This is a small tale to launch this series – l have so much going on at present that l am not always sure if l am coming or going – but l wanted to launch this new series if possible this month in readiness for more stories later on. As a series Wildlife Stories will look at both tales from my own experiences when working my livestock brokerage but equally simply looking at the beauty of species themselves and animals l am fascinated with.
I am oft asked which species of animal l love the most? Well l love all animals – l have an adoration for dogs and cats and porcupines … l have worked with many exotic species of animal ranging from meerkats to prairie dogs and lions to tigers and wallabies to camels but l will always have a soft spot for porcupines.
But this small tale today isn’t about that – it’s about a Bee – a bee that Suze and l rescued last Sunday after it got tangled …. Sadly there are no photographs of this incident it was over in 15 minutes but it was touch and go and there was simply no time for any Bee selfies. But we did receive a Bee Pause we think, it was something it was tiny, but then bees are hardly huge are they?
There are approx 35,000 named species of spiders in the world today and roughly 20,000 named species of bee. It is ‘believed’ that there are roughly 2 trillion bees left in the world today with a daily death toll of perhaps 50,000 worldwide in hives and possibly more! But every day more worker bees are hatched. Are bees dying out or off? Yes and no, honey bees face new obstacles and challenges every day from humanity and the world. Overall however and globally speaking, roughly 42% of all insect species are facing perilous changes and deaths at unprecedented levels and speeds of decimation.
Be this manmade pesticides, natural habitat destruction, weather and climate changes, lack of nutrition resources, global warming, introduced hostile predation and more and more, the lists of destruction to our species are huge!
NOW … how many spiders are there thought to be alive in today’s world? Well, this is the biggie – it is estimated that on domestic lands per acre you might be looking at one million spiders – give or take a few … but in the tropics well try multiplying that figure by three!! It is thought that roughly 25 million tons of spiders kill 600 million tons of prey per year globally!!
So now that you have those fun facts let’s begin shall we?
The Bees Kneeds – The Wildlifer [B]
Shed emptied and shed tidied up, shelves down and filled up again ready for round 2.
Last Sunday Suze and l were involved in the tasks of clearing out various parts to the garden and most notably l was clearing the stuff out of the shed for sorting, a task that wasn’t completed and will take a few more gos admittedly. But at least we have started and it is now tidier – although that is down to interpretation – if you want to have a party in there forget it! Not enough space to swing a cat although why anyone would want to do that is quite beyond me!!
It was as l was putting stuff back into the shed once the shelves had been broken down, that l heard the desperate and pitiful cries or buzzes for help from a trapped baby bumblebee in a web on the window!! Now, normally as said as things are if l see things of nature going on, l let it take its course – l am not saying if l see something terrible happening l’ll not intervene because l will especially if l don’t think there will be chain reaction of events that will lead to the extinction of a species!!
[You know that theory … travel back in time, step on a butterfly, travel back to the present and suddenly the world is being run by whale sharks or something …!]
But l couldn’t leave this small bumblebee to face the spider that was three times the size of said bee and already starting to wrap up its victim with a view to injecting the nefarious and insidious spider juice! “Nope, wasn’t gonna happen on my shift!”
So l quickly with my gloved hands grabbed the small buzzing victim and ran over to where Suze was working with the instructions of ‘Quick we have a rescue job, we need to save this bee!!”
The bee was completely wrapped in the spider’s silk its head was covered, legs, wings too and so the pair of us lying on the ground with gloves, magnifying glass, a tiny pair of tweezers and scissors and tooth picks started to unwrap the bee who was a buzzing and a zubbing in agitation and both Suze and l were worried sick that the poor thing may well either die of panic or exhaustion. We were calmly and softly speaking to it and slowly with our tiny tools we managed to get it unravelled.
A few moments before the final piece of spider’s silk was removed … our little victim was suddenly quiet and still and we feared the worst until it moved one of its hind legs and brushed it over its face – a clear sign that despite the differences in size we think it knew we were helping. If that wasn’t a sign of thanks – then Suze and l are convinced the next moment was. We had managed to remove all of the finery and stickiness of the silk and the bee was now free. It was perhaps a second maybe less and it realised it was safe and so it hovered up with a view to go and then inbetween our two heads turned towards Suze and me in seperate moves as if to look at us and say ‘thank you’ and then it flew upwards into the skies and was gone over the garden.
It may well have been coincidental however for 15 minutes Suze and l worked dilligently as the team we are and saved a small honey bumblebee – from a fate worse than sudden death and that is the slow agonising death of being paralyzed and consumed.
I always say – you don’t have to be activist to understand animals rights, you just have to care.
Anyway, just thought l would share that small tale with you today – thanks for reading.