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What To Feed A Tired, Thirsty Bee?

6 June 2021

When you find a tired bee in your home, it's probably exhausted from flying around looking for nectar and pollen all day. If so, you're probably wondering what to feed a bee? Feed the poor insect with a fresh sugar water solution to give them their strength back! To make this simple solution for an exhausted bee, mix two parts water to one part white granulated sugar in a tablespoon then place the spoon in at an easily accessible distance from the tired bee in question. Give the bee time to drink and it should be back on it's travels in no time.

Bees are an important part of our ecosystem and are vitally needed for pollinating crops. Bees can be put in danger by many factors, such as pesticides or not having enough water to drink. This blog post will provide a few tips on what to feed a bee and how you can help bees keep their thirst quenched, so they stay healthy!

How can I feed a bee?

There are two main methods for feeding thirsty bees:

In your home or garden

If you have a garden or an outside area at your property and would like to provide a resource for bees to drink from you can create a bee watering hole by leaving out a small receptacle containing water and some rocks that sit above the waterline so bees can safely drink without the risk of a swim.

On the go

If you see a bee in need of some hydration while you are out on an adventure you can give it the boost it needs with a Bee Revival Keyring from Revive a Bee.

You can learn more about how to use our bee revival kit on our page How To Revive A Bee.

Can you feed bees sugar water?

Can you feed bees sugar water? Sure, but they don't need it on a regular basis. That being said, if you are feeling compassionate and want to do something nice for the little guys when there are no other food sources available you can use a small amount of a sugar and water solution on a spoon and place it close to a docile bee. It's important that you don't force the bee to drink, if it's thirsty it will help itself to the energy-laden liquid. The problem is when people take compassion too far, where feeding becomes an everyday activity, which makes things worse than leaving them alone since now there discouraged from foraging for life-sustaining pollen in favour of the easily accessible sugar water.

How do you know if a bee is simply dying?

It can often be hard to tell if a bee is close to death. They often cling onto flowers and look lethargic, which can make for some very startling sights in your garden! When they die, it may take them hours or days before they finally fall off the flower because of their grip on it; in general you will normally find dead bees below pollen and nectar rich flowers after exhausting themselves foraging.

If your worried about when or what to feed a bee that may not need the help, just remember this simple rule:

If you find a tired bee and there are plenty of pollen and nectar-rich plants and flowers in the area your best course of action is to leave it in peace. If you find a tired lethargic bee in an urban setting with no flowers in sight you can attempt to rescue your furry friend with a sugar-water solution or a quick drink from our Bee Revival Keyring.

How do bees feed?

  1. Bees need water to survive
  2. They drink from puddles, pools, and other sources of standing or running water
  3. Bees can also get some of their moisture needs fulfilled by consuming honey
  4. Honey is made up primarily of sugar with a small amount of protein
  5. Sugar provides energy for the bee's flight muscles while proteins are needed in order for the bees wings to work properly
  6. The best way to provide fresh water for your bees is by using a shallow bowl filled with clean water and some rocks that sit above the surface of the water that has been left out in the sun so it won't be too cold when they land on it

Other ways you can actively help bees

  1. Planting for vibrant, colourful flowers

    Bees are attracted to the color yellow, so try planting some yellow flowers in your garden to attract more bees to your garden or patio.

  2. Create an accessible drinking bowl

    By adding rocks or objects to a bowl of water you are creating small islands for bees to land on. This makes drinking from large containers of water much safer for bees and avoids any risk of bees drowning.

  3. Let bees buzz away peacefully

    Try not to swat at bees when they're buzzing around - instead, just let them be and they'll move on. Swiping at a bee while it's buzzing past may be an instinct but it can stress the bee in question and in some cases lead to an aggressive response.

  4. Stay away from pesticides

    Don't use pesticides near your home because this can harm bees too. Pesticides are one of the main culprits for bee population decline and if you find bees with their tongues or proboscis elongated after death, this could be a sign of pesticide poisoning.

  5. Plant wild, grow wild

    By planting wildflowers and other plants that attract pollinators (bees) in your yard,there will be plenty of food sources nearby and letting your garden get a bit wild will give foraging bees all the shelter, nectar and pollen they need.

Want to join us?

We're constantly on the lookout for businesses we can partner with based on our shared passion and vision for helping the environment and saving the bees. If you're interested in stocking any of our products in your store or you'd like to work with us on one of our projects don't hesitate to give us a buzz!

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