In detail

Exhausted bumblebee on the ground: How to help the insects


If you find an exhausted bumblebee on the ground that apparently no longer manages to fly on your own, you shouldn't just look away and continue. The furry insects are harmless and as useful as bees - and like their honey-producing colleagues, bumblebees also need our help. A bumblebee not only drinks nectar, you can also serve sugar water to the insects - Image: Shutterstock / sailorr

If a bumblebee lies on the ground, it does not always mean that the useful insect is dead. Stop and take a closer look: Is the furry little animal still moving, looks unharmed on the outside, but crawls a little disoriented on the floor and no longer manages to take off? Then it may be that the bumblebee is simply weakened. In such a case, you can help by providing the bumblebee with the right food.

First, however, you should bring the animal to a safe place - otherwise it may be trampled on the sidewalk or on the terrace or eaten by a bird. Since bumblebees rarely sting, you can even pick them up carefully by hand. Or you can put a piece of paper under the animal and transport it out of the danger zone.

Bumblebee on the floor: emergency aid with sugar water

The best way to get a bumblebee "stranded" on the ground is to stir up a sugar solution. Ideally, this consists of three parts of normal household sugar, three parts of fructose and four parts of cold water. If you don't have any fructose on hand, a solution of three parts sugar and two parts water also works.

Whatever mixing ratio you use to prepare the food for the bumblebee that you found on the ground, it is important that the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Only when there are no more sugar crystals in the water can the insect easily consume the solution. You should not use jelly sugar if you want to do something good for a bumblebee.

Bumblebees: Big growl among the bees

Feed the bumblebee properly

The sugar water is ready - but how do you best infuse it with the bumblebee? The insects have no mouth in the real sense, they drink with a small proboscis. It is therefore most practical for bumblebees to drop a drop of sugar water next to their seat with a pipette or plastic syringe, which they can then drink with their proboscis. A Lego brick or a crown cap can also serve as a "bumblebee plate".

If you not only want to save bumblebees in your own garden, but also want to work for the animals elsewhere, you can prepare a "bumblebee emergency kit". Carefully wash a glass dropper bottle, such as that used for nose drops, and fill it with sugar water. If you carry them in your handbag or workbag, you will be ready as soon as you see a bumblebee in need on the ground and can help you immediately.