Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Plight of the bee

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

6 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

Good luck with that! I have to avoid bees and wasps, had a bad reaction the last time I was stung. Incredible close up of the bumble.

Lori ann said...

yipes. mites creep me out. poor bee. glad to know your garden will welcome the little fellows. :)

frayedattheedge said...

Be sure to plant bees' balm, a plant with beautiful flowers which bees love!

christinelaennec said...

That's amazing you would even consider removing mites from a bee! My husband has become very interested in bees since moving a bumblebee nest for me that was in the church garden. He said they had a lovely energy - and he isn't Mr. New-Agey at all! I shall show him this post.

Linda said...

We're planning along the same lines! I have a list of bee-friendly plants drawn up for the garden and allotment. In researching it I've been horrified at how much of standard garden bedding and perennial planting does not attract bees. It's particularly an issue in the spring garden when they've just emerged and need food.

the poor bumblebee...

annie hoff said...

Thank you 'frayed at the edge' I shall be planting 'bee's balm'. I remember I grew it in my Surrey garden, but only knew it as 'lemon balm'

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