This week, I was preparing my raised garden beds for the seedlings I had started indoors. During my many trips back and forth to the garage to get various garden tools, I suddenly noticed a bumblebee on my deck laying on its back. It wasn’t struggling so I thought it was dead. As I got closer to investigate, another bumblebee suddenly zoomed in and hovered about 6 inches from its fallen comrade as if protecting his friend from a gigantic predator (me). I froze and continued to watch, fascinated by this apparent behavior of insect protectionism. The active bee kept hovering around the fallen bee, darting here and there around his prostrate friend as if telling his friend,
” Hey dude…get up! This is NOT the time to play dead…we have too many humans to sting!”
Usually, I have my smartphone with me wherever I go (a habit developed since my stem cell transplant), but this time it was in the house. I wanted to photograph this scene of bee protecting bee, so I ran into the house to get the camera. Only 30 seconds passed, but both bees were gone by the time I got back outside…the fallen bee and the protector bee.
How interesting. Did the protector bee scoop up his fallen comrade and take him home? Or was the fallen bee alive, unable to right itself and his protector friend helped him right himself and both flew away together to go about their business of pollination? We will never know what transpired between the two bees, but whatever it was seemed to work. Maybe there are similarities between the bumblebee world and the human world where the fallen are protected and cared for.
Here’s a link to the first bumblebee story…click here.