This is the year of 'The Garden!' I've finally started tackling the bank at the front of the house. Yesterday I noticed a bumble bee. He was frantically busy one minute, and resting on a window sill the next. It wasn't until I got the pictures off the camera that I could see the poor chap had got an infestation of mites. I read an article here about how to remove mites from bumble bees, but am not sure how successful I would be in carrying this out - particularly if the bee was cross. And how easy is it to encourage a bee to walk onto the end of a twig? In the past I have revived tired bees by feeding them diluted honey on the end of a tea spoon. If I decide to 'have a go' at mite removing you'll be the first to know.
I want to create an area in the garden that is insect friendly, especially to bees and butterflies. I know very little about bees, other than they're difficult to get in focus with the camera, but I know there is a bee crisis, and I'm going to battle on, planting heathers and shrubs, encouraging clovers and flowers that bees enjoy, doing my little bit to help these beautiful, fascinating and very busy little creatures. So, I best get on with it then and stop sitting in front of this computer!
Ps. I've just read an article that suggest I try coaxing the mites off the bees using a child's paintbrush. That's a brush, some small water containers and a twig I need in my 'mite removal' kit