How to Help a Bee in Distress

If you have found a bee on the ground, alive but not moving, you may be wondering what you can do to help it.

There are several ways you can help a struggling bee. No, do not take it inside, no matter how much you may want to. Bees do better outside and will recuperate better when placed in a safe place, preferably on flowers.

If you think it needs it, you can make some sugar water with a 50/50 ratio of white sugar and lukewarm water. Don’t use brown sugar as bees cannot digest it as well, and only give them the equivalent of a tablespoon.

Bees cannot live on sugar water alone as they should have nectar from flowers. They should also not be given honey.

After giving it the sugar water, carefully move it to a sheltered place or a flower to rest and recuperate using a piece of paper or cardboard. Be careful and make sure it doesn’t feel threatened, or else it will try to sting you.

If the bee has bee mites (small bugs that look like pollen, usually visible on its back), then what you do about it depends on the severity. If they only have a few, leave them be. If they have a lot, then they could be affecting the bee’s ability to fly.

If you can manage it, take a small brush the size of a child’s toothbrush and gently brush as many off as you can without causing distress to the bee.

Once you have finished, leave it in the flower/sheltered place, and it should fly away within 12 hours. If you cannot save the bee, don’t worry. You did your best and remember that bees only tend to live for a matter of weeks, so it more than likely wasn’t anything you did.

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