The Bee’s Knees

I just had the most magical experience!

My cat Momo found a dying bumble bee in my fireplace. To her credit, she wasn’t trying to kill it, but it must have been there for a while because it was weak and couldn’t fly. I hate to see anything frightened and dying, so I wondered how I could help.

Since the bee was clearly harmless in its condition, I decided to get tactile. To my surprise, it barely hesitated when it gingerly walked onto my finger. I took it outside and placed it on my hanging petunia plant, hoping it would do whatever it is that bees do on flowers and regain its strength. Instead, it teetered around helplessly and seemed disoriented.

Maybe bees don’t get their nectar from petunias, I thought.

So I guided it onto my finger again and placed it on a cluster of orange flowers in my yard (I don’t know the name.) I sat and observed for a while, but nothing happened. At least this pretty flower is a better place to die than my fireplace, stalked by my cats, I thought. I was about to give up hope and satisfy myself with the knowledge that I’d returned it to a more natural environment, but I had one last idea.

I retrieved a chopstick and some local raw honey from my pantry and returned to the bee. I dipped the chopstick for a small dewdrop of honey and dabbed it on a petal near the bee, and hovered the chopstick nearby. I am no expert on bee anatomy, but what I assume was its tongue darted out and started consuming the honey! Slowly, it regained mobility, and its legs and antennae started to squirm. Within another moment or two, the bee was buzzing and soared off into sky, rising high above my avocado tree, with my other kitty Tetsu gazing on in wonder! 🐝💛 I was elated and awestruck!

I could not believe the honey trick worked. In fact, a Facebook friend commented that Virgil noted back in 31 B.C. that the way to save bees was to give them honey. I was slightly concerned there might be some negative side effect to giving an adult bee honey, so I’m relieved to know that I have validation from ancient Roman poets 🙂 

Anyway, this little episode made my day. Like that Starfish Story says, you may not be able to make a difference for all, but you can always make a difference for one.

Godspeed, Little bumble!

*Note: the photo above does not depict the bee I saved this morning. I snapped that shot at the San Diego Botanical Gardens earlier this summer. 

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