Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 2 May 2014
Busy, busy, busy
I'm having a bit of trouble with technology this morning, so I cannot get the picture I wanted (of the life-saving exercise on a bumble-bee) out of my phone and on to here, so I've used this one instead. John will like it, anyway.
This is a bloody good trick, and the perfect feel-good activity which produces almost instant gratification. I learnt it years ago just by trying it out.
At this time of year, the solitary bumble-bees are either foraging for nectar, or buzzing around looking for a small hole to make a nest. This makes them very inquisitive, and they tend to let themselves into places from which they don't have the wit to escape by retracing their flight-paths.
After about 12 hours of bashing against a window and flying around in circles, they start to collapse and you find them - barely moving - on the point of expiry, dehydrated and starving to death. The reason they bash against windows so much is that they navigate using their ability to detect the polarisation of sunlight. They keep track of the moving sun by being aware of where the light-source is emanating from.
I found one such stricken bumble - one of those with the red arses - in my workshop yesterday, and I think it had a matter of hours to live, so I went to my neighbour and borrowed his pot of honey, kept for just this purpose. I promised him I would return anything that the bee did not eat.
You take a twig and mix some of the honey with a little water, then offer it to the bumble. It smells it in an instant, sticks its long proboscis into the mix and starts sucking vigorously - red arse going up and down with the pumping.
Within about three minutes, it had perked up to its old, energetic self and it took off like a bomber into the blue yonder as I watched it fade into the distance whilst fighting back self-satisfied waves of emotion.
The honey - obviously - gives it the strength, and the water rehydrates it. You can actually watch the wings re-inflate in seconds.
Try it, if you haven't already. It's a good way of kidding yourself that you do have a purpose after all.