Me and the bee.
We have a history.
Fifteen minutes prior to taking her picture (above), I had rescued her from what appeared to be near-death on our screened porch. She barely had the energy to lift a leg and she had no energy to move her wings.
I used the edge of a piece of cardboard to ease her fragile, semi-immobilized form from the floor into a pint mason jar, then I carried her over to a vine of purple, wisteria-like, flowers dangling from the edge of our carport roof. I slowly slid one of the clusters into the jar toward her. She grabbed one of the small flowers and pushed her proboscis into it. She clutched the flower with all six of her legs and hugged herself into it. I kept the jar around her for a couple of minutes and she used it for support. I could tell she was still very weak but that she was steadily drawing nourishment from the flower.
She started working her way shakily around the dangling cluster, sucking out nutrients from adjacent flowers. I slowly eased the jar away from her and stood nearby watching. After a few minutes she fell to our limestone driveway. Oh no!… I lowered the piece of cardboard to her and she slowly moved onto it. I eased her back into the jar and carried her to a nearby privet bush that offered an abundance of flowers. Again I lowered a cluster of flowers into the jar to meet her, and again she clutched onto the cluster and began diving into the individual flowers, this time with a little more energy. She appeared ravenous. She would suck and suck nutrient out of one flower and then move, with increasingly more energy, on to adjacent ones.
I could tell she was recovering her strength. It was beautiful to witness. I slowly eased the jar from around her, and I remained squatting nearby with the piece of cardboard positioned just beneath her in case she might weaken and drop. Honeybees buzzed visiting nearby flowers.
Once I had the sense that she appeared strong enough to hold herself onto the privet cluster, I slowly moved back and continued watching from a little farther away. I got a thrill when I heard a little bzz… bzzz… She was beginning to move her wings a little bit. She clutched the flowers and moved between them with her legs. And then, suddenly,… she flew! She flew to an adjacent cluster of privet flowers and began taking more nectar… She was moving much more fluidly now. I decided I would like a picture of her, so I went into the house to get my phone. Upon returning, I found her vigorously united with flower. I snapped a few pictures of her. She flew several times from cluster to cluster.
At some point I thought: I may have helped saved her life, bringing her out of the barren screened porch to her source of sustenance. That nectar is sure some potent healing and energizing stuff!.. And what if… What if she has helped save my life?… By pointing me in the direction of continued healing?. Hmmm…. I am looking into it. And by teaching me some potent lessons:
Witnessing her revitalization taught me that I want to accept help from outside when I get myself wedged into dead ends. And witnessing her recovery reminds me that vitality comes from hugging in to that which nourishes.
Happy Earth Day, Dear Earth!!
I love your pollinators!