By Chere Di Boscio
Something amazing happened to me earlier this week.
I had been seeing bees around my flat. Tired, lethargic, fuzzy bumble bees, just lazing around my windows – sometimes even in winter!
Curious about this, I learned that in the urban environment, bees need to fly further than ever to find pollen, and are simply exhausting their little wings looking for it. They’re not getting enough quality pollen to feed on, and are in need of an energy boost. One way to save the little guys is to mix half a teaspoon of white sugar (not honey, which can contain viruses or bacteria that are harmful to different colonies of bees, but not to us. And not brown sugar, which can contain artificial colourings) with a teaspoon full of water, and place droplets of this mixture near the bee to drink.
It seems a strange solution, but I put that theory to the test when I saw yet another burned out little fuzzball by the window. Within seconds of seeing the sugary drink, he stuck out his little tongue (something I’d never seen before!) and started to lap it up. A few seconds later, the formerly wiped-out worker was hovering above the window box, then blasted off, hopefully back to the hive. It worked!
That inspired me: how could I help save more bees?
A quick internet search provided some great tips, which I’d like to share.
How Your Garden or Window Box Can Help Save the Bees
Main image: Wikicommons