Yesterday I was about to put something in a sink when I noticed a large Red Bottomed Bumble Bee at the bottom staggering about. It was clearly in distress and not able to climb up the stainless steel sides.
I offered it the hilt of a knife and the creature managed not to slip off as I placed the Queen Bee outside the kitchen window.
A few minutes later as I walked past I noticed the BumbleBee was STILL on the windowsill but right in front of my eyes she rolled onto her back and sagged back
Galvanised by her giving up I selected some Honey ( Lincolnshire Honey as that is where we were) from the cupboard and put some on a teaspoon near her. She noticed it and found the strength to turn, roll back and flop on her side. Her protruding mouth reached out. After about 10 seconds it was as if she decided to really go for it.
Her stance changed she lent back and appeared to sit on her lovely fluffy round red bottom and planted her two back legs so like a tripod she was held up.
Her antenna pointed down at the Honey. Her front legs were in the Honey and she stepped into the Honey so that her middle legs also became sticky. Now she was upright, I eased the honey out of the spoon onto the sill, a sweet juicy feast for her to enjoy.
For the next 10 minutes she took what she needed. She had to spend time, cleaning her sticky legs and at one point this involved her holding down one leg with another leg whilst her tongue came out of her mouth ( I know not the proper names) and scooped up the Honey. At the same time she waved about her left middle leg in the air to help dry it off
It was the most wonderful and fascinating experience to see a noble creature such as this move from famine to feast. She seized the opportunity to live.
Then refreshed and fortified…..
She took off in her BumbleBee way and flew up and up and up sure and strong over the roof away back to her life and her colony.
My phone camera photo does not do justice to her magnificence but here you are anyway
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