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Video footage of a bumblebee ‘high-fiving’ a surprised passerby went viral earlier this month, leading many to profess how adorable they thought the moment was.
After all, what could be cuter than a teeny tiny bee putting up its hand/leg for a high-five, as though celebrating some shared achievement with you? Exactly, nothing.
Except it turns out the insect wasn’t actually high-fiving the man at all, because unsurprisingly bees have no concept of what a high-five is. Nope, the reality is actually not nearly as cute as it seems.
Facundo Ezequiel Lamela caught the unexpected moment on camera recently when he was taking a stroll on a sunny day around San Martín de los Andes, Argentina.
Lamela spotted the small bumblebee clinging onto a mildly blossoming purple plant and decided to give the fuzzy creature a stroke, at which point the insect reached out one of his limbs in response.
Not wanting to leave the little guy hanging, Lamela reaching out his own finger for a high-five with the bee in a seemingly adorable moment caught on film.
As he filmed the moment, Lamela said:
I’m giving a sleepy bee a high-five.
That would be all well and good – if that’s what was happening. But it isn’t. As per Friends of Ballard Water Meadow, a woodland conservation in New Milton, Hampshire, ‘bumblebees do not high-five humans’.
What’s actually happening is the bee adopting a raised leg position, which is often mistaken for a high-five. When feeling threatened, bees raise one leg as a warning, as though to tell the person to back away because they’re getting too close to them.
As per the woodland conservation’s website:
You have to remember that all wild creatures naturally only have contact with other species if that other species is about to eat them.
Obviously, touching bees thus increases their stress and should be minimised. It is preferable even not to let your shadow fall across a bee or even to breathe on them, as this adds to the stress.
Basically, if you see a bee hanging around you should avoid it – unless it looks as though it’s in trouble and needs reviving, in which case you should feed it a simple combination of sugar and water.
Otherwise though, leave them be and let them thrive. This is especially important considering the insects have officially been declared the most important living being on the planet, despite being declared an endangered species.
You can help save the bees here.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
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