Save the Bees? Save the Bee.

Via elephant journal
on Aug 9, 2013
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How to save a dying bee. For the full discussion: Reddit.

“As you all know, honey bees are dying worldwide by the millions. As you also know, bees are a very, very important part of the ecosystem. I assume that most of you don’t use bee-killing chemicals on your fields or have a garden, so I have a simple tip on how to save dying bees, one at a time, even for people living in cities.

If you spot a dying bee (or bumble bee), don’t throw it outside or kill it. You can save that little fucker! It’s easy and often takes only a couple of minutes. Step by step:

  • don’t be afraid of bees—just stay calm, they won’t hurt or attack you
  • bring it into a dry place (just put it on a table or whatever)
  • take a cup and mix sugar (not artificial or diet sweetener or other crap, just normal or organic sugar) with water – something like a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio, small quantities
  • take a spoon and make the sugar ”dissolve”, the end result should be thicker than water and a little bit less consistent than syrup (it’s not that important)
  • put a spoon of your sugar water on a dish and place the bee (use a paper to scoop it up) right next to it (not into it)
  • observe the bee drink it and make sure that it doesn’t end up stuck in it (again, gently use a paper if it’s stuck and try to help it out)
  • open a window and turn off bright lights

And then wait. In my experience, even half dead bees will find enough force to drink/eat some. After usually anything between 1 and 5 minutes, the bee will stop drinking, wait a moment and suddenly start flying again. If your window is open, odds are high that it will find it and fly directly out.

When I was younger I lived in the countryside and had to deal with plenty of bees. I never really thought about helping the dying ones, because they usually didn’t die due to a lack of energy (there were flowers everywhere). Now, in the city, every other day I will find such a dying bee and I found out that this method works perfectly.

There’s no point in killing animals, especially such useful ones like bees. As a side note, it’s interesting to observe them drink and it’s always a small victory when they fly away like nothing ever happened. Every bee I’ve helped with sugar water flew away in the following minutes.

Note: Also, in case anyone had any doubts, bees are not pets. As soon as they’re healthy again, give them the opportunity to fly back home.

Note: Always use sugar if available. If you don’t have any left, try honey.”


Rational, but unromantic two cents from a beekeeper:

“Beekeeper here. Sorry this is ridiculous. I don’t mean to be negative but if you saw just how many bees died in daily working of the hives and natural events, you wouldn’t waste your time. More important is not using harmful chemicals and sprays.”


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11 Responses to “Save the Bees? Save the Bee.”

  1. Maria says:

    I saw my Mum do this with honey and a little water, which always worked, so I've followed her example. Fabulous.

  2. sarahgriffithsdesign says:

    Lovely advice, thanks. One of my all time favourite You Tube videos is "The Hornet'… I would really recommend watching – it's really beautiful.

  3. Katie Lopez says:

    I love bees. Any energy we can give a living critter is worth the effort. And yes, stop using sprays or buying sprayed produce.

  4. Zoe Rei says:

    Thanks! This is great to know.

    And in response to the beekeeper (my dad is one too), it can be overwhelming to walk around thinking and feeling like one has to save everything all the time, though I think humans have the responsibility to help fellow nature beings in distress especially if it's because of a human construction, which is not working hive and natural conditions. A lost starving bee? Takes two minutes, and it seems worth a try. Non-beekeepers most likely do not come in to contact with many bees very often. Taking the time to help one offers the moment of remembering and acknowledging the dependent relationship humans have with them.

    Another way to help bees is to garden native plants that attract pollinators. Most (if not all) the plants bought at a regular store in the spring are not recognized as food for pollinators. Adding natural habitat will provide food, a safe home and it will look beautiful.

  5. John Murray says:

    interesting article, just saw one die on the sidewalk yesterday which made me kind of sad

  6. I agree with you, Katie. The energy shift in our attention when we go to anyone in need is Love in action. We are hungry for Love in action. A single bee is well worth our devotion. Thank you, Love, Megan

  7. Alex says:

    Oh Sarah, that's a gem! Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Nicole Weinberger says:

    Thank you. I will try this. I often see struggling bees on the ground when I go for my walks in L.A. It concerns me. If I see one struggling close to home, I'll try this. BEE kind and BEEware. We don't want to live without bees. WAKE UP.

  9. Linda V. Lewis says:

    All suggestions above are helpful. Thank you for your article and for the suggestions that followed!

  10. A Ingham says:

    To the beekeeper, Its not ridiculous that people want to try and help poor little bee's. I think you will find you are the ridiculous one in the first place working as a bee keeper. Smoking them out etc, its because of people like you that the bee's are dying out, all you want is to profit from bee's making honey and getting your paycheck mate

  11. Rinchen Wangmo says:

    I can't believe how hurtful that message is, and how totally beside the point. The bees (no apostrophe) are dying out because of neonic poisoning:
    Beekeepers have been around for thousands of years, with no adverse effects on bees for all that time. As a way to get a paycheck, mate, it's pretty awesome.