Tuesday, March 26, 2019


I spent a couple of hours weeding and tidying in the polytunnel and found this bee lying on its back, too tired and spent to fly away. I tried it with some honey and its proboscis came out immediately and it started to feed.

This picture was taken using a magnifying app on my phone. That was when I saw the mites crawling on the bee. At first, I thought this was the cause of its ills but it turns out that these mites are often to be found hitching a ride on bumblebees. The mites feed on the debris to be found in bumblebee nests, such as wax, pollen and tiny insects. They are not harmful but sometimes when too many are clinging to the bee's body it can make flying difficult.

And that is the new thing that I learned today. I put the bumblebee in the garden near some flowers and left it and the passengers to get on with their lives.


Mage said...

Washing your hands afterwards, I hope. Absolutely fascinating. Thanks.

Nelly said...

Always, after gardening. I didn't actually touch the bee as I'm afraid of, and allergic to stings. I moved it around (gently) on a piece of card (plant label).

Brig said...

Bees are so important, i am glad you saved one. Interesting info about the mites.