Just because we are afraid of something doesn’t give us the right to kill another living creature, no matter how small, yet it happens every single day.
Oftentimes, we like to justify our actions by telling ourselves that creatures don’t have feelings and call them pests, however, 1 Scottish woman insists that isn’t true because of what happened when she rescued a bee struggling to survive…
While gardening in the backyard of her home in Inverness, a city in northern Scotland, in early spring, Fiona Presly was just about to go inside when she looked down at the ground and noticed a large bumblebee, which wasn’t moving, near her feet.
A Kind Act
Fiona knows how important bees are for the environment and was afraid the bee would get stepped on, so she decided to gently pick it up and place it on a flower. While the bee was in her hands, however, Fiona noticed something surprising…
A Surprising Observation
Upon closer inspection, Fiona realized the large bee was actually the queen of her hive. She also noticed that she seemed a bit disoriented and stunned. But that wasn’t all that was strange. “I picked her up and noticed there was something peculiar,” Fiona explained. “She had no wings.”
The Wingless Bee
Fiona placed the queen on a flower out of harm’s way. She went inside hoping that the bee would be able to find her way back to the safety of her hive. However, when she went outside to check on the tiny creature, she found the bee hadn’t moved at all…
Struggling To Survive
Fiona brought out a little bit of sugar water for the bee hoping it would give her some energy, but without wings, the bee was still stuck. A few hours later, the bee still hadn’t moved and Fiona knew she wouldn’t be able to survive on her own especially since a storm was coming.
Protecting The Queen
Rather than let the bee die out in the rain, Fiona decided to bring the insect into her home as it was the only way to keep her safe. “I took her inside that night, kept her warm and fed her more,” Fiona said. “I thought I would put her out the next day, but the weather was bad then too. So I kept her inside…”
Calling The Experts
The next day, Fiona contacted the Bumblebee Conservation Trust hoping that they would be able to tell her what was wrong with the queen and if there was anything she could do to help her. After explaining how she found the bee, they told her she likely had a virus that causes problems with wing development.
The experts told Fiona that, unfortunately, the queen would likely die without her wings in the wild and that there was nothing she could do to fix the problem. However, when Fiona heard she couldn’t do anything, she thought of something that the experts hadn’t thought of…
Thinking Outside The Box
They had told her the bee couldn’t survive in the wild on her own, but Fiona asked herself what if she didn’t have to be on her own? Fiona was determined to save the queen, who she had named ‘Bee’ by then, and made Bee her own protected garden.
A Bee’s Paradise
Fiona knew that Bee needed to be able to get pollen from flowers, so she set up a garden of fresh flowers and enclosed them under a net and placed Bee inside. Each day, Fiona went outside to Bee’s personal garden to check on her and make sure she was getting everything she needed…
Tender Love And Care
If Bee seemed to be struggling or slow, she would bring out a small dish of sugar water. Over time, Fiona noticed Bee was gaining her strength. But that’s not the only change that Fiona witnessed. As more time passed, Fiona realized that Bee recognized her rescuer.
When Fiona came out to check on her ‘pet’, Bee would come out and greet her. “She’d walk toward me and crawl on my hand,” said Fiona. “She seemed so happy to see me. It made me stop and think, there’s something going on here…”
Normally, queen bees are surrounded by thousands of other worker bees. Without her hive, Bee was completely alone, which is why Fiona believed Bee was craving company. “It was like her whole being came to life. I think she liked the fact that she wasn’t alone,” Fiona said.
The Feelings Are Mutual
“I think she thrived on company, even from another species. They are naturally sociable creatures. That would be in their instinct,” Fiona added. As time passed, Fiona also noticed that she had also become very attached to Bee and looked forward to spending time with her…
“We were quite comfortable with each other,” Fiona said about the amazing relationship that formed between them. “There were things going on with this bee that were quite something.” Before Bee, Fiona never imagined that insects could be capable of such behavior.
The End Of The Road
Normally, queen bumblebees in the wild live from the spring until passing away in early fall, and after a few months, Fiona knew that she couldn’t keep Bee alive forever no matter how much she wished she could. But thanks to Fiona, Bee lived much longer than even a healthy queen bee would have…
Bee lived for 5 months with Fiona thanks to her dedication. “I was sad when she died, but I knew it was going to happen. She was already older than she should have been,” said Fiona. “It had been very special to stay with a wee creature, like Bee.”
A Rewarding Experience
“The fact that she lived more than just a few weeks amazed me. That was rewarding in itself,” said Fiona, who knows that Bee would have survived a few more days on her own when she was rescued. After Bee passed away in Fiona’s hands, she even buried her in the garden…
A Different Perspective
“Now I view all insects in a different light. It’s changed my perception of what insects are like. I think there’s an awful lot we don’t know,” said Fiona, who is convinced Bee was as attached to her as she was to Bee. “She made sort of clicks, buzzy sounds when she was in close contact with me and was happy to sit and groom, eat, drink and sleep on my hand. We were both very comfortable with each other, and many people admired this bond. She was totally relaxed with me.”
“People have a bond with their dog or cat and even their hamster. I think I have proved here that you can have a relationship with an insect,” Fiona added. “No scientist to my knowledge has tested whether bees, even with each other, form some sort of emotional relations,” said bee psychologist Lars Chittka. “So I think it’s quite remarkable that a layman would make such detailed observations that actually get scientists to scratch their heads and ask what’s going on there.”
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