8 min read

One-Winged Bee Gives Tiniest High Five To Woman Who Saved Her

“She has a huge heart and she’s a silly little thing” 🐝❤️️

Ashlie Lennox, 22, was in her backyard in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, when she spotted a little creature lying motionless on the concrete deck of her pool.

Lennox knelt down to get a closer look, and saw a fuzzy black and yellow bee who was missing a wing. “I thought she was dead at first, as she wasn’t really moving,” Lennox told The Dodo. “I brought her some sugar water, [but] she was having none of it.”

Though the bee seemed subdued and was unable to fly, Lennox still felt wary. “I was very afraid and intimidated by her at this time,” she noted. But in order to get the little bug to safety, Lennox faced her fear, using a spoon to place the bee in a flowerpot.

Canadian woman finds one-winged bee near pool
Ashlie Lennox

The next day, she went to check on the injured bee only to find the plant empty. But the black and yellow bee hadn’t gone too far on her own — she’d only managed to crawl back to the pool deck.

This time Lennox wasn’t taking any chances. “I yet again picked her up and I put her in a big Tupperware bin filled with dirt, some leaves, grass and a few little flowers,” she explained.

Beetrice the bee with one wing's first home
Ashlie Lennox

It took time, but Lennox and the bee, whom she named Beetrice, started to form an unlikely bond.

“[It] took us a few days to get used to each other and for me to actually hold her,” Lennox said. “I think I was able to touch her after two days of having her, then day three she crawled on me, which melted my heart!”

Ashlie Lennox and Beetrice the bumblebee
Ashlie Lennox

All they had to do, it seemed, was overcome their mutual fear of each other for the friendship to blossom. “I honestly feel like they can sense how you’re feeling,” Lennox explained. “She knew I was scared, so she was scared. And when I finally felt confident, so did she.”

Though Beetrice was injured, she wouldn’t give up on trying to fly with her remaining wing. Lennox could see how the multiple failed attempts seemed to put stress on the bee, but little by little, Beetrice adjusted to her new life.

To make her more comfortable, Lennox started upgrading Beetrice’s home — first moving her into a small reptile tank, then a large plastic tub full of all of Beetrice’s favorite things.

“To keep her well-fed, I’d sometimes pick flowers and put it in her little home, but mostly I’d let her crawl on me,” Lennox said. “I let her get her exercise by crawling all over me too. She loved to do that.”

Beetrice quickly learned that getting held usually meant food was on the way — and all Lennox had to do was poke her finger into the plastic tub for the little bee to climb up her hand.

Beetrice's tub
Ashlie Lennox

When Beetrice needed some time alone, she’d let Lennox know with a soft, warning buzz. Lennox even gave Beetrice a hiding place, a little cave made out of clay and some cut-up socks.

A cave made for the one-winged bee
Ashlie Lennox

Weeks passed, and the two fell into a rhythm. Lennox brought Beetrice’s tub out during the day, letting her enjoy the sunlight, then moved it back inside at night to protect her from the cold. Lennox learned to respect Beetrice and was constantly entertained by the social little bee’s interest in everything around her. “She has a huge heart and she’s a silly little thing!” Lennox added.

Beetrice gives Lennox a tiny high five
Ashlie Lennox

For over a month, the two built a loving friendship, but in early October Lennox began to notice a change in her friend.

She knew Beetrice had already lived much longer than expected, and that she had given her a “good bee life,” Lennox said, but that didn’t make saying goodbye any easier.

“She doesn’t seem stressed at all, and doesn’t freak out when I touch her,” Lennox observed on Monday, as she cradled Beetrice and gently pet her head, “which is nice, but pretty sad that she’s slowed down so much.”

On Monday night, Beetrice passed away. But Lennox had a plan to keep her memory alive — a way to commemorate all the days spent with Beetrice crawling on her arm, gently tickling her skin with her fuzzy legs.

A tattoo of Beetrice
Ashlie Lennox

While Lennox had given her friend the gift of life, Beetrice taught Lennox to look at the world, and all the creatures who inhabit it, in a kinder way.

“She’s taught me a whole new respect and love for bugs!” Lennox said. “She also helped me get over my little fear of bugs. I’m always scared they would bite me or sting me or what have you, but treat them with care, don’t scare them, and they’re harmless.”

Ashlie Lennox

“My time with her was lovely,” Lennox added.