A Bumble Bee in distress…

This morning I woke a little later than usual after a difficult night, largely brought on by the heat. I don’t set alarms as I have an excellent body clock that wakes me with almost magical accuracy if told what to do, but this morning was a little different.

What had disturbed my gentle slumbers was the sound of a Bee somewhere in my bedroom. This was not the soft, rhythmical droning of a Bee going about his everyday business but the frantic buzzing of a Bee who was clearly in distress. I love Bees and have always thought people who jumped and rushed about hysterically at the sight of one were completely mad. Of course, unlike others, I had been lied to by my mother, only with good intentions, I might add, as she persuaded me that Bees could not sting and that it was just malicious gossip spread about by Bee haters. She assured me that they were completely harmless and that if I were always quiet and gentle with them, they would be my friends, and in her defence, it taught me always to be respectful and kind to Bees, and I’ve never once been stung.

That said, my morning friend was clearly calling out his distress, and I could hear him on the other side of the shutters, beating himself against the window pane, having somehow got himself trapped inside. I called out to him as I got out of bed, assuring him that I was on my way; stepping over the dog who lifted one eyelid before firmly closing it again, but as I lifted the slats, I was both stunned and delighted to see the largest Bumble Bee I think I have ever seen.

He was absolutely magnificent in his thick, furry yellow and black overcoat so carefully accessorized by a large, snowy white bottom and fine gossamer wings. His legs were coal black, thick and sturdy with fine, silky hairs that looked as though they had been carefully groomed.

On opening the shutters, I carefully and calmly extended my hand towards the glass he was bouncing off and laid the palm flat, speaking to him encouragingly. As I have noticed so often with Bumble Bees, he instantly displayed a level of intelligence, ceasing his pointless attempts to get through the glass to walk gently into the palm of my hand, where I could lift him towards the open window. To my utmost delight, he chose to stay with me a while, allowing me to very gently stroke his giant, furry body with the tip of my finger.  I whispered compliments to him about how handsome he was, and having enjoyed my careful ministrations, he walked slowly to the tips of my fingers, where upon he opened his fine silver wings that glinted in the sunshine and took off, buzzing musically out of my window. Smiling to myself, I closed the shutters, gave a quick tummy rub to my faithful friend, who pretended to be still sleeping and headed off for the bathroom.

A truly joyous way to begin any day!

For more information from the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, click HERE.

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Margaret Longden
Margaret Longden
5 months ago

I loved this article! I am involved in our village census of bees and butterflies and the more I learn about bumble bees the more I love them and admire them. They are fascinating, and in need of our help.