3 Ways to Take Care of an Injured Bee

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3 Ways to Take Care of an Injured Bee
3 Ways to Take Care of an Injured Bee

So, you found a bee. She is slow or looking dizzy. “I really should help that bee”, you're thinking. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help a bee that appears to be injured. There are also important steps you can take to grow bees in your area.


Method 1 of 3: Treating a Bee That Cannot Fly

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 1

Step 1. Warm up the bee as it may just be cold

If the temperature is around 12°C or colder, the bees cannot fly. If a bee looks normal but is moving slowly or just can't seem to get off the ground, it may just be cold. Use a hard piece of paper, such as a playing card, to lift the bee and move it to a warmer place. Once it gets warmer, it will just fly away.

If you need to bring it inside to warm it, keep it in a ventilated container with a lid. When she starts to move more, take the container outside and leave it there without the lid

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 2

Step 2. Dry the wet bee

If the bee has been caught in your beer or lemonade, get it out of there! Her wings are probably too wet for her to fly. Put her in a protected, dry, sunny place outside the house so her wings can dry. Ideally, you should place it right on top of a flower!

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 3

Step 3. Feed the bee to aid recovery

If a bee is cold or shivering, eating can help it get back into shape. Mix 30% real honey with 70% potable water at room temperature. Use a pipette or eye drops to drop a little of the mixture onto a surface within reach of the bee.

  • Place the mixture on a surface that will hold the bee's food without absorbing it.
  • Be careful not to spill the mixture directly onto the bee.
  • A 1:1 mixture of organic sugar and water should also work.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 4

Step 4. Examine the bee's wings

If you find a bee sitting outside in midsummer or early spring, it's probably an old bee. Look at her wings closely. If they're frayed at the edges, she may be nearing the end of her lifecycle - but she may also still have some foraging! Bring her inside to feed her, and take her back outside if she regains her strength to fly.

  • If the wings are still intact, you've probably found a male worker bee that's taking the job too seriously and forgot to drink.
  • Leave it outside in the sun with a little honey-water mixture. He'll go back to work once he's satiated.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 5

Step 5. Leave the bees alone most of the time

If a bee is wandering around a bit, it will probably regain the ability to fly after a while. She might just be resting, and she'd better be alone. This applies to bees with frayed wings, too.

  • If you feel like offering the bee some water and honey, it's okay to do so. After a few minutes she should be able to fly.
  • The best course of action may be to simply place the bee on a flower and allow nature to proceed without interference from its manipulation.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 6

Step 6. Keep a bee with the injured wing alive

Recognize that the bee may not be able to fly again, and will soon die. However, the bee will be able to live a little longer if you feed it. You can also put some of the honey-water mixture on a leaf in the jar where the bee can find it. Do not try to glue the bee's wings.

While it's possible to glue the wings of some butterflies with acrylic glue, it doesn't work with bees. Bees are much harder to hold, pose a danger, and have smaller wings. Bees also clean up the glue immediately, spreading the glue and injuring themselves even more

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 7

Step 7. Look for small red arachnids

Realistically, you won't be able to tell they're arachnids, but if a bee is covered in tiny red bugs, it's infected with a parasite and you probably won't be able to save it. If you've warmed and fed it and it's not moving after a few minutes, bring it out and just let it be. You will not be able to treat a bee with any disease or infection caused by parasites.

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 8

Step 8. Don't directly touch a bee

While a single bee stinger isn't dangerous to most people, it does hurt a little. You can wear gloves to handle a bee and avoid getting stung, though you'll likely lose the dexterity needed to do this without further injuring the bee. Instead, slowly and calmly slide a stiff piece of paper under the bee that can't fly to move or adjust it safely. If you've ever had an allergic reaction to any type of bee or wasp stinger, don't mess with bees at all.

Method 2 of 3: Helping Bees to Develop

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 9

Step 1. Pay attention to the queen bee in spring

If you find a large bee on the ground during spring, when the weather is about to have hotter days, it could be a queen bee! If she stopped hibernating too soon, she may have been caught in colder weather than she expected. Feel free to bring her inside to warm and feed her. However, you should plan to release her within about a day - her swarm's survival probably depends on her return.

Generally, only the queen bee survives the winter. She bears the responsibility of establishing a new colony the following year

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 10

Step 2. Do not remove bee hives from your yard

Unless someone you live with is allergic to bee stings, or the hive is dangerously close to somewhere you need to go frequently, let them be. The hive will only be there for one season, and its value as a pollinator is increasingly significant as the bee population has been declining. In fact, most bees only live a week.

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 11

Step 3. Keep bee foraging areas in your yard

In other words, choose plants for your yard that the bees love. Large-scale agriculture has increased bees' dependence on cultivated crops, so providing forage to uncultivated areas is increasingly important. In particular, plant sweet clover, honeydew wattle, alfalfa, red vetch, bird clover and Chamaecrista fasciculata in your land.

  • Allow trees and shrubs such as linden, black carob, Russian olive, plum, sack, and honeysuckle to flourish as well.
  • Contact your local natural resource management office for information on what you can grow to help the bees in your area.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 12

Step 4. Eliminate weeds by trimming the grass or tiling the soil

Even if you need herbicides or pesticides to target other pests, mowing your lawn or tiling your backyard grass will increase the likelihood of killing bees when you apply a pesticide. This is particularly important if the grass is blooming.

In particular, trim fields with lots of parrot, water pepper and dandelion before using chemicals. Otherwise the plants will likely be covered in bees

Method 3 of 3: Using Pesticides Responsibly

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 13

Step 1. Don't use pesticides when bees are looking for food

In other words, don't apply insecticides when the plants are in bloom! Many pesticides and insecticides have warning labels telling you not to use them when a plant is in bloom. Since flowers attract bees, using an insecticide during their bloom can decimate bee populations in your area.

  • Always read and follow the pesticide instructions seal. Choose products that have “low residual impact” and whose label says “low damage”.
  • Alfalfa, sunflowers and canola are very attractive to bees, so be careful when tending to these plants.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 14

Step 2. Explore the field before using chemicals

To help determine where you should trim first, inspect the field before seeing if you can spot bees looking for food. You can probably do this simply by walking along the edge of the field and inspecting flowering plants. Note that some flowering plants do not necessarily produce colorful flowers.

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 15

Step 3. Time the insecticide application carefully

Pollen and nectar are only made available to bees by plants during certain hours of the day. Taking this into account, I only use the product at times when the bees are not pollinating (usually between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am).

  • If the forecast is cold for the night, apply an insecticide at the beginning of this time window. The cold allows the insecticide to remain toxic longer, so it's better to allow more time before the bees return to the fields.
  • For corn, apply an insecticide anytime between the late afternoon and midnight.
Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 16

Step 4. Do not use neonicotinoid pesticides

Some pesticides are particularly dangerous, not just to bees, but to other beneficial insects. neonicotinoids are able to act through the chemical structures of the plant, in pollen and nectar. They kill bees no matter when they are applied.

Be wary of an ingredient called imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid. Many of Bayer's products include it. Understand that by using these products, you are likely making the plants toxic to bees

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 17

Step 5. Take the displacement of the spray into account

Spray displacement refers to the distance and direction a chemical can be blown away by the wind. There are two things you need to do to take this into account. First, contact bee breeders in your area before using the spray. Then try to minimize spray displacement by reducing pressure and using a nozzle that reduces droplet size.

Care for an Injured Honeybee Step 18

Step 6. Be careful with the application of the fungicide

Even though fungicides are not designed to kill bees, they can be toxic when applied under certain conditions, and will contribute to bee mortality indirectly. For example, fungicides make it more difficult for bees to find food and feed. Fungicides such as propiconazole are considered safe for bees, but their use is toxic when combined with certain substances, fertilizers and insecticides.

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