We often hear stories about great friendships between human and animals; Dogs are hailed as man’s best friend, and seeing someone stroking their pet cat is also irresistibly adorable. There are even accounts of the close connection a human can have between the creatures of the sea, it seems that humans can easily establish a friendship with other beasts, well all except…insects.
However, a woman with a green thumb named Fiona Presly broke down pet stereotypes when she proved to the world that a human and an insect could develop an extraordinary friendship.
Last spring, while Fiona was attending to her blossoming garden, she noticed that there was a Queen Bumblebee lying on her feet. Growing up with high regard to all forms of life, Fiona picked up the Queen Bumblebee and checked it out.
Carefully guiding the bee onto her hand, she gently laid it on a flower. Surveying for any injuries, Fiona was beyond surprised when she found out there the bug didn’t have any wings.
Although the kind lady was clueless about what action she needs to take, still she was sure that she must do something for the bee. Thinking that the bee might just be tired, she gave her bits of sugar water and put her on a bed of flowers, hoping that it would replenish its energy with the pollens.
However, she checked out the bee hours later, only to see that the bee had not moved at all. With the knowledge of an oncoming storm, Fiona knew that the Queen Bumblebee won’t survive unless she starts doing something. She picked the bee up again and brought it inside the comfort of her home.
As the rain continuously fall and as the thunder scared people with its loud roars, Fiona took refuge in learning how to properly take care of her new bee. In fact, Fiona even took the time to contact the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in order to help herself learn about bees.
Fiona also consulted the bee’s bizarre condition, it being wing-less. There she found out that the bee was suffering from a virus that prevented her wings from sprouting.
Knowing that the Queen bee has slim to zero chances of surviving by herself in the wild, Fiona volunteered to become the custodian of the bee. She started looking for activities that her new pal would enjoy, and so Fiona arrived with the idea of creating a personal garden for her new bee.
And so Fiona gathered a bunch of different flowers. She has also packed yummy pollens for her newfound friend to enjoy. She had also kept a close eye on the Queen Bee, even bringing her cups of sugar water for an extra boost of energy, hoping for its quick recovery.
But as the days passed by, a special form of bond and attachment developed between Fiona and her critter friend. Soon enough, the two became inseparable. The Queen bee would even crawl right up to Fiona’s hand in order to acknowledge her presence.
“We were quite comfortable with each other. There were things going on with this bee that were quite something.” Fiona shared. “It was like her whole being came to life. I think she liked the fact that she wasn’t alone. I think she thrived on the company, even from another species. They are naturally sociable creatures. That would be in their instinct.” She added.
According to experts, the average lifespan of a Queen bee is only for a couple of seasons, which include the following, building a new nest, mating throughout the spring, and the proximity of her death.
Although Bees naturally have a short lifespan, it is actually astonishing how her bee was able to live for 5 months.
Everything has an end, and even the loveliest story has its own conclusion. 5 months after Fiona took her in and nourished her, the Queen Bee quietly snuck on her hand and never woke-up ever again.
“I was sad when she died, but I knew it was going to happen. She was already older than she should have been. 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.” Fiona expressed her happiness that she got the wonderful opportunity of getting to know and becoming good friends with an insect.
“Now I view all insects in a different light. It has changed my perception of what insects are like. I think there’s an awful lot we don’t know.” Genuinely touched by the events that transpired, Fiona reached out to Lars Chittka, a professor of Sensory and Behavioral Ecology at Queen Mary University in London.
Fiona is hoping that her documented friendship with the Queen Bee, she will be able to help scientist conduct a study that would be beneficial in studying insects.
It is truly amazing how everyday humans all over the world goes to prove that anything and everything is possible. With a kind, understanding, and reliable heart, even an insect frowned upon by most people, can be a friend you can depend on.
Photo | Fiona Presly