Just last year, Fiona Presly formed an unlikely friendship that many would be unfamiliar with...
While gardening outside her home in Scotland at the beginning of spring. While minding her own business, Presly noticed a queen bumblebee at her feet, not really flying away and just at a stand still. She decided to try to pick the bee up using a flower, so it would be safer and not get stepped on. However, she soon realized this bee was very different from the rest.
"I picked her up and noticed there was something peculiar," Presly told The Dodo. "She had no wings."
At this point Presly didn't know how to help. She offered the bee some sugar water and set her on some flowering. However, after several hours had pasted, she realized the bee hadn't moved, and she realized a storm was on it's way. So Presly decided to do something many have not done..."I took her inside that night, kept her warm and fed her more," she said. "I thought I would put her out the next day, but the weather was bad then too. So I kept her inside."
Presly had contacted the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for help and came to learn that the bee likely had a virus known to cause problems in wing development. As well as, learning that the queen's chances of survival in the wild were slim without the ability to fly. But after spending time and seeing that the bee was healthy, Presly decided to give her a chance to live. And that meant getting creative."I made a garden for her," Presly said.
Since the bee, now formally named Bee, would have struggled to get food from walking, Presly had created Bee's own private garden, let alone house. As the DODO reports, "Using some netting, she built Bee an enclosure full of blossoms where her winged counterparts couldn't reach to deplete the pollen."
But, it didn't stop there. Presly would regularly bring Bee sugar water, and check up on her. As well as bring her indoors when the weather wasn't so great. And in time, the two created an incredible bind of friendship.
"She'd walk toward me and crawl on my hand," Presly said. "She seemed so happy to see me. It made me stop and think — there's something going on here."
"It was like her whole being came to life. I think she liked the fact that she wasn't alone," Presly said. "I think she thrived on company, even from another species. They are naturally sociable creatures. That would be in their instinct." Presly told the DODO.
"We were quite comfortable with each other," she said. "There were things going on with this bee that were quite something."
Sadly, Queen Bumblebee's are not meant to live long lives. Normally, they spend the spring and summer building a nest, mating and starting a colony and finally dying at the approach of autumn... because of Presly's kindness and nuturing, Bee lived longer than most.
Sadly, "Five months after being rescued, Bee fell asleep in Presly's hand and never woke up again."
"I was sad when she died, but I knew it was going to happen. She was already older than she should have been," Presley said. "It had been very special to stay with a wee creature, like Bee. The fact that she lived more than just a few weeks amazed me. That was rewarding in itself." Presly buried Bee's body in her garden, joined by a favorite flower.
Original Article: thedodo
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