Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 12:37 pm
You can learn how to save a dehydrated bee in three easy steps by following our simple guide below.
Step 1: Assess if your bee needs help
If you find a tired bee in a garden full of pollen and nectar-rich flowers, chances are it may have come to the end of its natural life. Just like us, bees don’t live forever.
Chances are, if they’re struggling in a resource-rich area, they may have just picked their spot to expire.
If your bee has been caught in the rain or is wet for any reason, you should check out our guide on saving a bee from drowning.
Found a dehydrated bee?
If you find a bee in a very urban setting or far from any swathes of flowers or food sources, chances are it’s thirsty and in need of a boost.
Honey bee populations are constantly hunting for the natural sugar-rich nectar in flowers for an energy boost.
This sugar buzz provides the much-needed energy drink they need, but sometimes a homemade sugar syrup can be created by mixing a bit of sugar into water.
It doesn’t take more than two minutes to save a dehydrated, tired and thirsty bee, so let’s continue to step two…
Step 2: Create a bee-saving sugar and water solution
Once you’ve established that your bee is in genuine need, you can make a sugar-water solution to boost it to get buzzing again!
Please note that this guide requires some granulated sugar and water, but if you want to ensure you’re always ready to save a bee, you can grab a Bee Revival Keyring here.
Save a dehydrated bee
Grab a suitable receptacle and your favourite brand of white granulated table sugar, and get ready to save a bee.
Never use demerara sugar. Mix two teaspoons of sugar with three teaspoons of sugar, I used a tablespoon, but you end up with way more sugar solution than you need.
Views seem to vary across the internet, but having done this myself, I can confirm that a ratio of two parts white granulated sugar to three parts water seems to be perfect, any more and it’s over-diluted. Any less and you’ll struggle to dissolve the sugar.
step 3: Carefully administer your granulated sugar and water solution to save the dehydrated bee
Once you’ve finished mixing your simple solution with the perfect ratio of sugar, you can collect some on a spoon and place it near to the exhausted, dehydrated bee.
As you can probably guess, I didn’t happen to come across any tired bees while I was writing this article, so I have enlisted a trusty substitute to act as a stand-in.
Saving bees with sugar is easy. Position your teaspoon of sugar close to the bee so it can choose whether or not to take a drink of sugar water.
*Important tip – Sugar solutions are not always the answer; your tired bee could be at the end of a long, fruitful life.
Can you give a dehydrated bee honey?
Giving tired, thirsty bees some simple honey may seem like a good idea, but honey is the last thing a dehydrated bee needs.
Most of the honey we consume is not produced in our local area and is harmful to native bees.
The benefits of honey to us are endless, but foreign honey could be devastating for a UK hive.
Always reach for a mix of sugar and water rather than feeding tired bees with honey. Giving tired bees honey is strictly not advised.
Sugar and water for bees
The most important thing to remember is that you are not drowning the bee but rather offering assistance if required.
Simply place a solution of sugar and water close to the bee in need and let it drink to its heart’s content.
Drinking times really vary, but your little bee friend could be with you for up to 30 minutes while it recharges.
We’re all for anyone trying to save the bees, but sometimes help can be exactly the opposite.
A sugar-water solution is perfect in the situation detailed in Step 1. Never use honey!
Saving bees safely
Leaving sugar water out regularly will encourage bees to stop foraging and head for a hassle-free energy source. This causes a huge problem and can destroy hives in a short amount of time.
For safe, effective ways to help bees head over to our page on How To Revive a Bee.