water as a substitute food.

      Putting your bee out if it can't fly is likely an invitation for it to be prey though, but keeping it in an enclosure isn't an ideal life either.

      It's worth hoping that your bee might still adapt to flying, even with paint on its wings. I don't know if it's warm enough where you are for it to have tried flying?

      It's an unfortunate situation for a little bee, I wish I had a better answer for you. I think trying some kind of solvent would simply hurt the bee, much as it'd be nice to remove the paint. It might just be alright if it's not too much paint (too heavy), and so long as the paint isn't overlapping its double wings (bees have four wings that fold atop each other at rest, and which catch on little 'hooks' so that each pair on either side of the bee forms one wing surface in flight).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  44. This morning I found a Bumble Bee slowly making its may around. It would walk just a little, then stay in the same spot for long time. Its wings aren't detached yet. The weather here is not above 13°C/55°F, and it's quite windy out. What should I do do help/save this little one?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Brady

    1. How is your bee doing now, if it is still nearby, that is? If it's a large bumble bee, it's likely a queen recently emerged from hibernation. It is common for recently emerged queens to spend some early spring days moving very little, owing to cold weather. If it's quite windy as well as cold, it's not at all surprising that your bee opts to clamber around the ground looking for shelter, rather than taking flight.

      The key is that they be somewhere relatively safe while they're unable to move much (to defend themselves), and for there to be food within close reach. One thing to try is to offer a boost of sugar-water and a little warmth (from your breath, skin, or a brief stint indoors in a ventilated enclosure) so that the bee has some energy to find a safe place to stay until the weather warms up. You might also try placing your bee on a patch of low-growing, bee-friendly flowers if there are any nearby (I say low-growing, since bees are clumsy when cold, and will fall from taller plants, lacking the energy or warmth to climb back up). They'll often find their own shelter amidst these flowers, while awaiting better weather.

      You also have the option of housing your bee temporarily (as described above on this page) until weather conditions improve. The goal is simply to ensure your bee is somewhere it won't be easy prey, until the weather improves. It's worth noting that bumble bees can handle slightly lower temperatures, especially if there's any direct sunlight, since they do have the ability to generate a little warmth on their own. They'll typically try (on their own) to find places offering nectar that are also sheltered. For instance, I've seen them curled up inside crocuses at night, since these flowers close tightly and keep the bee dry, with plenty of food close by!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. So the bee is now it a little home. It's still sluggish. Unfortunately I have offered sugar-water 1:1 to it twice now but it doesn't seem to want it, and it fell in when It was circling the bottle cap it's in. Is there any way to dry her?

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Brady

        1. She should be able to clean herself, so long as she's warmed up a bit and is moving better. It's ideally best that they clean themselves, since they're delicate creatures. So long as nothing looks as though it'll dry stuck together with sugar water (her wings, for instance), I'd let her take care of any cleaning to be done.

          In some cases, it may be helpful to drop ever-so-slightly warm (but mostly room temperature) filtered water droplets on your bee, simply to rinse off excess sugar before it dries. But so long as she's warmed up a bit, I'd imagine she'll clean herself off, and top up on energy in the process. She'll air dry just fine inside an enclosure too.

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  45. Found a carpenter bee in the waterbowl outside. Scooped him up and brought him in. It's only going to get to about 54⁰ out today. Is that too cold to release him? I gave him some dandelions because he had no interest in sugar water. He seems to be having a good time eating from the flowers currently. I don't want to keep him longer than necessary but also don't want to release him if it's too cold for him to survive.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Amanda R

    1. That's good you thought to offer dandelions! Sometimes they don't recognize sugar-water as actual food, since it doesn't look and smell like a flower. Do you have any sunlight today? 54° is low, but I think it's warm enough for a carpenter bee if the sun is out. And if your bee was already out, then it is probably close to warm enough.

      I think the thing to do would be to ensure your bee is dried out fully first, well-warmed indoors (in a temporary enclosure). Then try releasing it outdoors near flowers and see how it behaves. Ideally being nice and dry, well-warmed and fed, it should be able to fly off to wherever it had planned to go, before it fell into the water bowl!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  46. My house has carpenter bees and has for years. We protect them but the 4 that are here this year see to be under attack. Well friday I found one of the males is hurt and is flightless so I have been taking care of him as best as possible. How can I help him have a good rest of his life? I feed him flowers and water. He hangs out on my shirt and we spend time in the grass. He sleeps on a plush pillow beside me. I just him to have the best time he can for whatever time he has left.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tiffany

    1. Aww, it sounds like you've developed quite the bond with your carpenter bee. And I think it's wonderful you protect them every year too!

      It sounds like you are taking good care of your bee. I'm sure your bee appreciates your warmth while hanging out on your shirt! Carpenter bees have surprisingly long lifespans for a bee, of around one year (and up to three years for certain females). However, lifespan is dependent on their overall health, and having been attacked and lost their wings is not conducive to long life.

      I would continue to offer sugar-water to your bee, and protect it (as you've been doing) from further harm. Freshly-picked flowers will retain their nectar for a little bit, while potted plants with flowers will continue to produce nectar, so you might try bringing in some flowering plants in pots too (choose flowering plants that you've seen other carpenter bees feeding on in your area).

      As far as having a good remaining life, other than shelter and food, and being gentle and kind with your bee, there's little else to be done. I wish there was a way to give them new wings (some monarch butterflies receive wing-repair treatment). I'd take your cues from your bee, as it'll let you know if it's agitated at all. I would doubt it would live as long without its wings, as it may have suffered in other ways owing to having been attacked, but giving it time on flowers in a safe area should help provide it with additional nutritional boosts not found in sugar-water alone.

      I have heard that giant resin bees (native to Japan and China) have been seen attacking carpenter bees. These non-native bees have mandibles that are not strong enough to create their own nesting cavities, so they love using ones that carpenter, mason and leaf-cutter bees might use as well. If you see a sticky, resinous substance on the outside of nesting cavities, that's a sign of their presence (although it's a little early in the year for them, as adult resin bees usually emerge in early summer).

      I wish you and your bee friend well 💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. The bee is still thriving and doesn't seem to be going down not even one bit. He has actually become a favorite friend of the people I see running errands. Soon as I walk in everyone asks "WHERE'S BEEYONCE?"

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Tiffany

  47. Yesterday was a beautiful sun 70* day that turned into a nasty high wind storm and low 50s. After work I decided to take my hammock down due to the high winds. That then I found a bumblebee taking shelter on my hammock so I gently scooped him up and placed him in an empty flower pot I had let him rest overnight. This morning is in the low 50s and still a bit windy. I put some fresh cut grass and some sugar water in his flower pot. He's very stiff. Weather is not to warm up for another 3days. Is there anything more i can do?

    Hope he makes it.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Saphirebaby13

    1. It's so kind of you to have gently relocated your bumble bee.

      Your bee should be fine for the next three days outdoors, so long as the flower pot provides some shelter. It is not at all surprising that your bee appears very stiff when cold.

      One thing to watch for would be attracting ants if you leave the sugar-water outdoors, as they can move at lower temperatures and might possibly harm a cold, unmoving bumble bee.

      Another thing to do is to place the flower pot somewhere where the sun will hit it, once your weather warms up again. Also, if it's not a clay flower pot, it may be hard for the bumble bee to climb the sides (unless it's an upturned flower pot, weighted down and positioned such that the bee can crawl out from beneath it when it wishes).

      Other than that, your bumble bee should be just fine until the weather warms up. It probably won't need sugar-water until it's time to fly again, so you could simply offer sugar-water again in 3 days time, on the morning of the day when it will warm up again.

      On that day, make sure your bee is in a sunny and warm location... the more it is bathed in sunlight, the faster it will get buzzing!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Update. He happily fly away this morning. Thank you

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Saphirebaby13

  48. Hi there! I’m in Atlanta. While walking my dogs tonight, I came across a bee on the sidewalk that wasn’t moving. I crouched down and gave it a tiny pet and could see it was still alive. It was 6pm, chilly (54 degrees), windy, and the sun was going down.

    So I ran the dogs home, made some sugar water, and came back. The bee is small. I poured some sugar water on the ground and it immediately started drinking it. It did get some on its feet so I was a little sad about that. I stayed with it about ten minutes and it drank that whole time. Then I went home.

    Three hours later, I’m laying in bed and couldn’t stop thinking about my little bee friend out there in the dark and cold laying on the concrete. And now with wet feet. So I went out to check on it and it was still there.

    I’ve brought it home and put it in a little container for the night. Thank you for your advice as it really helped me help him (I think it’s a him).

    His wings aren’t tattered and he has hair so I don’t think it’s old. I don’t see any injuries. He’s a little wobbly/clumsy so I think he was just very cold. Drinking regular water too.

    Do their tongues always hang out? Are their very front two legs always in the bent position? He’s only using the back four legs. Climbed onto my finger and didn’t sting me.

    I’m an accountant. Not a bee expert but I don’t believe it’s a bumblebee or a carpenter bee. Maybe a honey bee.

    I hope he survives the night and just got caught out in the cold. Thank you for all that you do!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Denise

    1. I hope your bee feels good by morning! Keep in mind that a cold bee can look a great deal like a lifeless bee. Warm your bee up in the morning and offer more sugar-water. Don't be surprised if it takes your bee a while to get going, with false starts and more clumsiness.

      Bees' tongues should not usually hang out visibly. However when they're in need of rescuing, it's not uncommon to see their tongues hanging out: it's a sign that they're starving (it can also be a sign of pesticide poisoning, but let's hope not).

      In terms of bent legs, I wouldn't worry too much, it's a sign of exhaustion in this case I think, as well as being cold. Your bee should feel much better once it warms up again, having had a safe place to rest, and sugar-water to drink.

      Wet feet aren't ideal, but as soon as your bee is rested and restored, it'll be able to clean its feet of any residual sugar. It's kind of you to have gone back out to check on it and bring it in 🥰

      Hopefully the morning brings some warmth and sunlight! Even if it's not all that warm or sunny, you can give your bee an extra boost of warmth and sugar-water in the morning to help it get going again. I wish you both all the best 💛

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. It’s Denise again. Went down this morning and my little bee friend had gone to bee heaven. The lawn people for our townhome community were here yesterday. I hope they didn’t somehow have something to do with this. I think it was pesticides because his tongue was way out. I’m a little broken this morning. Thanks for your help. Big sad.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Denise

  49. I live in northeast Ohio and I found a bumblebee on the porch. I moved it to a safer place yesterday. This morning I checked on it and it was still in the same spot. We're having some pretty chilly temperatures and rain here for the next several days. I did bring it inside the house and it drank quite a bit of sugar water. What should I do with it now? Thanks.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Anna

    1. Good to hear that you topped up your bee with energy, and relocated her to a safer spot overnight! There are a couple of options for helping your bee further. I'm guessing it's a queen bumble bee because of the time of year too, so by helping her, you help several hundred future bees ☺️

      The most hands-off option is to find a good sheltered spot for her near some low-growing early spring flowers. Bumble bees like to be out of the rain, and at this time of year, I've seen them take shelter under leaves, under flower petals, or even inside the flower itself (if the flower closes at night). Assuming she's a queen (a particularly large bumble bee), you don't need to worry about releasing her near where you found her either, which frees you up to look for the perfect spot elsewhere. Ideally the spot you find would also be bathed in sunlight (once the weather improves, that is), and not make it easy to see her from above (by a bird that might wish to eat her). If you warm her up a little indoors, offering more sugar water, and then place her in such a spot while it's still daytime, she should be able to find a good place to shelter for the next several days. That's what she would do without help too (but we can help by placing her in an ideal spot).

      The other option is to keep her in a ventilated box overnight (somewhere cool, because the cooler the temperature, the less bees move, and there's little point to her expending energy while awaiting better weather). There are suggestions on this page for doing so, and the reason I suggest it is that it keeps bees safe from predators such as birds (since they can't defend themselves or quickly escape when they're cold). It's also a way for folks to observe a bee closely while helping it, building a connection that I think is important. But only do that if you're comfortable! They're able to survive outdoors even in chilly and rainy conditions, the idea is simply to tip the scales as much in their favor as possible, since we need every bee these days!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  50. Hi! My father recently brought in a bee, thanks to you’re guide, I now know for sure it’s a bumble bee.

    Anyhow, this little one has been moving, we gave him as much as we could regarding sugar. Possibly a bit too much, and my father gave him honey.

    We’ve had him for round about 2 days now. It seems he can move more but keeps on falling forward. My father said to realise him tomorrow, but I’d still like to help.

    Right now, it looks like it’s cleaning itself. I’m keeping her on my hand, I hope that’s not something bad.

    She keeps on moving her legs and tilting, I’m worried that this is something more than just an exhausted bee

    Please awnser as quickly as possible!

    My regards, Nina

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nina

    1. That’s wonderful that you’re taking care of your bee! I wish I could give you a definitive answer as to what’s afflicting her, but it could be a number of things, some serious and some not. I assume you’ve tried warming her up (ideally in direct sunlight)? If she’s on your hand, that’ll help warm her, and if it’s warm outdoors, going out with her on your hand into the sun might help restore her. Bumble bees are fairly clumsy when they’re cold, so falling forward and tilting can simply be a sign of being cold (bees really do like to be nice and warm). It can also be a sign of some kind of physical damage though, or even old age. Do you see any damage to her wings? If her wings looked ragged at the edges, that can be a sign of old age. While she’s cleaning herself and moving about, I’d still hold out hope of reviving her (even if it turns out that there is nothing you can do). I would continue offering sugar water, and see if warming her up well helps (I don’t know what time of day it is there, if it’s late wait until tomorrow morning to begin warming her up). Feel free to reply to my email with photos or video too, that might me help diagnose her issues further.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  51. I frequently save bees from our pool a lot of the times their lifeless and I bring them back just fine but sometimes I noticed the bees proboscis get stuck and it's like they can't retract it back into their mouth what can I do to help?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ally

    1. That’s great that you’re bringing back many of your bees to life! Have you tried leaving a shallow dish of fresh water out, with pebbles in it to make safe drinking spots for bees? As the weather warms, bees do seek out fresh water (especially honey bees, since they use it for cooling their hives). They’ll probably still go to the pool sometimes, but if you leave your dish nearby and keep it consistently topped up with water in the same location, that should help steer them away from the dangers of the pool over time.

      I used to think that seeing a bee’s proboscis stuck out was a sign simply of impending bee death. I’ve done some more research this morning though, and it looks as though it can be associated particularly with starvation, suffocation, insecticide poisoning, and food contamination (this wasn’t a nice study to read)! I’ve certainly heard anecdotally too that honey bees and bumble bees experiencing acute pesticide poisoning often die with their tongues sticking out (in the case of acute poisoning, there are usually other signs too though, such as excessive twitching and convulsions).

      Unfortunately I don’t think there’s much you can do to help if they won’t retract their proboscis, other than making those bees comfortable in their last moments. I’ve restored some bees before in this state, by putting a drop of sugar water directly under their proboscis, but those must have been times when they were very hungry, but not to the point of starvation, nor poisoned. Bees that do not retract their proboscis are likely past help, sadly.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  52. Hi there, I hope you can help me. I found a bee last night (bumble bee) it was not moving so I brought it home offered it some sugar water but it didn't want it. The warmth of the house brought it back to life and it was flying round the kitchen seeing as it was night time I kept it in the house over night but now that a new day has come i don't know what to do as its raining outside and its only 8°c outside so my question is what can I do with it? I must add I tried it with sugary water again this morning but again it wasn't interested.

    Thanks

    Hannah

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Hannah

    1. If you still have your bee, I'd suggest doing one of two things:

      Are any of the next few days likely to be closer to 13°C? If so, house your bee in a ventilated box as described above, and keep the box somewhere cool so that she doesn't waste energy flying inside her box. Release her on the sunniest and warmest of your upcoming days. Time of day would ideally be late morning, once it is already warming up outdoors. Warm her up indoors before releasing her, offering sugar-water again in case she'll take it. Since she's likely a queen bumble bee at this time of year, you can choose any good spot to release her, ideally near early-blooming flowers (bees love flowers from spring bulbs, such as snowdrops, crocuses and squill).

      The other option is to release her outdoors, even if it's still cold. Bumble bee queens are emerging at this time of year, and on cold days, simply move about very little (or not at all) outdoors, while waiting for the weather to improve again. The key here is to find the perfect safe spot. Somewhere your bee won't be easy prey, and a spot where the sunlight will fall for awhile once it's sunny.

      For example, bumble bees love crocuses, which grow low enough to the ground that a cold bee can slowly walk between flowers, even if she's too cold to fly. Flowers like crocuses have the added advantage of providing a natural overnight home for a bee, since they only open when the sun hits them. I've seen bumble bee queens sheltering for days at a time inside closed crocuses. The flowers close tightly enough to shelter a bee from rain, and there's food right there whenever she wishes. If you find a good patch of flowers, release your bee well-warmed onto one of the flowers, ideally in the middle of the day (the warmest part of a cold day), so that she has time to choose a spot to settle in for the coming days.

      (Apologies for my late reply, I'm in a different time zone and only just had a chance to look at this... your question is a good one, and I will fold my answer into this page for future bee rescuers like you!)

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  53. I found a bee in the garden, wet and lifeless on the grass. I brought it inside the house and then noticed a leech attached to it which I have removed now.

    I have given the bee sugar water and it is now warming up in my air buddy which it seems to like.

    I’m just concerned about realising it back into the garden as this time of year it’s cold out and wet.

    What would be the best thing to do next.

    Kind regards

    Sarah

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sarah

  54. I think I found a bee in my house. It’s black and white and bald and slow. It’s February here. 26 degrees today, very warm day. He doesn’t seem interested in the strawberry. No idea what to do with him in the cold. Would it be better just to kill him qucikly?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Hippy

  55. Yesterday there was what may be a queen bee on my grass moving very sluggish. In wet windy weather. I put it under a bench out f the rain with some sugar water. This morning he was still there in worse weather. I have brought him indoors and put him in a cotton bud container under a lamp with some honey. Is this right? Or should I leave him back outside? Sometimes he looks like he has a bit of energy and stands upright, other times he's falling about. Can you please advise me. Many thanks, Lisa

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lisa

  56. I have found a bee outside. We are due a very bad storm within the next few hours. I have placed the bee on a flower which is in a pot but I am concerned as it is going to be very bad weather. Should I place the plant pot into a shed? And put it back tomorrow once the storm passes? Any advice would help. The weather is going to be very bad, a red weather warning! She looks to be a queen bee so I would like to save her if I can

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Emma Kelly

  57. Help! We think our rescues bee has sugar water on its wings as it toppled over when on the spoon…. Now think the bee can’t open it’s wings because they are sugary … what do we do to help .. or is now moving so much more now that we looked after her in a box overnight …. We so want her to be able to fly away !!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nicola

  58. When I found a Bee i try to do spr on it is that good or not

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to AK

  59. I have been trying to help a bumble bee for past 2 days. It is very weak but has fed on some hyacinths outside my workshop. Its going to rain and be colder tonight, should I take her home in a ventilated box for the night and feed sugar water? X

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Katrina

  60. I found a honey bee out in the cold on a log just frozen. I lightly tapped them but they wouldn’t move. I brought them inside to warm them up and they started getting movement back. I fed them some honey , tried giving them water, and even tried giving them some nectar. The bee still doesn’t have enough strength to fly away. They tried to but they aren’t strong enough to do so and end up falling to the floor. What can I do to help this bee gain enough energy? Or is there something wrong with them?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mariana Herrera

  61. What should I do I found a bee should we let it out it was very cold

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Miss Deakin ⁷

    1. Keeping them overnight is okay. Just letting them out early when the sun is out is the best for them.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Mariana Herrera

  62. Hi, I found what looks to be a Queen on the sidewalk, in the cold and she was very still. I took her inside and gave her some sugar water and now she seems to be crawling all over the place. Should I put her back outside or keep her inside? Is so, for how long do I keep her? I don't want her to freeze.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Cara

  63. I believe I have a queen bumble bee which was found in our hitting. We got them out and placed them on the ground and got some sugar water for them. We left them outside and several hours later they are still there and aren't flying away. Now we are getting a box and adding some hay but I'm not sure what else to do as they seem very weak!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to K

  64. Hi, I know little about bees but I like them and recently I found a bee on the floor that seemed to be about to dye. I put her on a flower so she would at least die there and after a little while she started to move from one flower to another and finally left flying. Is this also a way to help them? Does it work the same as the sugared water?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bea

  65. Hello, I brought in a bumblebee last night. He wasn’t moving so I left a little sugar water in the container I put him in. A few minutes later he was moving and buzzing. I wanted to set him free today but it’s 36°F. What should I do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Les

  66. I have just bought my partner a bee hive building kit. It is only small but what do we put in the bottom to make them comfortable?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ali

  67. I saw so many bees seemingly dead in the snow.I brought them in to warm up. Am I doing them a disservice? Some are males and I know they are booted out of the hive at some point. Am I just giving them a second chance to suffer or will they have a chance to live?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Suzann

    1. Hi Suzann, have you found out any info? I’m in a similar situation and I’m looking for guidance. Thanks!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Les

  68. I have a female carpenter bee in my house. Want to keep it alive. What do I do

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Me

  69. I have a carpenter bee in my house an want to keep it alive, already have her sugar water

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Meme

  70. Hi, thank you for this article, I have visited it plenty of times, as I attempt to rescue bees weekly. Do you have any solutions for them to stop drowning in water ? I’m using a short container not deep, and I’ve placed wine corks as well as bamboo sticks to help them. It seems I’m still finding a few that fall in. I’m able to revive most with the sugar water trick and keeping them warm. I have a second problem , two have stung me and I’m scared they will pass because of it. I asked my bio professor , I sent a photo and he stated it seemed it might make it because of something that was stopping the bee from releasing its internals. I just want to help them live . Any suggestions ? Thank you Elise .

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Deanna Ruelas

  71. Hello, I live in the northeast and it is getting quite chilly. Today was 46 degrees and I found a honey bee on the brick wall of my house. I moved it to some flowers in the sun but it has been there for hours. I am not sure if it is cold or at the end of life. I didn't want to move it inside in case it was going to return to a hive, but now I am considering it because it's getting dark and much colder. It will be in the 20s tonight. Any bee advice would be welcome.🙂 Thank you!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Donna

    1. OK just an update, I ended up bringing the bee inside with the flowers and some sugar water. It took no more than a few minutes and the bee was flying around the container trying to get out. I released the bee and it flew away. It is starting to get dark and it is cold, but I hope it gets home ok!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Donna

  72. Found big bumble Bee in garden three days ago.. November.

    Wet. Thought it was dead, brought it in, nurturing it with beehive revival kit... Not flying.. What shall I do with it now please, it's very still today other than the odd leg coming up..

    Thank you.

    Kym

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kym

  73. Found large bumblebee in our pool. Got it out rather quickly. Has been sluggish for 24 hours. Now in shoe box with sugar water. Any further ideas?

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Scott

  74. Hi, I found a bee in my kitchen this afternoon. The sun had already set, she looked dead but I could see her antennas moving. I placed her in a warm place and tried blowing warm breaths, she still looks paralyzed. So I gave her some of the water sugar mix, she drank it all. But still no other movements . What should I do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kimberly

    1. I would keep her indoors in a ventilated box overnight (in a relatively cool spot indoors overnight), then try releasing her in the morning, assuming you have some warmer weather tomorrow. It helps to warm them up well indoors first (just prior to releasing them), as well as offering more sugar water then as an energy boost.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  75. I have a very large wet looking bee that I found clinging to a wall

    Looking very sluggish. I have brought her in to dry and warm her up.

    I’m unsure if she is a queen bee or worker bee?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Selina

    1. Given the time of year, if she's very large, she's likely a queen bumble bee. Do you have any slightly warmer, less wet weather coming up? I'm hoping so! She'll be happier once she's drier and warmer, although I wouldn't warm her up too much tonight, since it's late in the day, and she might be fooled into thinking it's possible to fly again, while it's still a cold night out. Ideally, you'll be able to house her safely until the weather improves at least a little (closer to 12°C).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  76. I brought a struggling bumble indoors yesterday evening as it was getting cold. I didnt seem interested in sugar water, but did get a bit more active as it warmed up.

    This morning it is much the same, but still not the healthiest looking.

    The temerature outside is around freezing and is only forecast to reach a few degrees, I am worried that if I put it outside it will just get cold and die

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Pete C

    1. Is it a very large bumble bee, or a smaller one? I ask because at this time of year, large bumble bee queens are preparing to hibernate (or have already settled into their hibernation for winter), but smaller bumble bee males naturally die as the temperatures fall. Feel free to reply to my email with a photo if you'd like.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. I was hoping to share a pic as my situation is the same as above. I found what I thought to be a dead bee on my parents driveway but indeed was alive. I’ve let her out a few times but she’s neither moved out of both bee friendly enclosures and I think it’s bc it’s too cold out. Below 50°. I have given sugar water and some fresh flowers, which one she hates lol I go back to my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving and will travel with her one more time to let her go. I understand this is probably it for her or who knows. She did leave one enclosure only to go back in. She was left on a wood flower pot filled with soil. I was hoping she would of left and dug herself in the ground but she didn’t. Shes tried flying but can not. I don’t see anything wrong with her wings and she can fly a few inches but no cigar. I hope that I am helping more than I am hurting. My nature best friend says I could be ruining future generations if she’s a queen and I don’t let her do what she need to do. Ugg. Thank you for your insight and help! Happy Thanksgiving!

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to All things bugs

        1. It's probably just cold that's keeping her from flying far right now. It sounds as though you may not have a choice on which day to let her go, so if that's the case, I'd warm her up in the morning really well indoors close to a heat source (in her enclosure, as she'll be able to fly once she's fully warmed up). Keep a good eye on her, as you want her to be comfortable, and start buzzing her wings and looking ready to fly off. Offer her some more sugar water during this time too (it's important for her to have some energy for the day). Ideally a good start with energy and warmth will enable her to stay warm and aloft until she finds where she'd like to be. If she's a large queen bumble bee, then she'll be looking for a place in the ground to hibernate... but they don't like us to choose those spots for them, which makes it more difficult to help! This is a hard time of year for them, but with a little help, she may be able to survive to do her thing. You already saved her life, as she wouldn't have made it being stranded on a cold driveway.

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  77. My husband returned home from work his lunchpail had a ice block in it to keep his lunch cold in the bottom was a sweet little bumblebee. I mediately took him out warmed him up . gave him a bit of sugar water and a warm environment it’s been raining and my husbands works pretty far away wondered if I could let him loose here at a friends with lots of flowers in her garden. Well she adapt because it’s not Where we found her?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bumbles friend

    1. Yes, your bee will adapt to a new area just fine, being a bumble bee! If your bee is a queen (a large fluffy bumble bee), then she'd be looking for a place to hibernate on her own over winter, and your friend's garden will be a good place for her to stock up on food, as well as a good place to overwinter. If your bee is a bumble bee worker, then she'll typically have no problems entering another nest, so long as she comes bearing nectar or pollen. If your bee is a male bumble bee (likely at this time of year, if your bee is smaller), then he'll be very happy in your friend's garden, as where there are flowers, there will be queen bumble bees to meet ☺️

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  78. I live in CT and it's November 11th. I'm dogsitting and was trying to open the back door but was having trouble. So I started walking away till I felt something on my shirt so I tried to get it off, (my first reaction). As I did that I noticed it was a bee and at that moment it stung me. But I'm a person who cannot kill ants or bugs, etc. So I went to find it a few minutes later and it was alive on the ground. I put it on my hand, gave it sugar water, per your advice and it really helped. But it's night time now and not very warm (obviously bc it's November). So my question is, I don't know where it came from. It had to have been inside the spaces between the slider door? I don't see any other bees anywhere. I don't want to just release it to fend for itself. I'm letting it stay inside overnight. It tucked itself under a folded piece of paper. I don't want to disturb it so I'll let it be. Where should I release it? Just right outside the slider door on the deck? In a potted plant outside by the door? I'm sorry for the long message but I can't help my concern. Everyone in my life thinks I'm weird bc I can't kill bugs, etc. But I feel so guilty and can't do it. Please any answer or advice would be a great help. I think it's a worker honey bee going by your pictures.

    Thanks so much for doing what you do!!

    Aileen

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Aileen Johnson

    1. Hmm, if she's a worker honey bee, then she wouldn't survive stinging you, as part of her body would unravel (leaving the stinger embedded in your skin). Perhaps she's some other kind of bee, since honey bees are the only ones that lose their lives like this when stinging?

      It's always a good idea to release bees near where they were picked up. Most bees will have landmarks in mind, and depending on the type of bee, it can be important for them to know where they are when released.

      If she's alright in the morning (and once the day has begun warming), I'd offer more sugar water (warming her on your hand again, if you're up to that). Then I'd gently place her outside the slider door on the deck, ideally in sunshine if you have any. She doesn't have to be put exactly where she was found, just close by, so anywhere on the deck by the sounds of it, and the warmer/sunnier the location, the better, even if it's not quite where she ended up when you found her. Your whole deck should be part of her map of her surroundings.

      It's good that you care about the small creatures too... I think it's rather strange when people kill bugs simply because they're bugs. After all, our world depends on them existing, they're such vital parts of our ecosystems. And beyond that, like all living things, they deserve their chance at life. Bees have been found to be amazing learners, even passing on learned knowledge between generations (we see this with bumble bees).

      I appreciate hearing that you care about bugs too, and are looking out for your bee's best interests 💛🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  79. My bees seem to be stuck to my metal gazebo. I have noticed this happening inside the house on the glass windows this fall. I can send a photo to better show this.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Patti Burden

    1. Are these honey bees? I sent you an email just after you wrote, feel free to reply with a photo if you'd like.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  80. Hello,

    I found a queen on the ground Sunday, I took her home and gave her some sugar water which she had and left her outside that night thinking she would wonder off, when I got up she was still there, so I brought her in and have set up a show box with flower and leaves, she slept over night last night and has been very active today moving around a lot so, I experienced her have a wee (I think, she rubbed her abdomen and I watched a fluid come out) she seemed more active after, I decided to release her because the weather was dry and it was midday, she didn’t want any sugar water and didn’t seem interested in flowers, I found a lovely sheltered spot ideal for burrowing, I left her for a couple of hours and thought I would pop there and see if she is there, I left the box Incase, well I looked and turned around and she was hanging onto one strand or stalk, the temp has dropped so I’ve bought her back in. She is still active but I would have goes after a couple of hours she would have done more (Burrow down or forage) any idea why she doesn’t want too? She can move her wings but doesn’t want too. I’ve had to put the lid on the box because I need to do housework, any idea what to use until it’s bed time? She snuggled down about 6pm last night. The weather is due to get better in a few days, so maybe I can keep her until then. Also, could she be full and that’s why she doesn’t want the sugar water? Many thanks Tina

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tina

    1. If she's expended little energy, she's likely simply not hungry. Queen bumble bees also do need to be fairly well-warmed up before they're active, so even on a dry day, she may not have felt sufficiently warm to do too much (if there's any direct sun, it helps to put her in those spots, so she can soak up the warm rays).

      If I were you, I'd hang onto her for a few days until the weather gets better, offering sugar water during the days, but keeping her relatively cool throughout. On the morning of better weather, I'd warm her up nicely indoors, and see if she'll take more sugar water. Then find a spot in direct sun (if you have it), and see if that doesn't get her buzzing and on her way then!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Hi Elise,

        Thank you for the reply, it’s hard to know what’s the right thing to do, so, I appreciate it.

        She was still active in her box around 530pm, she had a wonder one my hand and my partner brought some cut flowers home including lavender (he’s a gardener) so she has enough nectar but I will offer her the beevive sugar water as well, it’s definitely meant to be Sunny the weekend so I will keep her, what should she be doing Nov, foraging or hibernating or both and is she likely to prefer the ground to hibernate. What is their sight like? I did notice her one antenna wasn’t as functional (it’s there but a little different and she uses the right one more) can they still function and smell good etc when one is slightly damaged?

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Tina

        1. In November, your queen bumble bee should be preparing to hibernate, which includes foraging to top off her fat reserves ahead of winter. She should also be looking for a spot to burrow in the soil, just below ground, in order to stay safe and frost-free while she hibernates.

          November brings iffy weather though, so it's a matter of judgment on the part of each bee. If she's caught out in the cold and rain, she'll go into a state of torpor, from which she'll emerge once the weather warms slightly. Since each bee is precious, it's nice to keep them safe when they're not able to move, since they can otherwise be found by predators that are still able to move at lower temperatures.

          By the way, there's no need to worry about her antennae, I've seen bees with half an antenna missing that are still able to lead normal foraging lives. It helps to have another antenna as a backup. Their sight is good (and their learning abilities are excellent too)!

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  81. Dear Elise,

    I have found an extremely weak (on its back) bumble bee inside my home. I guess it was inside my Halloween decoration that I git inside on Monday - today is Saturday. I offered sugar water, it took some now it is sitting in the corner of a box .... Temps outside are in the 20th at the moment, during the day maybe low 50th - frost at night for the next few days. What am I supposed to do to help it survive?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to BRIDGET

    1. I apologize for replying so late. Perhaps you found some suggestions on this page already, but if your bee is still with you, I would keep it until the weather looks better (higher 50s without freezing temperatures, ideally). Bees don't need much while they're with you, especially since it's a good idea to keep their box somewhere cool... that way they don't use much energy while you wait for better weather. It can be a good idea to leave sugar water in their box during the day, so long as they can't fall into it accidentally (and so long as there's no danger of ants).

      The idea would then be to warm up your bee well indoors at the beginning of the soonest upcoming day with better weather, making sure to offer sugar water, then placing your bee in the sun outdoors if possible. Depending on the type of bee, it may or may not survive winter naturally (honey bees need to make it back to their hive where they'll overwinter, for example, but only large queen bumble bees survive by hibernating).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  82. I was outside at a soccer game and a bee flew down out of nowhere. I lifted it up since it was upside down, but it’s really cold outside and it’s only 7pm, meaning it will only get colder and it will take a long time for the sun to finally come up. Any ideas? I want to help protect it.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to irene

    1. I'm sorry for my late reply, which is of little use several days later, so I do hope you found some ideas on this page to help your bee. Typically, if it's late at night, it can be helpful to keep them overnight in a ventilated box or other enclosure, in a spot that's similar to nighttime temperatures but not freezing. In the morning, once the day starts to warm up, you can warm them by placing their box in a warm spot indoors, also adding a few drops of sugar water for them (enough to drink from, but not enough to fall in, if they're cold and clumsy). Typically it's a good idea to wait for the day to warm up for a couple hours before releasing them. Sometimes (depending on the weather) it can even be helpful to hold onto them for a day or two, releasing them once the weather is more favorable (warmer/less rainy).

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  83. I was fishing in a lake and happened across a little bee. I was in a boat far enough from land. So I swept him up and held him till he dried off. He was doing good. Cleaned himself. He even started trying to fly but wasn’t very successful after many attempts. Otherwise seemed good. I was on the water for a while and he just hung out on the boat trying to fly for a while. Then I noticed he became very docile and I held him as he died. I was so sad. Do you think he was just too cold? Needed to feed?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kali

    1. I think it's likely that your bee ran out of energy. I doubt your bee was too cold, if it was soaking up your body warmth. Bees tend to expend a lot of energy attempting to escape the water's surface tension. This might sound odd, but it's one reason to carry a small vial of sugar water on you, especially in spring and fall when there are fewer flowers and the weather is more uneven. At least it was a quiet and gentle passing for your bee.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  84. Hi! I have found a bee very lethargic in my home. I helped her to some sugar water and she perked up a bit, but she’s still dragging her rear and doesn’t even try to use her wings.

    It’s currently 11C here so I’m worried she might be a bit chilly or that there’s something else going on… how can I help her?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Andzelika

    1. Is she a large, fluffy bumble bee, by chance? 11°C is cold, but it's close to the lower edge of bee temperature tolerance (13°C is usually what I'd consider a minimum). Tonight I'd certainly keep her with you, if you still have her, leaving her container in a coolish room so as not to confuse her sense of day/night. Lethargy doesn't necessarily mean anything's wrong with her, other than being cold... same with dragging her rear and not using her wings, these again are often symptoms of simply not being warm enough to fly.

      If your day tomorrow looks to be decent weather, I'd start warming her up in the earlier morning indoors, offering her more sugar water, and then opening her container outdoors mid-morning so that she can ideally bee on her way. Don't be surprised if it takes her some time (a couple of hours) to leave. If there's any bright sunshine at all, definitely put her in the sun rays to soak those up!

      If tomorrow is cold and wet, but another day this week looks better, then I'd keep her in a coolish location indoors, offering sugar water from time to time (not too much, as they can be clumsy when cold, and you don't want her to fall into it and get coated in sticky water while she's cold). Then on the day with better weather, warm her up indoors, offering her more sugar water, and open up her container mid-morning outdoors.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  85. Help I found a small B I am not sure what kind it is It was raining today and the bee was laying on a fence post very sluggish I brought it inside and put it in a big mason jar but a coffee filter for a lead with a lot of holes in it. The baby is starting to fly but it’s dark out now and it is going to -3 or four tonight Celsius The high tomorrow is only +3°C with a low below freezing mark again my heart is breaking for this little baby I don’t know should I just let it outside Weather is warming towards the end of the week +9 with the temperature still below the freezing mark at night What do I do with this poor little creature I have a small cap in the jar with some sugar water I have not seen the bee take any yet hoping you can offer some assistance

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Denise

    1. I hope I'm not too late in replying, your bee should be fine with you for a few days and nights, while it's so cold outdoors. I wouldn't keep your bee too warm at night, put the jar somewhere cool (but not freezing) nightly, and keep the jar somewhere where it's not too warm during the day (keeping your bee cooler ensures it won't try to fly much while staying with you, and it doesn't harm them). I'd offer sugar water from time to time during the day, not too much to where your bee could fall in though, they only need a little! 9°C is still rather cold, but if that's the warmest day, I'd warm your bee up well indoors that morning (offering sugar water again, ideally seeing it drink), before trying to release it late morning (once it's warmed up outdoors a bit). This'll give your bee the maximum possible time out in warmer temperatures before nightfall, so that for whatever type of bee it is, it can get where it wishes to go 🐝💛

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  86. I had a lovely experience today. I wear fingerless gloves because of eczema and a bee decided to hitch a ride inside it! I had to carefully remove the glove and let it explore the inside and outside as I walked to my destination. It was incredibly curious and rejected every flower I showed it lol. Though it did at least take a look. It preferred to explore the glove or sit on the top in the sun.

    Was it tired do you think? When I passed the corner it flew off, almost as if that was its stop! As someone allergic to bees I was frightened at first but now feel very fortunate to share her little journey.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chloe

    1. I bet your bee simply wished to warm up on your hand/glove! Warmth can really give them a boost depending on the time of day/year. Happy to hear you shared in her little journey too, despite your allergies... bees tend to be friendly and docile under almost all circumstances! 🐝✨

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  87. Hi I have found a bunch of bees 4 near my sunflower plants on the sunflowers and stem it’s cold and rainy today about 50-54°f the first two I for sure thought were dying I brought them inside an they perked up I picked the sunflower they were on I shouldn’t have done that but anyway I brought them back out when I realized they livened up aNd werent on there death bed but then I read ur article the suns almost setting I found one bigger one who’s now quite active after sucking down some sugar water, I have all 4 in a shoe box. Can I house them all? I also read in ur article that depending on what type of bee that they need to go back to the hive so I’m confused what to do. Keep them or not.. thanks jess

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jess

    1. Are they all quite fluffy? I'm guessing so, and if yes, then they're bumble bees, not honey bees with a hive. They should all be fine together if they all look very similar (the larger one might be a young queen, with three males, if they're bumble bees). Put the box in a cool location to match the outdoor temperatures, so that they settle down for tonight. Then release them once it starts warming up tomorrow morning, offering some more sugar water beforehand.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

    2. Hi again, I’ve separated the other three from the largest because he/she was climbing on top of the others and very active in comparison. I guess I will keep them all overnight…??? but the weather for tomorrow is rain 100% and 54°f. They have organic raw sugar cane water, I’ve seen all of but one of them drink it, maybe the last one has as well and I’ve just not noticed. Any who, it’s 6pm here suns setting and it’s getting dark. the largest is trying to fly inside the shoebox. Debating releasing her(him?) because of how active it is.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Jess again

      1. Just saw your second message! If the largest one is trying to fly, maybe release her soon, so she doesn't wear herself out trying to escape. Though I bet she'll calm down if you put her somewhere cool for the night, to be released in the morning. Tomorrow's weather is not ideal for releasing them, but as I mentioned in my article, bumble bees often end up spending their nights out on flowers at this time of year, even in the rain. They enter a state of "torpor" that makes them appear half-dead, but they come back to life once it warms up a little! You can always give them a head-start on a cool, rainy day by warming them up in their box indoors first, and offering sugar water. They do generate their own warmth a bit too, so if they're able to fly tomorrow morning, then they should all be good to go.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

        1. Thanks for the response wondering if maybe they were okay where they were, hanging out on my sunflower plants.

          .. Besides flowers where do bumble bees live and normally stay during the night?

          The boxes are now on my front porch, no heat there 52°f out right now. They have quieted down. It’s dark now, not raining but rain is forecasted for overnight and tomorrow. I draped leaves into the shallow bottoms of solo cups where the sugar water is (the dishes are about 5mm deep) and I removed all flowers but I wonder if I’m doing anything better for them if the weather will be just as rainy and cold as it was today. They have all drank the sugar water when I first got them but not so much anymore. If it is raining tmrw morning what do you suggest I do with them? Thanks!

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Jess

          1. Unless it rained very hard (washing them off the sunflowers), they'd likely have been alright there. Usually bumble bees live in nests (of up to several hundred individuals) underground, but in fall all the bumble bees leave their nests, basically young queens (large and fluffy) and male bees (smaller and fluffy). The males tend to hang out on flowers, awaiting female bees. The young queens are looking to mate and stock up on energy before hibernating in the ground for winter (unfortunately, all the males will die off relatively soon, as they have no place to go for winter).

            My advice depends on your forecast for the rest of the week. If it looks better mid-week, you could easily keep them in their boxes for another day and night, since they'll all likely be sluggish if it's wet and cold out. Likely they're safer with you too, rather than paralyzed with cold out on the flowers, where a predator might find them more easily.

            I'd peek into the boxes at various points tomorrow. If they start to seem much more active, even while the boxes are outdoors, then you could open the lids and give them the chance to go. You may find they'll stay until it's a nicer day!

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

            1. Hi Elsie, you’re great by the way! You have helped so many people and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your responses! It is a rainy crumby day, I’ve kept them over night, pretty sure they’re all males. Some bigger than others but none that are super super fluffy. Rain and wind is likely until tomorrow (wed) morning.

              My next and final questions lol They are certainly sluggish, haven’t moved all night, I’m thinking it’s doubtful they will take any of the sugar water being so cold, they only drank when I had them inside yesterday and warmed up, and since I think they’ll decide to stay put in their open boxes, should I bring them inside to warm up and eat at any point? Should I do this now (Tuesday 9:30am) and then leave them outside with box open? You mentioned that I could do this just before releasing them for a head start, which tomorrow is likely to be the better day.

              I have already taken the boxes and left lids completely open on my open porch so they’re free to go if they want but it’s a cold 52°f, windy and raining.

              Thank you so much!

              -Jess from CT!

              Reply

              Leave a Reply to Jess

              1. *Elise,

                my apologies!

                Reply

                Leave a Reply to Jess

                1. I'm on a different time zone than you, so forgive my later reply this morning. Tomorrow (Wed) sounds much better for their departure. That's the day I'd bring them indoors earlier to warm them up, offering more sugar water before putting their open boxes out in the sun (if there's sun).

                  For today, they'll likely not need much of anything, since they're cold and not moving much. I'd almost say to leave sugar water in the box in case they feel like it, but that's not ideal, since ants are more active at cooler temperatures, and might annoy the bees if they found the sugar water first.

                  So, if they're still out on the porch, I'd leave them there so that if they feel up to it, they can go anytime. Otherwise tonight I'd close up the boxes, and in the morning bring them in for warming up and breakfast before setting them out, ready to fly!

                  Reply

                  Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  88. I found a cold worker bee inside of grocery store while working. I put them inside a warm box with some sugar water and is now happily walking around. The problem is the weather is terrible and I want to take it home for the night. I want to try and release them in the morning, but I live a mile away from the store. Is that too far away to release them?thanks!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Miles

    1. If it really is a honey bee worker, I’d definitely take it back to the area outside the store tomorrow morning… it might not find its way back to its hive otherwise, but I’m sure it’s happy for a safe night with you! Keep it coolish tonight so it doesn’t get confused, then warm it up in the morning and offer more sugar water before releasing it 🐝💛

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  89. Hi there,

    So my partner are new beekeepers. Our hive is only a few months old and we set it on a rubber pallet. The pallet has different grooves in it and so we laid a piece of plywood down to keep the hive stable but off the ground. Plywood only covers half of the pallet and the grooves that are exposed have water in them from the rain. Today when we went to check the hive we were looking for the queen to make sure she was moving around and doing okay. Well she was on the bottom corner of one of the frames and I don’t know how but she fell and of course she landed in the water. We quickly got her out by putting a finger under her and she climbed on and we set her right back on the top of the frame and she walked right down into the hive on the frame. We are paranoid she might die. Would you have any suggestions for us? Did we accidentally kill her? Will the bees dry her off and she will be okay? She’s back inside the hive and we closed it up right after but we are nervous. Can you calm our nerves lol? Thank you!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Gayle

    1. I’m so sorry I didn’t reply sooner (unexpected life issues)… but do not worry, your queen bee will be fine! Bees can take a little falling in water if they’re immediately taken out… and as queen bee, she’ll have plenty of attendants to dry her fully 🐝👑

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  90. Not a question! I just wanted to let you know that your first aid section helped me save a bee this morning! I would love to share my pictures/videos with you if you would like! I linked your website on my Facebook post.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sarah

    1. I'm so happy to hear you saved a bee! 💛 Thank you for sharing my page, and yes I'd love to see your pictures/video 🐝✨ Feel free to reply directly with them!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  91. Is a 2:1 mixture alright with organic raw cane sugar? I just made a max of it in a kitchen oil bottle for a griddle, the one with a nozzle like a bottle of honey. I filled the bottle halfway with the sugar, then fully with water, shook until dissolved, and I now have a murky brown solution that particles of sugar can be seen in. Will this work for the honey bees that fall in my pool almost daily here in Florida? I have been giving them honey but just found your page saying I shouldn't. My two young sisters have appointed me as the "Bee Doctor", and I want to be sure the "Bee Medicine I just made will work!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Justin Fernandez

    1. Sorry to be replying so late! It'll likely work just fine as is, but ideally the sugar water goes into solution, without too many particulates. You might try warming the solution up a little (perhaps pouring the contents into a saucepan with a low heat, then once it cools, pouring it back into the bottle)? The solution should be a light-ish color too (with light-colored raw cane sugar rather than brown cane sugar).

      Happy to hear you're the appointed "Bee Doctor" with your own medical kit! 🩺🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  92. I brought my flowers in 2 nights ago to keep from freezing, I now have a honey bee hanging out in my bathroom, I did give a little sugar water and regular water it also has access to flowers. It is to cold out to release it. I feel bad for it and don't want it to die. What should I do for the poor thing. Or do I have a house guest for the winter😊 any suggestions would be helpful!! Thank you

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ruth

    1. I am so sorry I didn't reply sooner (some life issues), but if you still have your honey bee, it does ideally need to find its way back to its hive. It'll be able to survive winter in its hive, but it needs to be at least 55° F (ideally above that) for it to be able to fly there. You can help it out by warming it up indoors too, on what looks like one of the better days weather-wise. It would likely get a bit lonely staying with you for winter, even with access to flowers, if it's a honey bee! They're definitely hive creatures, huddling close together in winter.

      Reply

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  93. Its a 21c rainy day. I found a big bumblebee on my wet marigold. I moved it off and put it on the moss in the flowerbox. Im sure it was dying. I went to check it hour later and it was gone! Did it live? It really seemed to be dying!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Janet

    1. That's a fairly warm day. The likelihood is that once it dried off, it was able to fly away happily! It's easy to mistake lethargic bees for dying bees... often all they need is some warmth (and to dry off, if they're wet) before seemingly miraculous revivals. Sometimes nectar (or sugar water) is necessary, but if there are flowers nearby, they'll manage to get there, even if they have to walk instead of fly at first (large queen bumble bees especially).

      Reply

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  94. I have found a bee in left out orange juice. I have recovered him and put him in a box. But he seems lethargic and his wings are likely sticky. Is there anything I can do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Rich

    1. If the bee is lethargic, it may have trouble cleaning itself before the orange juice dries. You could try very carefully dripping slightly-warmer-than-room-temperature water over the bee. But that is a little risky, you'd want to be very careful not to use too much at once (they breathe through the sides of their bodies). I'd probably try doing it though, since having its wings stick together from the orange juice would be worse. Bees are usually good at cleaning themselves, but not if they're already cold and lethargic. I don't know what time of day it is where you are, but even were your bee to warm up sufficiently to clean itself, the orange juice would likely have dried also in the process.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. I’m in the UK, it is now dark. I’ve tried dripping some water on his back. He’s extending his wings, but he’s gaining any lift.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Rich

        1. That's good to know where you're at, daylight-wise, as it helps to know what to do for your bee. I'd leave it at what you've done for now, and keep your damp bee safe overnight in a ventilated box. I wouldn't expect your bee to be able to dry out and "buzz up" until being warm again, but I do think it's good to have tried to dilute any orange juice residue (especially on its wings), so that it's able to move easily come morning. For tonight, I'd keep your bee somewhere cool-ish indoors, so that it doesn't think that it's warm enough to try to fly in the box. In the morning, once the day begins warming (hopefully you do have a warmer day ahead, without rain!), I'd put your bee out in the sunshine and give it an hour or two to get going. It might not need that long, but it depends on the type of bee. I'd also provide some drops of sugar water in the morning. If it's a cooler day, you can also try warming up the bee first in a warmer room indoors, along with offering sugar water, and then taking its box outdoors. Let me know if anything comes up with which you need further advice!

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  95. Hello love i ve rescued a honey bee from spider web gave it some sugar and water but it went on his legs i took him inside to warm up as it was getting late 6pm and now in a box quiet i dont know id he ok or not he been buzxing around in box now quiet ahould i let him go now kr morning and how many holea doea he need on box ive done about 10

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Alexandra ferrey

    1. It'll be safest for your honey bee to wait to release it in the morning, keeping its box in a relatively cool location so that it doesn't start buzzing about and wasting energy. I would say that not buzzing is likely a good sign (too much buzzing in an enclosure can add stress, and occasionally cause bees to damage their wings trying to escape). Ten holes for air in the box sounds great!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  96. It is October in western Massachusetts. The bumblebees are still on my flowers and it’s 55 out on an. Do I leave them alone or do they need help? They are sluggish but can fly. Although there are many. Some are just I guess waiting for the sun . But as cold weather approaches if they are still here how can I help them?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Susan

    1. At this time of year, what you're seeing are likely all male bumblebees, awaiting new queens dispersing from nests, who need to mate before going into hibernation for the winter. This is typical beehavior for males... so I would simply enjoy the autumn bee-watching! They'll be sluggish on these cold mornings, but they'll warm up quickly in the sun, and they're right on the flowers , so all the food they need is already there. Queen bumble bees are sure to come by later in the day, since they're stocking up their own fat reserves for overwintering.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you. There was many of them all the same in size. Still there eating. Good to know it didn’t warm up to much today. I’m sure they be okay until frost weather comes and hopefully safe by then . If not what do you do leave them or put them in a container for winter?? Clueless but I don’t want them to die. I plant flowers for the bees and milk pod for monarch butterflies. Do daily feeders for the hummingbirds . I sure don’t want to cause any harm.

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Susan

        1. It's lovely to hear you care so much about your bumble bees and other wildlife. I'm sorry to say that life isn't too kind to male bumble bees (or older queens) by the first hard frosts. It is only the newly born, freshly mated queens who hibernate through winter, each alone in the ground, before awaking next spring to start new colonies. This year's queens (who in late summer gave birth to the new queens and males), along with all the male bumble bees, no longer maintain a colony through the winter, and so those bees will sadly all die from cold and lack of food. It's simply part of the natural bumble bee lifecycle, and I'd imagine that even if one were to try to intervene by keeping them warm and fed, their natural lifespan would not be much longer, and they'd not be outdoors roaming free, so it would be a strange existence for them.

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  97. Hi, we brought a bee inside as it was cold and just laying there early this morning. It's fed well on sugar and water, generally been asleep on the window cill. It's showing interest in going outside but it can't seem to open it's wings. Any advice on to what we could do for it? Kind regards

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kay

    1. Another quick note... I realize it's later in the evening where you are, so these would be steps to take tomorrow morning, assuming it'll be a temperate day tomorrow. Sometimes, depending on the weather, it's worth keeping bees fed and safe for a few days, before warming them up and releasing them on one of the warmer autumn days.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

    2. Is it a bumble bee? They take a surprising amount of time to get going on cooler mornings, and it is likely that she's still cold, rather than anything wrong with her wings (if you see nothing amiss). So long as it'll be a reasonably temperate day today, I'd warm your bee up indoors (in some kind of enclosure) first, and see if she starts buzzing her wings, indicative of preparing for flight. Placing her near (but not too near) a heat source can help jump-start her day, giving her energy to fly and more time in her day, once she's released. Keep an eye on her throughout the time you're warming her up.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  98. I fed a mason bee honey I've heard it can cause diseases. What should I do to help this bee?

    I'm very concerned.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mina

    1. I would try not to be too concerned about it (simply making sure to use sugar water for helping future bees in distress). It would really depend a great deal on the honey too, in terms of the likelihood of any possible bee disease transmission. My intuition is that if it's a more standard, ultra-filtered honey, it's less likely to cause an issue than an unfiltered, raw honey (mainly owing to the heat treatment of more processed honeys). Honey is also probably more likely to cause potential issues for honey bees, rather than mason bees, but I'm not certain on this point. In any case, there's no undoing it, and it certainly would have provided energy to your bee, so that's a plus.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  99. Okay so I have a mammoth sunflowers outside my apartment. They get a lot of good sun but it’s starting to get colder because it’s fall I live in Pittsburgh. Anyhow I noticed this one particular bee has literally not moved from this flower in three days he’s moving just a little bit (or she) so they are not dead but like I don’t know if it got cold or wet or something because it has been raining a lot but like I need to save it LOL and I’m not sure the best way to do it. I noticed because the nights are going down to like 50° It seems to be moving but just barely and hasnt left that flower in days. there’s also this other one that looks like a queen it’s so big that also is now doing the same thing- its acting slow and hasnt moved since yestwrday around 3 pm- like it’s like really looks like it’s kind of frozen this morning like it doesn’t really move even and I can touch it and it doesn’t even really react.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chloe

    1. I'm assuming these are bumble bees? I wouldn't bee too concerned about either of the bees currently, though I do hope there are at least a few days of dryer, warmer weather coming up? Both spring and fall typically feature variable weather, and what happens is that when it is too cool (especially when it's also rainy), bumble bees tend to stay put, even if that means spending several days and nights out on the same flowers.

      Any queens out at this time of year are also new queens, having dispersed from their communal nests of summer, with plans to mate and then find a suitable place to hibernate overwinter. So it's unsurprising to find new queens out at night, having no place to call home as of yet. Male bumble bees also tend to spend nights out on flowers, awaiting new queens in the daytime.

      Bumble bees (especially queen bumble bees) also take more energy for liftoff than most bees, and that's another reason that on cooler, wetter days, you'll find the same bumble bees staying put. It's only a problem if, say, a bird spots them and nibbles them up while they can't move (since bees enter a state of torpor when cold), but most bumble bees manage to survive out each night, awaking to plentiful food each morning while spending their nights on flowers.

      So I'd keep an eye on both bees, and your upcoming weather forecast, but there's likely no need to intervene yet. In the event that no warmer, dryer weather is forecast for some time, you might try warming them up indoors in a ventilated enclosure, and offering sugar water. But that would only be something to do on a dryer day with temperatures closer to 60 F, around 10-11am or so, basically to give the bees energy to get going around when the day begins warming up... this can be especially helpful to young queens, as it'll give them a boost on a day that they might otherwise miss, to continue searching for the perfect place to hibernate.

      Queens are also building up stores of energy at this time of year, but it's best they get those from flower nectar rather than sugar water, for all the essential amino acids and other trace elements from which they benefit. Keep me updated if you'd like!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  100. Thank you so much for this cool post.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Anderson

  101. I found a bee in my pool!! I believe it could have been in there for 10-15 minutes but got it out as soon as possible and warmed her up with my breath, she regained movement. I took her inside and placed her in a box as you suggested and attempted to feed her sugar water but I do not know if she is drinking it, she cannot balance either but still tries to move around. Her tongue is always sticking out and I (from what I have read) has been poisoned by the chemicals. I’m not an expert in bees nor insects but based off the situation, do you think she still has a chance? She has been inside for about 3 hours and hasn’t improved anymore since I brought her in… help!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mali

    1. It does take time for bees to recover, but she may sadly have been in your pool for too long. Bees breathe along the sides of their bodies, so being immersed in water is dangerous. I don't know if the pool has chemicals, but chlorine particularly wouldn't be kind to a bee, on top of almost drowning. Her tongue sticking out isn't necessarily a sign of poisoning, but it is something that you'll see when they're nearing their end. Other than warming her up, and putting drops of water near the tip of her extended tongue, there's little to do besides make her comfortable. I've seen many bees revive with time, warmth, and sugar-water, but it does depend how long she struggled in the water before you found her. If you don't already have a dish of fresh water with pebbles in it outdoors, you might try putting one out, with the hope of attracting thirsty bees to a safe drinking spot, instead of ending up in your pool accidentally.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  102. I’m finding bee resin or spit or something on the mason bees tubes

    Looks like big bumblebee types spending hours on the outside of the filled tubes

    Just took the nest down and yes, this gelatinous substance all over,

    What is it and is it harmful?

    Thanks so much ….Connie

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Connie

    1. I believe you may be hosting giant resin bees, which are large bees native to Japan and China. Their mandibles are not strong enough to create their own nesting cavities, so they love using ones that carpenter, mason and leaf-cutter bees might use as well. True to their name, resin bees do coat the outside in resin that they gather from plants. There is some concern that they may displace native pollinators (particularly carpenter bees), however they are also good pollinators themselves. Since the resin bees are later-season pollinators, they may compete with leaf-cutter and carpenter bees, but mason bee young should all be sealed safely away before resin bees become active. Anecdotally, it looks as though resin bees may sometimes turn out the young of other bees though, which would be concerning. It's advisable to protect mason bee tubes once the mason bees finish their active lifecycle by gently transferring the mason bee tubes to a pest-free, dry environment (at the same temperature as the outdoors, ideally in an outbuilding), ensuring they're placed back outdoors before emergence in early spring.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  103. Hi Elise, we have been following your advice.

    Our little fluff was found under water in our paddling pool.

    Still moving.

    We have had fluff 24 hours now ...and fluff is moving about but looks exhausted. We have offered sugar water and we 'think' fluff is taking it. Fluff keeps moving his/her legs and stroking her head etc.... What else can we do XX thank you and hope you are really well XX Pippa and John. Wirral u.k 🌺🐝🌻

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Pippa

    1. In the morning, try offering more sugar-water... and look to see if her tongue pokes out, it'll be quite noticeable if so. Tomorrow mid-morning, I would put Fluff outside, ideally in bright sunshine if you have it. Alternatively, if it'll be a cool day out, first warm Fluff up well indoors, and then see if she'll fly off outdoors around mid-morning ☀️🐝

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Hi Elise,🌹

        An update of Fluff. 🌼

        I bathed her in today's warm sunshine. Our first day of sun since Saturday when we found her.

        I moved her shoe box so she was positioned nicely in full sun.

        I offered her sugar water and she again declined.

        Then about 90 mins later I heard her buzzing and trying to fly... Her first effort since Sat.

        And she did great, flying towards the window.. she banged into the glass.

        So I placed her on cotton wool pad and sat her in the window ledge again in sunshine. About 20 mins later she flew off into the garden and across.

        Hooray.. she has her second chance at life. We feel so grateful to have helped.

        And thanks to your advice. she finally got her freedom. 💟🐝👋😍😚💚

        I took videos.

        Kindest and loving Regards

        Pippa and John.

        Wirral U.K.

        xx

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Pippa

  104. I live in Massachusetts (Zone 6 in the plant world) and I'm finding as many as one to three bumble bees a night who are sluggish and clutching the centers of my two clumps of Helenium. They are there in the morning (I just saw the same three as last night). It's about 68-70 degrees out in the evenings and right now, about 65 degrees in the morning. Later in the day, they'll be gone. Do bumble bees slow down as the temps drop (it's cool, but I didn't think it was 'cold' for bees yet but you tell me). During the day, there are as many as 7 bumble bees at a time on each mound of flowers and they're buzzing happily, healthily and actively. I don't want to do the sugar water treatment if they're just resting or if this is OK because I figure the less handling the better. I did try the sugar water treatment with one 3 nights ago. It didn't drink for a few minutes, but when I transferred it to the dish with water, it did activate and buzz a bit. I went indoors, came out 2 minutes later and the bee was gone. Sugar water? Stressed and evading me, the 'predator', using up valuable energy?? I don't want to stress the bees unnecessarily by handling them, but the regular occurrence has me puzzled.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Anne

    1. Bumble bees and other bees do slow down as temperatures drop... even 60s may feel cool to them, especially to bumble bees, as they take a bit more energy to get off the ground. I've frequently seen bumble bees hanging out on flowers throughout the night... even looking quite damp in the morning when there's a shower! Male bumble bees often do, and it's nothing to worry about... they'll begin their days once they warm up, with fresh nectar for breakfast 😋

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

  105. Hi.

    I rescued a tree bumble bee who had a damaged wing.

    I thought this would be just a couple of days some nice sugar water and a comfy place to go to bee heaven but 44 days later I still have my little guest.

    As there was no way she could fly I added some local honey and pollen to the box to feed her and lots of fresh flowers.

    Yesterday she fell back first into the honey and is very unhappy now.

    Her proboscis reflex is stuck with it out now because she can not clean all the honey off her self.

    I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help her.

    Bumble bees can cope with rain so would a gentle misting help?

    Or could I try a damp Q tip?

    Thank you in advance

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Del

    1. I would try to dissolve the honey with slightly-warmer-than-lukewarm honey (but err on the side of cooler-lukewarm first... you want just enough warmth to help liquify the honey). I'd probably use a dropper rather than a mister, to target the honey better, and also because you could get just a little more pressure with a dropper, in terms of removing the honey. Make sure to do this earlier in the day, as she won't want to be sopping wet all night. Ideally you could use a dropper to clean much of it off, and then let her warm up and dry out throughout the day, with good air flow and plenty of warmth. This is challenging, but with patience and water, you may have some luck getting a large amount off her, leaving her to do the fine-tuning, cleaning-wise. I wish you and your bee all the best, it's kind of you to take care of her when she can't fly, and I imagine you must have developed quite the kinship with her at this point ☺️

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

      1. Thank you.

        I used a q tip soaked in luke warm water and gently dabbed/stroked her.

        Safe to say she was true to character and pretty unimpressed about this process but she did’t throw a total fit.

        Her proboscis is still out but she is much more active after the “bath”.

        All in all I think its worth while trying as she seems happier.

        As we are in Norway and she is a spring bumble bee (pretty sure she is a queen) so normal temps for her are low, I am keeping her fully ventilated box at a warm 23c (using a no touch thermometer) ….she is indoors in the living room but I will check in the night and if below 20c add some boiling water in a jar next to but not touching the box to keep heat up.

        She is pretty dry now but not bumble fluffy…going to break the bad news we need another bath in the morning.

        Thank you for understanding my crazy bee lady vibe….after over a month she is a little family pet!

        If you want I will let you know how we do…maybe one day it will help over bees. Oh and the offending honey bowl now has a mesh cover so she can drink but not fall in!

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Del

        1. I would love to know how she is getting along! Although she may be near the end of her natural lifespan (typically 2-6 weeks for worker bumble bees, though she's certainly safer with you than out foraging in the wild). I'm sure she's given everyone in your family a closer connection to bumble bees ☺️

          Reply

          Leave a Reply to Elise Fog

          1. Hi.

            Sadly we lost her a couple of days ago.

            The baths got a lot of the honey off…she almost seemed to be drying herself on the the rough heather plants after them and we used an aquarium lamp to help her keep warm when still wet.

            She was accepted the bathing…I even found 2 bee mites I was able to pluck off her with a strong magnifying glass and tiny electrical work tweezers!

            She was really busy and happy the last day but then just went in the space of an hour.

            Reply

            Leave a Reply to Del

  106. hi, so i had some bees in the a little plasic box that we stored pillows in a storm came by and knocked it over the had 3 hives along the lid and now it kinda broke and there all hudled on the outside corner and havent even really moved for a day

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to hailey

  107. I found a honey bee wet and floating on a petal in my garden fountain. I placed the poor little thing on a daisy but it fell off into a border bush and I can't find it now. It's 615 pm and it's an overcast and very warm and muggy summer day. I do hope it will survive. Bees are the whole reason for my pollinator garden.

    Poor wee things...

    Think my rescue will save this one?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Heidi

  108. Yesterday I discovered a bumble bee on our steps that seemed to be a bit tired. It just sat there. I thought maybe it was a bit thirsty so I sat a soda cap of water next to it and let it be. Today I found that very bee on the sidewalk on it's back struggling and seemingly panicked. It would stretch out its rear legs and bend inwards, almost like it was doing sit ups or trying to sting itself. Kinda convulsing if you will. I rushed to help. I figured it probably hadn't had any nourishment since I last discovered it so I gave it the 2:1 ratio of water and sugar(granulated white sugar) through a medine syringe like you get in a childrens tylenol bottle(well washed and no medicine residue). She seemed thirsty and drank vigorously. I didn't press on the syringe, I just put it near her head and she drank what was in the tip. Her panicked disposition subsided shortly after and she began to gain some control. Since I found her(I assume her) I had noticed she was favoring her front left leg(she held it in and kept rubbing it with the leg behind it, as well as kept rubbing her eye). Its getting near dark and she has since not favored it as much. My biggest concern at this point is that since I fed her the sugar water she has started this "panting" from her proboscis and maxilla. It's been non stop ever since. Other than that she seems fine. She gets around, still doesn't use her front limb very much but has stretched it out in a normal fashion. We have her in a cheap little bug carrying case for her protection with the door opened for when she feels strong enough to be on her way. But she has stayed in it, venturing to the doorway but not going out. Since getting dark she has climbed to the top to slumber I assume. I'm just so afraid I messed up giving her the sugar water. She seems content but the proboscis moving in and out has me worried. I'm not a seasoned bee rescuer so I merely looked up ways to help. I love bees and what they do for the world and try to help when one needs it. I guess I should also mention that she seems in good health, no tattered wings or body. I know they don't live that long but she has succeeded in making it since I first discovered her and I feel like if she was on her way out it would've happened by now. Anyway, I've not been able to find anything out about it and I saw your ask a question section and thought maybe you could help. Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sarah

    1. Sorry, in reading everything back to myself for incorrections I noticed I accidentally hit 2:1 instead of 1:1 ratio. I'm typing on a cell phone and have fat fingers lol. Sorry for the misinformation.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Sarah

  109. Hi. I've just emailed and on sending you that question, checked the bee in the box and she was ready to go. I took her outside to the flowers and got the bedraggled bee in the box and is inside now.

    Thank you.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Val

  110. Hi. I have a bumble bee in a box inside at the moment. Found on the garden floor during torrential rain. I have also found another bumble bee in my garden that needs help.

    Can I put the 2 bumble bees together in the same box?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Val

  111. It's late at night bumblebee was found in water I've given it sugar water it's trying to fly but can't get off the ground should I keep it inside or put outside

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lena Carville

  112. Hi

    My bird box has been overtaken with tree bees for two years now. Although I am a bit scared of them I would never want them taken away or harmed. For three days now there has been no activity. I know they are still there as on one of the three days four come out. Is this normal please. The weather here just now is really hot (mid 20s). Well hot for Scotland anyway lol. Would appreciate advice on this please x

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Rhona

  113. I found a bumble bee on my lawn three days ago and it was in a poor condition. I placed the bee on my garden furniture and gave it a drink of sugar water. I checked an hour later and it was still there but walking around and looked to be exercising it’s wings. The next morning it was still there, still walking around and exercising it’s wings. Later in the day I gave the bee some more sugar water, which it took. This morning, after a stormy night the bee is still here. Why won’t it fly off? Or even can it fly off?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Billy

  114. In the middle of my parking lot on the asphalt there was a swarm of bees 10,000 I am guessing. We swept them up and relocated them to a flowering bush. They are now dead. I have never seen this before have you?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jim Levante

    1. it could of been the queen bee making the workers do to much

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Indy

  115. I regularly help struggling bees. I have just come across a buff tailed bumble which doesn’t seem interested in my sugar water offering.. it’s climbing around in earnest, and takes flight for a very short burst but obviously can’t sustain prolonged flight.. any suggestions??

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tom

  116. Hello!

    I found a bee on its back and helped it onto its front. It kept flopping back over but I managed to balance it upright on a twig. I gave it some sugar water but although it put its legs in, it didn't look like its tongue was extended to drink any. I have sinced moved the bee into a flower to keep it upright and close to pollen. It's now almost 3 hours since I found it and although she is still alive (atenna still move) she hasn't made any effort to move. I've brought her inside to try and warm her up but I'm not sure what else to do or how to tell whether she is dying. Any help gratefully received!!

    J

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jojo

  117. I rescued a tired bee. Put it in a box with roses and gave it sugar water. Next day took it into garden and it doesn’t seem to fly. Took it in fed it left it overnight. Bee still lively and drinking sugar water then sleeps but not wanting to leave? Should I keep it or put it in the garden?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Charlotte

    1. Day 3 rescued bumble bee still not flying but still alive and drinking sugar water a few times a day. Keeping it in a box with foliage. It sleeps inside a flower. Is there anything else I should do?

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Charlotte

  118. I have bubble bees going to and from under my decking just outside my door. This does not bother me but certain members of my family find it a bit scary.

    I was wondering how long the bees will stay?

    Please could you enlighten me thankyou

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chick

  119. Two days ago I found a bee crawling around my septic tank cover. It has remained in the general area for the last 2 days and hasn't really moved much. There was a threat of a thunderstorm today so I decided to bring it into the house after reading some of the info on your website. I poked holes in the lid of a plastic container and put him inside with a couple of leaves that were in the area he had been staying. Almost as soon as I did that he started buzzing his wings frantically. Did I do the right thing bringing him in the house? He seems to be kind of upset. I don't want to release him now because it's going to rain quite heavily but I just wanted some guidance and what to do from this point. I do have photos of the bee if it would help you to identify it. Please advise what I should do next. Thank you 💜

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Cher

  120. Last night at around 8pm (U.K. time) I found a bee on our patio. I am big on helping and saving bees, so I gave him a drink of sugar water and left him on our garden table to rest. I went back out about an hour later to check he had gone and he was still there. I have him some water and even bought him inside in case he just needed to warm up a little. Now this bee has sat on me and rested, he’s crawled on me and let me hold him. I did some research and set up an open shoe box outside with some water and expected him to begone this morning. However he was still there. So I brought him back inside in case the temperature drop is why he didn’t fly away and he is still sat on me. He’ll move about for a bit and then rest and he hasn’t really seemed interested in a drink this morning. We have had the local council spray weed killer in our area of late, so wonder if that is the problem. We have a 4yr old son and are trying to teach him about being kind and helpful and he really wants us to help this bee. Any ideas on what else we can do or should we just put him outside and leave him to it? Many thanks

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sarah

  121. I have a very wet bed on a bottle brush bush that is hardly moving, it is 10.30 am and more rain is due. What is the best thing to do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Alison

  122. We have sloping a window on our kitchen ceiling, huge bees often get caught in the shallow dip under it and they can’t fly out. The stressed out buzzing noise is upsetting. Is there any kind of contraption or tool I can use to save them?? When they get caught in the dip (2cm wide) they end up dying 😢.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Dina

  123. I had a bee sit in the same spot on my window all day today, it's a bit cold here at the moment, so as it was becoming late at night I was worried he was cold, so I warmed the glass from the other side with my hand. After a while of doing this he still hadn't moved, so I put him into a container with a tissue soaked in water to bring him into the warmth of the house for the night, as soon as I brought him in he became distressed and started flying about in the container. I didn't want him to feel scared so I brought him back outside (at this point it was 10pm at night), and left the lid open, and he immediately flew out. My question is, why was he sitting on the window all day and we'll into the night? He seemed well enough to fly...?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Christina

  124. Got a queen buff tailed bumble we rescued from exhaustion last night.

    She seems to be feeling better after a feed and a warm up, but she isn't buzzing off again.

    What should we do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kerrie

  125. I found a baby bee as it looks like on floor he’s quite tired and clinging onto a flower I’ve got for him I’ve given him sugar water but he didn’t really drink it he’s closed his wings but still moving his body when I give him a little lift up what else can I do does it take a while for him to get back strength?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Karina

  126. Your blog was a lifesaver, literally. I found two bees two days ago in my garden, and today after 48 hrs of snow and nights below zero, I found them today, no movement but alive (they climbed to a straw) so I brought them inside. I have cats so I needed to be very careful about them, and I was looking for a proper 'container' for them to spend the night. This article was everything I needed and more. Thank you so much for this info and your work!

    BTW, just for sharing, they looked dead after drinking sugar water and climbing on some greenery (they were really active walking, but clumsy and no flights), like you mentioned, but they were like that for 15 mins and suddenly, they started to move. So people, be patient with them.

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    Leave a Reply to Chuck N.

  127. Thank you so much for your work. I have an issue with bees being stuck in my 3 season room. They may be nesting at the edge of my home and getting in under the floor boards in the room. Then they fly to the same extra warm corner far from the door. It's a screen in area. I've always been able to capture and release one at a time however this week, there are usually 3-6 at the same time. Any ideas?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tammy

  128. I found a very almost dead bumble bee today the poor bee looked like it was fried up in the sun barely moving feet tucked under it, laying on my porch so i quickly brought it inside and made some honey water and it drank the drops i put on a lid it couldnt use its legs.. it looked almost dried up. After it drank for quite some time i put it on a napkin in a open container to rest in hopes that when i came back home it might still be alive. When i got home all its legs were working and he/she managed to get its winges back to normal and even the front legs were in use.... i was so proud to see the progress but right after i checked on him or her it passed away almost like he waited till i got home to show me his progress then passed away :'( my question is.. why did he wait till i got home to let go. He passed away within 5 minutes of me being back home i was gone for about 5 hours. It made me cry to know he held on till i got homr almost to say thank you and goodbye. Also ..In the future how often should i give a bee sugar water and do they sleep at night should i be leaving them alone and not checking on them constantly bugging them?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Audra Green

  129. Found a queen, gave her sugar water boxed her and warmed her on my hand but she won’t fly away. I think one of her wings is damaged and I don’t know what to do. Please help.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Charlie-anne Mullineux

  130. We have a very large bee which we found on the pavement in a rain storm. It wasn't moving so we took it in and tried to give some sugar water. This was 5 hours ago and the bee will not touch the water. Kept in a tub and warm then after a while the bee keeps trying to climb out. So we put it outside in a sunny place but it then climbs back into our box and the process starts all over again. Not moving, warming it up then not taking any water. Repeated the process a few times now. Its heavy rain showers here constantly at the minute but don't want to keep the bee in the box too long with it not drinking. What is best to do. Thank you

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Paul

  131. What if you have a carpenter bee because my family dose not mind carpenter bees but what if one of the bees gets hurt or looses a wing. I don’t know how to help this bee but I red on Google that is likes to eat nectar, plants that grow pollen, and pollen. I don’t know how to make this bee feel like it is home. So I don’t know what the carpenter bee needs

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    Leave a Reply to Erin

  132. What are we ever going to do when we can no longer purchase shoes that come in a box?!!! 😁

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    Leave a Reply to Englishelley

  133. I had found a honey bee out in the rain just today but the clouds are covering up the sun

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    Leave a Reply to Abby

  134. I'm in Michigan and found a bumble on the porch late yesterday. It was cold and miserable outside and she wasn't moving around so I picked her up, brought her in and fixed a little area for her. I put a drop of sugar water by her head, but she never really moved much and wasn't interested in the water. This morning, she'd died :( I feel so bad! I really wanted to help her. Thank you for the first aid instructions though. They will be helpful in the future because I do occasionally find one like that.

    Sad...

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to nightsmusic

  135. I have a pet bee. She was injured so I put her in a bug box for a few days. I made a bee house and put her in it. The next day, I was outside and she was hiding in a crack in the wood. She was not moving around (I poked her with a stick). I think that she is dead. What do I do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lily

  136. Just wanted to say thank you for this site. I was moving some of my plants indoors because it's going to be in the low forties and it's raining. I did not want my plants to die. In moving my blueberry bush a bumblebee fell onto the chair so I just picked it up and put it back on the bush and stuck in the corner. That's when I decided to Google And I came across your sight and thanks to you I saved the bee and now he is starting to move around.... I put the bush in my car and turned on the heat and I could seen him coming back to life : )... Now he is moving slowly in my bathroom in the blueberry bush

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Liz

  137. Hello again Elise!

    I just wanted to let you know. We took our little bee girl out on the porch about an hour ago (10:30 Michigan time) after sitting her shoebox in the sunlight inside the house and I offered a bit of fresh sugar water. Literally less than five minutes later she suddenly hovered up like a little helicopter and took off! She took a couple circles around the porch and was soon gone, looking like a typical little bumble bee. Complete 180 degree change from the wet tired bee I found yesterday. So you don’t have to worry about answering my post. Our little house guest is back where she belongs! Thank you so much for your informational website!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Linz

  138. Hello Elise!

    I live in Michigan and found what looks like a bumble bee that had been caught in the rain yesterday morning (her wings seemed very wet and stuck together). It was drying outside when I found her but was overcast with no sunlight and the forecast called for more rain at night. So in watching her and reading your website I mixed up some sugar water and offered it to her. She seemed pretty interested and responsive to it. I’m not sure if she ate any as I didn’t see her tongue but I dipped a dandelion in it and offered her some drops as best I could. She moved her antennas and jaws to grab at it and also her legs but still couldn’t dry her wings naturally. I ultimately placed her in a shoebox with a bit of grass that I dried with a paper towel and a shallow lid with some sugar water. She managed to crawl up on the lid but this is where she stayed. We kept her in a spare room in our house overnight. In checking on her this morning she is still just on the lid of the shoebox not attempting to fly. I was planning on offering her some new sugar water and place the shoebox open on our porch where I found her when it’s warmer (the sun is out but it’s only in the 40s right now). Is there anything else I should be doing? I’d appreciate any advice.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Linz

  139. Hi

    It’s cold today about 4 degrees and I’ve found what I think is a queen bee in the drive almost lifeless. It didn’t want water to start with so I brought it indoors. It’s now taken a big drink of sugar and water and is moving a bit more. Still looks like it’s struggling. It’s nearly 7 pm and very cold out.. which is such a change from Sunday when it was unusually warm. I’m watching the bee but she looks like she may take a while to recover . Do I put her outside??

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to N

  140. Found a frozen bumblebee in the morning. The little guy was able to thaw out but he seems to be unable to drink or not want to drink. It’s been 10hrs since I’ve found him and he seems to be the same. Very little movement and a bit wobbly. I don’t know what to do, can you please advise?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kat

  141. Hi, I'm so sorry about the the fire and all the kisses you suffered. I hope things are shaping up better since the new year.

    I'm in nj and it's been getting into the 60s, and my hyacyinths are blooming. I cut a few last evening and put them in a vase, and didn't notice until late last night that there was a big bee on top of one. The temps had dropped to below freezing so I googled and found your site. I had a perfect shoebox with a hole in it, and I got some small branches from the bush where the flowers were and put them in the box. I tried to feed it the sugar water, but my hand was shaky, and then it crawled into the spoon, so I just closed the box for the night. My question is tomorrow and tomorrow night isn't going to get better weatherwise. I think the daytime high is 45°, so should I put the box out anyway, or wait until the next day which will be warmer, and try feeding it again?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bernadette

  142. Amazing... I used info on here to recover a bee... Bee was stuck floating in a bird bath and I dumped it in a plant, but it looked all dirty and disastrous and weak... I made a shallow bath and washed all the dirt off and put it in a clean area... seemed sluggish... I tried cleaning it a bit, giving it honey and nothing much happened... I transferred it in a warm sunny spot, and when I saw its tounge gave it sugar water, and it spent more time cleaning itself up, looked wet.... I kept checking on it, and it was getting faster and more active... then after 10 minutes, I looked out the window and it took off like a rocket.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Steven J

  143. Hello, I have had a bumble bee living in a shoe box (ventilated ) also inside my slipper , since Sunday night (now Tuesday night)

    It is still alive but no longer accepting and water/sugar .

    I can’t bare to put it outside as it’s so cold and when I do it curls up.

    Iam not sure if it’s trying to hibernate again inside my slipper or is it dying and Iam prolonging the misery? Please help as I just want to help this beautiful creature. X

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Laura silver

  144. I found a seemingly dead carpenter bee yesterday. It’s been 50’s day/40’s night. I brought her inside and gave her/him sugar water which she did drink, but since yesterday she doesn’t move unless I gently blow on her. She just doesn’t look good and does not move. she did fall forward into the sugar water. Should I try making a teeny wooden nest in old wood and allow her and nature to just, ah hem, bee?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to m

  145. Hi I fiund a Carpenter bee on its back so I put it in the sun and gave it sugar water. They usually dont come out until later in the summer. Im wondering should I keep her in thexouse in a container with sugar water ir try and put her in the tiny nest. They have been here for a few yrs. now. The weather is going to get colder again. Thank you.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kim

  146. Hi Elise,

    Your website has been very useful for me this morning as I found a large fuzzy bumble bee struggling on my patio this morning (I think she's a queen), she was on her back so I popped her on a small plate with some sugar water but her front leg didn't appear to be moving so she collapsed on her back a few times and got a bit covered in the sugary water unfortunately. After helping her stay up, removing the plate and popping her indoors for a bit with a smaller dish of sugar water ( placed her in the sun as it was cold outside )... she seemed to improve and move more. Eventually her wings buzzed but she was still struggling with her front leg I think. Maybe she was just lethargic still. It's now been 3 hours and she's made her way to my irises outside, she's still very slow. I am worried she has too much sticky sugary water all over her body. Any other tips to recommend for me to help her? I feel an urge to really look after her now :)

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Laura

  147. what is the difference between a worker bee and a big fuzzy bumble bee.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to cookie cat

  148. Bit off topic, but queen wasps... If they come out of hibernation too soon (eg weren't aware that hibernating in a conservatory is a bad idea as you'll get a false "spring is here", signal, especially if there's a radiator too!), is it possible to re hibernate them /re induce diapause? Obviously care needed handling wasps, all though at this stage they have hardly any energy to do much they can attempt to fly + probably sting. But I fed her, it's a nice day, I put her outside, but in the knowledge that it will probably kill her, as I'm in Yorkshire in late Feb, + probably it will soon be tough weather again. So after 10 mins watching her womble around the lawn with a couple of very small flights, I've put her in a plastic tube with air holes + with a leaf to hang onto, on the shady side of the house. Trying to Google about wasps returns loads of pest control results! She may be about to starve to death either in or out of the tube, so I have nothing to lose with my experiment. Around mid March early April I will see if she survived + open the tube.

    Other than kill her (quick death rather than starvation!, even though the latter would be natural), is there something better I can do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Rich

  149. Im a new beekeeper. We just got a hive yesterday and undid the hole today so they can learn where they live. Of course a weather-alert hit my phone a few hours into daytime. A big rainy cold front came in, blasting rain, wind.. I found about 8 or 10 cold wet bees at the base of the hive. I picked them up carefully with a stick and pushed them back into the reducer hole. Hopefully their bee friends will attend to them? That's all I could think of to do to save them. It'll be 37 tonight so I don't think theyd live on the ground overnite. Do you think this was the correct thing to do? I'm just learning. Thx

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sarah

  150. With our recent hard freeze in Houston, Texas, all of my Mexican Heather and other bee favorites are dead. Now the sun is shining, and the bees are out.

    What can be done for emergency food source?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Cheren Goodwin

  151. Hi, yesterday I found a bee on the floor so I picked her up and gave her sugar water. She had a good drink and then I left her outside, tucked out of the wind so she could fly off. I checked on her later and by 8 at night she was still there. It was quite cold and I could see she was shivering her wings so I brought her in and put her in a little pot with some leaves and cut some big air holes in the top. This morning I’ve popped her back outside with a little cap of sugar water in the hopes that she will fly off. She’s definitely a lot more active but doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Today is supposed to be quite a lot warmer so I’m hoping that it will get her moving, but what do I do if she again doesn’t fly off?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Shay

  152. I have a bee I saved from my pool yesterday it was almost dark and too cold for it to fly. I dried him and warmed him up, made him a little box and out some warm socks and some sugar water in a shallow dish. It has been raining all day today and its going to rain must of the day tomorrow and will be too cold. Should I just keep doing the same thing until it’s warm and sunny enough to releases him?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Melissa

  153. We have had a bumble bee with us over night after picking her up out of the snow. She is now crawling around and wants to get out of the box. Its minus 3 outside do you have any suggestions. Oh she also has part if her back leg missing.

    Thank you

    Vincent

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Vincent

  154. I found a struggling bumble bee this afternoon while walking my e elderly dogs.I picked it up and covered it gently with a dog blanket in my dog chariot that I use to rest one of my dogs when out as he has arthritis.

    I have it in a box with sugar water, kitchen roll and is on a warm radiator. It is reviving...but what can I do to keep it safe and well until a warm sunny day comes along?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Susan

  155. I keep rescuing bees from pool. They move quite a bit but then just end up going in circles and dying. Is there a way to avoid this?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to K172

  156. Hi

    Just found a large bumble bee. It look dead but I bought her in and she’s now warming up and moving.

    Now I do t know what to do as it’s -3 outside

    Please advise

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Fiona

  157. Hello 👋 so after work last night I found a very tired cold and wet bumblebee. I have fed with sugared water and kept her indoors in a shoe box but I think its to cold to let her go. As it is only just above freezing (I live in the south of england) my question is do I keep it for longer before releasing and if im keeping her longer do I have to provide her with anything else? Any advice would be very appreciated as I have never done this before. Thankyou in advance

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Just me

  158. I rescued a dozy cold queen bee last night and followed your advice.

    She is sleeping curled up on a flower today. Should I wake her or wait?

    How long do I keep her for and could she be hibernating?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Christine

  159. Hi - I have a natural bee hive in a large tulip poplar tree in my yard - about 35 ft up the trunk. The hive has been here for 5 years and seems healthy. It's cold here, about 45 degrees F high during the day. A stray bee has been at my screen door and I've brought it in at night. It's active at night, but once I put it out during the day it slows down. I fear it won't fly up to the hive, and wondering if I could take it to a local garden area that has several bee boxes at ground level. Would the other hive accept this stray bee? I don't want to put it in danger. Thanks, Kate

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to KC

  160. We have found a bumblebee in out house the other day its the 26 of December and the temperature has been very up and down in a very unseasonably way lately.

    We took this bee gave it some sugar water and we noticed that it has a damaged wing. Our son figures that it won't be able to make it back to where it needs to be without dying so we are going to keep it till its dies but we want the bee to be happy till it does.

    If you thi k that this is wrong please let us know, but if this seems OK we where wondering how to keep it.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jon

  161. I found a bee on the ground curled up with what looks like a white bubble on its butt? (Right Where the stinger is) I put it in the sun and it’s starting to move but it’s very twitchy - what can I do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Cait

  162. I’ve been providing water for Bees every summer for about 3 years. This sounds strange but I can’t recall what I did when winter comes. I’m 71, it seems that my memory took a permanent vacation when I turned 70. This year I’m having trouble. The temps go down in the high 30’s and mid 40’s. The bees come early in the morning unless it’s too cold, or it’s raining. We haven’t had rain but 2 times all year. They are usually at the water no later than 10am. But it doesn’t take them long to fall in the saucer. I use plant saucers. They aren’t deep and are finished so it’s easy to keep clean. My problem is that on cold days they fall into the water very easily. I get them as soon as I see they are in the water. That water has been out all night, it’s very cold. I get them out and place them in the palm of my hand. My hands are always hot, I gently move them in my palm to help them wake up. They wake up and are happy the rest of the day. My problem is that at times bees that fall into the water in the afternoon don’t want to fly away before night fall. I’ve tried to keep them with me in the house during the cold night, but by morning they are dead. Tonight I have 10 bees that didn’t fly away by sunset. It’s going down to the 40’s tonight. I’d like to bring them inside, but I don’t want them to die! I love my bees very much and don’t want even one to die! I made a see through plastic container for my bees if I have to bring them in the house. It has lots of air holes. But in the morning they are dead. Please tell me what am I doing wrong? Should I leave the bees outside at night? Should I empty the water until next spring? I always check on the bees every couple of hours. It’s difficult because if I have a doctors appointment I sometimes can’t return to check on them for a few hours. Is it safe to use marbles? I read that, I did that with rocks when I was trying to have water available for butterflies. It got slimy very quickly. I didn’t want them die from bacteria growing so I just emptied it and didn’t do it again. The bees always go away just before it gets dark outside. Are they going to a hive nearby? If not, where do they go?

    Thank you so so much for your help. I’ve been looking everywhere for help. My wonderful husband found you for me. Thank you again, I’m very grateful.

    Patty

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Patty

  163. Hi I have found a large bumblebee outside on the patio soaking wet and cold (about 8degrees) I scooped it up and put it in a box and gave it some bee's honey ( I used to keep bees and have some spare). Don't know if that was a good thing to do or not.

    Anyway I am not sure it has dried out. I have made several attempts to let it go outside but it just curls up. (inside it is quite active). It was free to go but didn't. Now it is getting colder and darker so I have bought it in again. The problem is I think it will be cold for the next few days. Do I keep it in overnight and keep trying to let it go each day? If it doesn't how long can it survive in this (amazon) box?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Stu

  164. Hi I have had a bee arrive yesterday morning was out there in rain last night what can I do to help it

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Hev

  165. Hello! We found a freezing carpenter bee outside (it’s 40f). We brought him in, gave him sugar water and warmth. He perked up and was flying around the container so we released him near a bench we think his nest is in. He flew off but then came back to our front door a half hour later. We have him inside again and are wondering what to do next. Can you keep a carpenter bee over winter? I’m afraid he’s lost his nest somewhere and will freeze to death. Thank you!!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lea

    1. Perhaps the bee thought it was a good food sorce for it's hive and wants to come back? If so it isn't good and you probably shouldn't let the bee back in or it may be encoraged to try again to get more sugar water for the hive.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Hebe Manon

  166. I found a bee in a glue trap, It was so awful watching it strugle. So I put some vegtible oil on it, but I think I drowned it. I finally got it out of the trap but it buttwas still moving, I tried to get it to wake up and fly or anything really, ut it stopped moving... Sadly it will not move for about 5 min now,... I feel really bad. 😥😓😩😭

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to beez

  167. It’s the start of a really cold snap and the onset of winter. There’s a poorly bee in my house. Can I keep it safe over winter? I’d usually offer sugar water and set it free but I don’t think it could survive winter!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Elle

  168. Hi, we found a worker bee in the middle of the river while out on our boat. Got him on the boat to dry out and waited a while, but I think we was too tired to fly off. Brought him home to give some sugar water, but now I don’t know where to release him since it will be difficult to get him back to that area by car. Will he survive if released in our back yard?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Shelby

  169. I’ve found a bumble bee outside my back door early this morning, I think she may have been there all night, it’s November and winter, she is alive but only moving slightly- what should I do?

    Thank you

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Clare

  170. I have a large bee under a leaf in the garden. its been there for a few days .its alive, is there anything I can do to help it or is it dying

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Julie

  171. Hi! I found a honeybee on my car last night, it was supposed to get cold overnight(about 40F). I read that was too cold so I took the bee in and gave it sugar water. The outside temp today did not reach 50F. Tonight the temperature will reach 55F but that is only during the night and while it is raining, in the morning the temperature will drop to below 50F. Tuesday the high will be 45 and mostly sunny. Wednesday it will 53F and cloudy. Thursday will be 59F and rainy. Friday will be 57F and mostly cloudy.

    I am not sure when to release the bee as I do not know how long it will survive inside and which of those conditions would be the best to release it in. The bee has sugar water and I filled a bottle cap with compost, garden dirt, and water for it as well. I need help deciding when to release the bee and how to provide for it while inside.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kate

  172. Hey,

    Found a bumble bee yesterday. It’s freezing here and Bert is very slow and groggy. Given sugar solution. Today i put Bert outside but still nothing. Little flutter of wings. Please help. I’ve got quite attached

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jo

  173. It is getting cold out. I found a bumblebee on my mum and mum is dying because it’s between 20-35 degs. Overnight and most days 40-50. The bee is sluggish. 2 others were there but they left. I took this single one inside 3 days ago, gave sugar water and live flowers in a butterfly habitat. I put him outside today cuz it was 60 but temps will drop tonight and over next week. He hasn’t moved off the mum. What should I do with him?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nota

  174. The video that you have of the bees drinking in the red bowl. where it says: Shared with kind permission by reader Christine.

    May I have Christine's contact details or would you pass mine to her. I would like to see if she will give me permission to use her MP4 video.

    Lesley

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lesley Woodfin

  175. Hi, I have found a western honey bee, he came in my house on wood for my wood stove he fell off thankfully and onto my floor I saw him crawling around and scooped him up. I have him in an open container I made some tunnels out of cardboard and he’s gone in. What am I to do with him if I put him back outside will he find his hive? It’s freezing out and we have snow now? Thanks so much

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Baby Sunflowers

  176. My girls for a bumble bee yesterday on a path. It was late afternoon on a cold, frosty day. We rescued the bee and took it home to warm up/ give sugar water. It perked up but didn't want to fly off. We have kept safe over night and now it is pouring rain (typical Scotland). It is moving around a little, giving odd buzz but doesn't seem that active to get going. Any advice?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jacqui

  177. It's about 10-12'c out now. Found a large bee at the doorstep - taking in heat from the song sun. But it is sluggish and weak.. I've got it in a box, some flowers, sugar water, heat etc. Is it dying at this time of year? Any advice accepted.

    I saved a bee earlier in the summer, but it's cold out now.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kathy

  178. I found a bumbel bee queen mating she had only one wing i bought here inside and i gave her a daisy flower she drank and buried into the soil she is currently in hibernation when she has a few workers i am going to put her outside in a bumbel bee box is this okay?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Asim

  179. Hello. It is getting cooler by the day here in CT. Yesterday evening (10/24) I found what I believe is a honey bee. It was too cold to move so I gave it some sugar water and sat with it in my hand for a while but it did not fly away. I decided it was best to take it indoors overnight as it was getting dark outside. It warmed up and began flying inside the old fish tank I am keeping it in. But then when I brought it back outside (10/25) in the afternoon (the temperature is only 48 F) it tried flying and was unable to lift itself higher than an inch from the ground. It crawled back onto my hand and stopped moving. I figured it is still too cold outside for it so I took it back in and am not sure what to do now. The temperature is not supposed to get any warmer outside and there is rain in the forecast for the next few days. Please help!! Thank you

    -Sami

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sami

  180. Hey. I found a honeybee in the crack of my car trunk today. I’m not sure if she was there from our house or my moms. She was hardly moving and seemed to be cold. I brought her inside and gave her a little sugar water And within a few minutes she was trying to fly. She doesn’t seem to be injured or dying. But it is chilly outside and fairly damp. Tomorrow is suppose to be the same way. She has a safe place for tonight but should I attempt to release her tomorrow seeing as how the weather isn’t the best and not knowing if her hive is here or in another town?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kara J

  181. Today a bee was on me and it almost sting me what do I do?

    I was scared that the bee has already bit me!

    I hope I don't get an infection, but will I get an infection?!

    -Charley Maria Dela Rosa Badawi

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to charley

  182. We have found a bee this afternoon barely moving, we have bought it home given it some sugar water not sure it has taken any though as in a very poor state, it’s legs are moving very slightly at times and the head tucked right in, l have now put it in my hand which is quite warm, we also removed a fast moving mite! Any ideas please? In the past we have had bees that recover quickly, So not sure what to do as it’s October ! Many thanks in advance 🙏🌺

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lisa S

  183. I have a bumblebee (or it could be a queen honey bee because my neighbors have bees) and it has been on the same flower for overnight (which was rainy and 40 degrees )and looks like it’s just hanging there. As we now approach another night she is still there but we are suppose to get a light frost tonight Should I try to bring it inside in a box? I’m afraid it could be a queen

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Deb

  184. Hello. Yesterday I took in 3 inactive bees that had been hanging onto a cut bouquet of sunchoke flowers on my back porch since the day before. So after some googling and finding your page I took a ventilated show box, added sugar water and a few of the sunchoke flowers (in water) and some soft paper. Once the bees were in they had fed on the sugar water they perked up so I went outside with the box. One bee flew away but not the other 2. I kept them overnight and now they still won't leave. What should I do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to C

  185. We are in the middle of a storm. Rescued bee from wall, given it sugar water and its perked up, going to keep it overnight and hopefully release tomorrow. This storm is here for a while. We are in Cornwall UK

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tee

  186. in Wisconsin its 4e degrees, wet m, and rainy. Found a best that wasn't moving. I brought it in, offered sugar eater, and warned him/her up. What do we do now?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jodi

  187. Hi!

    I love Bees and am a little concerned looking for true answers. I’ve recently come across this “sleepy Bee” idea that says Bees sometimes sleep outside their “nest” in flowers. Are they truly sleeping ? I’m worried that it could be exhaustion of worse God forbid a pesticide issue. I’ve seen a few Bees recently asleep in what I think is a calendula flower. Yesterday and today in the early afternoon and morning. It’s been a bit cold late as well here on the east coast.

    Also I will note that this last summer I saw sooooooo many Bees out! I’ve never seen so many and yet made me feel food like perhaps humans being quarantined had allowed for done reset of nature and a much needed flourishing of Bee civilisation. I don’t know, just a thought. But I had a good feeling whereas with this sleepy Bee thing I feel bothered 😕

    Thanks for any insight 🙏 🐝 💓

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Shana

  188. Oct 3rd 2020. We have a dozy Bee in our conservatory. It's Autumn here in the UK and cold and pouring with rain outside. The Bee is crawling around slowly. We have supplied sugar and water for it but what else should we do ? Should we make make some sort of nest for it to crawl into? Our conservatory is getting a bit chilly now and we don't want to put the Bee outside where it's even colder.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Geraldine Dodd

    1. I’m no expert but I read above that allowing the Bee to crawl on your skin may provide it with sine warmth fir recovery. Just thought I’d point that out so you can act quickly for the Bee 💓

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Shana

  189. I brought dahlias indoors from my plot. Next morning a honeybee was buzzing on the inside of my window. I tried to open the window to entice him out but couldn't find the key to unlock it, so decided to do same on my return about one & a half hours later. Sadly, it was dead on the windowsill of my other window. So sad. Feel like I have killed it. Why did it die? Regards jo d

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jo

  190. I'm so relieved having read your post. The past few days here in Vancouver have been particularly rainy - very heavy at times - and I have been seeing so many thoroughly soaked bumblebees in my asters and dahlias both day and night. During the day I can pick 7-8 of them, bring them in to warm up and dry off and then when they're buzzing their wings I've been letting them fly outside when the rain has stopped.

    Last night we returned from dinner and I found at least 10 more bumblebees on the dahlias all soaking wet. I brought them all in, some still on the flowers they were on, keeping them in a shallow ice cream bucket with a soft mesh cloth (from a laundry bag used to wash delicate garments) on top. I've put them all in a quiet dark place.

    I was worried I was disturbing them and somehow messing with nature but I'm so glad to know after reading your post that this is ok to do. I will start offering sugar water. I have some hummingbird nectar I've made which I'll add more sugar to make it the correct ratio. Thank you for your information.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Flavia C

  191. I know your site is all about wonderful furry little bumbles, but I have been so damaged by carpenter bees that I hate all bees that are not honey bees. I'm sure there may be a way to tell the difference, but any bumblybees I see, all seem to drill holes in my house.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tim

  192. i saved a drowning bee with my hands

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to kk

  193. I came across a cold wet bee yesterday and followed the advice to house the bee overnight as we had an abrupt, cold start to our fall yesterday. Now that bee is warm and dry I see that she is injured, it looks like her front legs. Today’s a warmer day and I’ve made her a cozy spot on our deck next to our flowers, with some leaves, flower heads, fresh water and sugar water but I’m not feeling hopeful as she’s still there several hours later 😔. Any further advice?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Rhonda

  194. Hi I had a dish out all summer for the bees to use for water up until recently didn’t see much of them catching on ? Anyways 3 weeks ago I happily saw numerous bees using the dish and even some hornet types ! So to make a long story short I noticed that the glass rocks and sides of my water dish could use a cleaning? I was worried about them getting something from the moldy sides ? So I cleaned with vinegar and put fresh cold water in ? And now none of them are using it anymore? Were the bees leaving some type of scent to guide others to the bowl that I have now washed off or is it just coincidence?? Any help on this would be great!! Ty

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nish

  195. A roofer told me that I had a bees nest. How can it be safely removed?

    I live in Lynn,MA 20 miles North of Boston.

    Thank you,

    Dr. J

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Dr J

  196. Found almost dead(?) large bee on garden table. I put sugar water and flower bud on leaf and tempted bee to eat/drink which it did. However it still seems sluggish. Another smaller bee has joined the larger one, this smaller one keeps flying away And coming back. Now, it has either mated with large bee or tried to either sting it or kill it. Not sure what to do, should I try and shoo little bee away or leave the pair alone??? Please advise, I have spent about 4 hours trying to make big bee strong enough to fly

    Regards xx

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Patsy

  197. I’ve been finding several lethargic bumble bees in a corner of the yard (and a few dead bees). It is unusual, we haven’t used pesticides (though who knows about neighbours), I’m wondering if it’s just because it’s a shady corner and it’s been a cooler summer (temps more low 20’s C than mid 20s as we’d normally see). Is it likely they’re Just cold or is there something else I should be looking for? I have started moving to a sunny location and feeding them, but it’s usually unnecessary, especially for so many bees this year. We have so many flowers in bloom that I have difficulty believing they’re going hungry.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Beth

  198. So my neighbor has a bee box I care take her home while she is at work the bees were fine yesterday but my other neighbor called me saying his backyard is swarming. I went over there and her box is swarming and the bees are dropping out of the box in big blotches and swarming. It is a cool morning what is going on?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Darleen

  199. I was just driving out old, dry soil in my trough to put yes I compost in and I've come across mining bees in little kids in the soil. I guess they're baby bees, one doesn't even have fully formed wings! What should I do? I feel terrible. Should I leave it or can I do anything to help reverse the damage I've caused?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Summer

  200. Hi,

    Late this evening it turned cool and while out with a lamp, checking my flowers for nasties, I found a struggling bee..

    I tried to give it sugar water on a teaspoon, but it fell to the floor. I re-approached with the teaspoon and the bee started drinking.

    After the drink, the bee became more animated, but was struggling to fly - I assume it was because of the cold.

    I put the bee in a well ventilated box for the night, in the house and intend to release the bee tomorrow.

    I'm hoping the bee will be ok and that I can get the bee flying as bees are in trouble and we need to save all we can.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Paul

  201. We had a series of storms over the weekend. While I was on my deck securing some furniture down, I found a carpenter bee. I brought her inside and saw that her wings had been torn off and two of her legs on her left side no longer function. I won't be able to release her back into the wild, as there is no way she will survive. But I'm happy to care for her.

    I just need some help in knowing what I can do. Whenever I try to research her needs as a carpenter bee, all I get are "pest control" sights or how to get rid of them - which is not something I want to do.

    I try to bring her a variety of flowers every day but I don't know what kind she needs - all I know is she needs shallow open-faced flowers because her mouthparts are shorter than honey bees.

    I often let her curl up in my hand (her favourite place is usually between my fingers, where she likes to rest or groom herself) I've had her for 5 days now. She fed on the 3 day, (and pooped twice) but I'm worried about her still. She doesn't take sugar water often, and most the time she will crawl over the flowers or just curl up on them.

    I'm worried about the long term, because I know she needs the nutrients from flower nectar. I'm just at a bit of a loss, so any help and advice you can offer will be deeply appriciated.

    She's a fighter, extremely gentle, and I've grown very fond of her.

    Sincerely,

    Mia

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mia

  202. I lifted up a sedum plant outside and apart from the usual woodlice there was a large black furry insect with several legs lying on its back it flipped over to reveal it was a large bee I put the sedum plant back on top of it as I didn't know what else to do was there anything else I could have done?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Carla

  203. I lifted up a sedum plant outside and apart from the usual woodlice there was a large black furry insect with several legs lying on its back it flipped over to reveal it was a large bee I put the sedum plant back on top of it as I didn't know what else to do was there anything else I could have done?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Carla

  204. What to I do if I found a bumblebee stuck in sweetened milk?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Dunja

  205. I have rescued a bee from paddling pool in the garden. She was walking as I left her in the sun on some flowers now she is barely moving and semi curled up in a ball, I have placed into a box with some leaves flowers but looks like she isn’t going to make it. I’m so sad please help do they sleep should she be barely moving ? Offered sugar water but she dragged herself through the few drops I put out now worried I’ve caused her to be sticky and made it worse 😫 please help

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Annabelle

  206. We have now three bumble bees that were on our back porch all within three days who have black sticky stuff all over them causing them not to be able to fly. Two have lived the last two nights even in this condition. I have tried everything I can think of to help them. They have been staying in our garden boxes.

    Please help!

    I still cannot determines the source from which is causing this! It must be near as they are dropping on my back porch.

    Any ideas on how to clean them?!

    Best,

    Gabrielle

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Gabrielle

  207. I’m trying to save a bumble bee because it’s weak. It’s tongue is sticking out and will not go in. I’ve put him/her into a box with some foliage. Please can you give me some advice? Why won’t it’s tongue go back in?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Louise

  208. Not really a question. I'm so angry with myself. I am scared of bees, but when I saw one drowning in my pond I scooped it out with a spade. It was alive, so I left it in the sun to dry. Gradually its wings seemed to fix and I could see the bee was now completely dry. I even gave it some sugar water, which it declined.

    Come night time I didn't know what to do, there was no way I could have it in my house. So I left it, but still checked on it. It even buzzed, but still wouldn't fly away.

    Later in the evening I heard it start raining, without hesitation I ran outside to get the bee under some shelter so that it didn't get wet again before being strong enough to fly off. To my dismay it was dead, ants had gotten it. I never even considered that ants would appear and kill the poor thing. I saved it's life, and then my fear of bees prevented me from taking it indoors and cost it's life. I just felt the urge to try and help it despite my fear of them. Now I'm sad, I feel like I failed it :( :( :( :(

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chaz

  209. I found a bumble bee in my garden 2 days ago on the floor, I offered it some sugar water as it had been there a couple of hours. It was still there later on in the day so I moved it onto a Passion flower. It is now morning day 3 and it is still on the Passion flower, he/she is alive, I offered more sugar water but the bee does not seem to be drinking it. What should I do next? The weather is meant to turn for the worse.

    Thank you

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Laine

  210. Hi.

    I rescued what seems to be a bumble bee from my paddling pool. It climbed onto the lead fine and I put it in a flower in the sun thinking it would dry off. It’s head and centre body part appeared to dry off but the back end still looks sleek as if wet. It was moving a bit so I wasn’t too worried.

    Approx 1 hour later the bee was still there. It wasn’t moving and it was only when I gently blew on it that I could see it was still alive. The sun had set so I took it into my garage and put it onto a saucer with a cap containing some sugar water close to it. Two hours later it had crawled out of the saucer and was lying on its side.

    I’ve now brought it inside where it is slightly water. It’s in a Tupperware container with pierced cling film over the top (I have very young kids so Don’t want it loose in the house if it gets better).

    I now have a petal with a drop of sugar water instead of a lid which I have placed inside the box. Is there anything else I can do? I fear the outcome is not favourable for this little bee :(

    Thank you.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Daniele

  211. My partner found two bees in our paddling pool yesterday, he brought them both in and I put them on some tissue where they both began to clean/dry themselves off. As it was already late in the evening and they were in no rush to leave, I made them each a box to stay in over night as it was also cold and raining. I tried them both with the sugar water solution which neither wanted and put them in their ventilated boxes. Come the morning the smaller, less colourful one of the two had died, the other had perked up. I gave him some more sugar water solution which he drank, I also gave him some of my lavender which he foraged for pollen. It is only 13 degrees celsius here today, and it doesn't plan on warming up to about 22 degrees until 2 days time. I've been keeping him in the downstairs toilet which is full of natural light, cool and next to the back door. When I check in on him he's very active and he must have flown at some point too as he was out of his box however when I take him to the opened backdoor or the garden he remains still and doesn't attempt to fly. So I'll bring him in and check on him 30 mins later and he's moved around again. Is it just too cold for him outside? The fact that he must have flown at some point seems promising as he definitely couldn't have crawled from where I'd put him on a high shelf to the floor. I live in England and the weather is cold and damp at the moment, and as usual you can't rely on the weather forecast.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Cat

  212. I saved a bee and it flew so it survied

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tom

  213. I have a covered garden house. The sides and front and back are opened this time of year. Most days no problems for the bees to come and go. Occasionally they forget how they came in anD struggle to find a way out. They want to go higher! This morning I had five doing this. I rescued all of them. What can I hang like a small bee bubbler with sugar water near the opening for them to say, “heh this way out!”?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nina Sharon Goinsd

  214. We live deep in the countryside in South Wales and since the weather started to get warm early, the bumble bee queens all started to some out and within 6 weeks we had hundreds of bees busy collecting pollen and nectar from the trees and flowers. But.... in early June we had very low temperatures, almost a frost, and now we have not seen a bee for weeks. Do you think the cold temperatures may have killed off all the grubs and worker bees? There are still plenty of flowers for them and they are usually all over the clover that is flowering now, but not a single bee!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Sparky

  215. Hi, I saved a honey bee from a bird bath and watched while it dried itself and cleaned itself in the sun, then just before it flew away it looked like it excreted or spewed water. What was the bee doing?

    Thanks

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Anna

  216. Hi,

    I found a bee that wasn’t moving

    I offered sugar water - didn’t take it

    I took it and placed it in my plant pot (thinking it would pass away but amongst the flowers)

    The next day the bee was still there and I went to move it... it moved a little.

    I offered sugar water again - couldn’t see it’s tongue out.

    Left for the day - still the same

    I now keep it in at home with me at night to avoid it getting wet etc

    But I can’t actively see it drinking the water or getting anymore movement... but it is still alive (day 3) what should I do? Xx

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Victoria

  217. Hello, I found a bee, which I think is a Tree Bee, a week ago and she has part of her wing missing so can't fly. I out her on a flowering plant and kept checking on her. She stayed there all day so in the evening I covered the plant with large ivy leaves and left her.... She was still there in the morning. I had to go away at the weekend and it was due to be stormy so had to accept she may not survive or be there 3 days later... Well she wasn't on the plant when I returned but came wandering over the lawn! She's still here over a week later and being fed on a diet of flowers that she drinks from and the odd bit of strawberry jam ( treat)! She stays on the plant all day and I cover her up when I go to bed... She's currently drying out in a Bug Box with leaves etc that we had from years ago since it's rained all night... Can't believe she's still here 😍 I'm going away again this weekend but would it be ok to take her to another garden for a spell or should I leave her in my garden alone!? She's now called Bee-Yonce... Am I getting too attached!?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mother Ter-Bees-a

  218. Rescued a bee from a pool. Offered some sugar water with zero interest, It has ‘t moved in over an hour anything else

    I can do to help it?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kyle

  219. My sister found a bee in our pool and took it inside and it kept falling over then we took the bee up stares and we looked after it but it might die 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Amy

    1. Don't worry, your bee is probably wet, or it's wings are. Just let it dry off, and hope it will be okay.

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Lisa

  220. What happens if I can’t revive my bee? I had already revived Mr. Buzzy Bee 🐝 but he seems to not be being revived a second time. I am worried and want a solution quick! It seems like he got attacked by hornets and I have been feeding him sugar water, like you said. I have put him outside, and am hoping he can live a little longer. I had just revived him at 12:00 pm and now it’s 7:30, I am sad and want him to live more. I think his whole colony was attacked so I want to take good care of him! Is there a solution to this, because I just tried his sugar water again, and still, no sign of hope. 😢😢😢🐝🐝🐝

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Mari

    1. I buried him... 😢😭😭😖

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Mari

      1. I am so sorry your bee died R.I.P to your bee 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

        Reply

        Leave a Reply to Livvie

  221. How to tell a male bee from a female bee and I saved a bee from some water

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Nikki

    1. Bees are male and female bees are both gender

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Amelia

  222. I found a bumblebee clinging onto my washing as I was bringing it in, it wouldnt fly off so I made it some sugar water, it crawled round for a few minutes and then its bottom started pulsating (the only way I can describe it!) Then it did what looked like a wee, the same colour as the sugar water, then it moved to some more sugar water I'd put in a different spot and then quickly flew off, at no point did I see it drinking, so I was wondering what it could have been doing? Strange question I know I'm hoping you have an answer as it's really intrigued me!

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Stephanie

    1. Hey! I had the kind of same problem. Mine didn’t fly off tho. But it didn’t drink either. It was weird!

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Mari

  223. Took in a sleepy tree bee overnight and its had some sugar water this morning. Beautiful warm sunny day so have taken outside but it still doesn't seem able to get strength to fly. Quite lively and rubbing back legs and running around box stretching wings but no flight. Any ideas?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Pat

  224. Hello

    I found a bumblebee lying on the floor whist walking to the shop I gave her some sugary water and she drank some but she is still sitting on my flower from last night what do I need to do to help her

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Hanna

  225. Today (mid-June), I came across a carpenter bee freaking out on the sidewalk: rolling around, flailing its wings but not flying. Seemed to be aggressively grooming? I tried to coerce it onto a leaf to bring it to a safer, grassy area, but it didn’t seem to have much control over itself. I couldn’t see any mites, and it appeared to have all its limbs. What was wrong? How could I have helped?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Kristina

  226. what if the bee is to hot i'm in texas and its 92 degrees F

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to josiah

  227. I just wanna share my story so I’m 9 there was a bee at my grandmas house the bee was in the birdbath so I decided to save it before it died I grabbed a leaf from the ground and I tried to pick the bee up wit it for about 20minuits and then I got it so I started walking with it around my grandmas back yard and then when I went next to are shed it flew away and didn’t come back

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Bean

  228. there is some sort of yellow sticky string coming out of the side of this cold and wet bee that i found. it is in a box right now with honey and sugar water. do you know what it could be?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to charlotte

  229. I live in Ohio. I have medium sized ground bees with more than one hole in my front flower garden. I trim these bushes once or twice year. The bees ground holes are right under the bush. They are fuzzy, light yellow, fat like a bumblebee but have black butts. Their colors are not real vivid. I’m afraid to trim the bushes and plant in the garden. Are these bumblebees? I do have a video of them. I accidentally put a tarp over their hole and that’s when I saw like 4 or 5 flying around. I trimmed 95% of the bushes without a sting or knowing they were there.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Shelly

  230. Having Just found a drowning bee on a rainy wet day, in a tub of water. I have brought her in and tried to encourage a little sugar water, but I accidentally dropped a huge droplet onto the bees back. Now the bee is struggling as it dries it's all sticky. I feel so sad I have been so careless and really just tried to help her! She is walking around on our indoor strawberry plant and vibrating her wings. How can I help her?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Georgie

  231. I gave a bee sugary water roughly 2-3 days ago it was a very hot day so after it was trying to fly but can’t, it’s wings were going but nothing, I assumed it was tired so removed from patio and placed on the lawn as cooler, I’ve just been mowing the lawn and luckily spotted it, I placed on my hand and put in the air it tried to fly off end of my hand but fell back into the grass. I’ve moved it further out the way but don’t know what else I can do :( can you please help

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to teresa redman

  232. i found a bee on my windowcill and was there for a few hours in the morning. i decided to feed it some honey, and so it ate. the rain was spitting and the bees wings were with small droplets. i decided to make little shelter outside using a small box and some tissues inside. i put it outside as i was afriad it might get lost in the house and so it walked into the shelter rested for abot 40mins and the was moving about then left the box. its not a question but i wanted to share my story with you.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to maddie

  233. I saved a bee out of my paddling pool. It was crawling around but now it's stopped and is breathing but barely moving and has curled up. I've given him sugar water and now bought him inside as the sun has gone in. Do you think it's too late for him?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Jo

  234. We found a bee last night that wasn't moving. We gave it some sugar water but still didn't fly. It survived the night and tried some more sugar water but it doesn't seem interested in this. We've warmed it up and keeps buzzing it's wings but doesn't fly away. It's also very wobbly. Is there anything else w3 can do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Amy

  235. I rescued a bumblebee from my paddling pool last night. I fed it some sugar water but it wasn’t very keen so I put some on the path for it. I have only found your page this morning so I didn’t know to put it in a ventilated box overnight. I assumed it would have flew off overnight but it hasn’t. It is only moving a few steps at a time. It has been buzzing and flapping its wings but it rolls over sometimes and can’t get back up without help. I don’t want to keep trying if he is dying and I’m just prolonging things. What is the kindest thing to do?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Vikki

  236. Found her walking around and put her on some flowers, she took the pollen and is still active but she won’t fly away. She doesn’t look injured in anyway, do you know what might be up?

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Tevis

    1. She might want to stay with you or just waiting for the right moment to fly away

      Reply

      Leave a Reply to Bean

  237. I found a bumblebee on my balcony that was not moving so I took it inside and tried to give it suger water but it won't drink anything, I've had the bee for 5 hours now and it still won't drink, it's also not moving, I actually thought it was dead until I saw its leg move slightly. The weather here has drastically changed from lovely and warm to cold and rainy with high winds and its 8pm now so I'll keep her over night in a shoe box but I am concerned she's not drinking or moving much.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Chloe

  238. Hi we have this little bee which has sat in our porch for 2 days. Today I fed her sugard water but she still she has stayed. She doesn’t try and fly and she seems very weak. All she does is lift her legs up and she has something yellow on each side of her leg. Don’t know what to do with her.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Ellie

  239. I found a bee yesterday on our lawn, too tired to fly so I put it up on a bird table with some nectar and out it under our porch so it was as much out of the wind as possible as it also started raining. However this morning it still hasn't moved, but when I gently blow on it, it does, so I know it's still alive... from the pics above, it looks like the middle bumble bee queen. I have a "minibeast house" which I could pop it in tonight if it is still there, will keep it warm and sheltered even more with some nectar etc if you think that will be okay and release tomorrow, but is there anything else I can do to help it today? I hope this all makes sense, thank you

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lucy

  240. I have a poorly bee. I found him on my door step 48 -ish hours ago. He’s struggling to walk and is spending most of his time lying on his back kicking his legs. I have managed to get him to drink a little sugar water but he’s showing no improvement. We’re moving into day three of him struggling and I don’t know what to do.

    He buzzed on day 2 a little with his bottom and I don’t know whether maybe ending his struggle may be best.

    He has a lovely house in a box with access to food and water.

    He’s still living and kicking but his legs won’t work.

    Reply

    Leave a Reply to Charlotte