Looking for Advice (Found Bee)

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New Bee
Jan 9, 2019
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Hive Type

I'm not a beekeeper and my knowledge is next to nothing bar what I've read the last couple of days online.

I found a bee (almost certain it is a honey bee worker) that was lying on it's side in cold weather that also looked malnourished. Certain it was going to die, I took her home, gave her some sugar water (white refined castor sugar, not honey after reading about viruses). After feeding and warming up she perked up no end and looked to wanting to get about business, but it was too cold outside for her to fly and cold in general, as when I took her outside she would look way worse after a minute or two of me waiting for her to get her barrings and fly.

I took her back inside and put in a medium sized plastic container with a decent air hole. I lined most of the bottom with tissue paper apart from the spot where I put the diluted sugar. I also put a small cardboard tube in there for her to have somewhere to go/hide. I then put the container in a dark cupboard and planned to release her in the morning.

Here's the problem I'm having though, every morning and even when it might warn up slightly later in the day, it is too cold for her to fly or seemly even function. I want to release her as I know bees just want to get back to their colony, but leaving her outside right now is just a death sentence it seems. I've had her for two days now and am worried about the stress I am causing her. I keep her in the cupboard mainly waiting until it gets warm enough to release. From the forecasts it looks like Saturday might be around 50F, before then too cold.

I am also worried that her two sets of wings may of got stuck together via the sugar water residue. I am guessing maybe this is less of a problem for bees outside as the moisture in the air would maybe separate them naturally.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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In that temperature bees will fly and forage ( 10c) if it's not raining I would let her go, she won't fly untill her wings are dry.
Sounds like you have a pet.
I've had many a honey bee cupped in my hands because they are cold not because they need feeding.
Thanks. Do you think I should carefully put a little luke warm water on her to separate her wings, waiting till they dry after before releasing? (if not raining). Maybe her body too as she seems to have some sugar water compound stuck to her body. Not a lot but enough of a thin coating that I worry about her ability to fly (weight).
aww that nice,

I too have warmed up bees in my hands if they get chilled, soft lot aren't we.

cotton bud with warm water to get the syrup of her wings but make sure she is totally dry before attempting release, she will also need to have sufficient warmth in her body to make the trip home, considering brood nest temperatures back in her hive get her body up to around 35 degrees, just room temperature (unless you keep your house really warm) probably wont be enough if only in the teens temperature wise. and she will chill again quite quickly.

it may just be a case of her age and she's on her way out anyway but good luck!
Cotton bud, yeah that's what I was thinking. Thanks. I was thinking once it hits 10 or 11F on Saturday, making sure she is good and warm and fed then releasing her. I can't see it getting warmer any time soon. She gets cold so quick though where I'm forced to take her back inside again. Frustrating as I just need one warm morning.

Thanks for reply, it may be her age who knows. I wonder if I'm forced to keep her past this Saturday if there is anything I could do to improve her quality of life. I mean she has the basics and I know a bee that is alone is never going to be a happy bee, but I guess I'm talking apparatus, creature comforts inside the container, or weather I should get a very large container, so she would have the potential to fly inside of it. Maybe some flowers etc if I was forced to keep her longer till it warmer up outside?

Borderline anthropomorphising aside, I don't know weather to keep her in the cupboard half the time and in (soft) light the other half of the time or weather this would just frustrate her more.
You could go online and get one off those bee jackets ,that aw to help keep her warm enough to fly home
Thanks for the lend. The real, 'aw' is they only come in men's.

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