CORRECTION: On Friday, we reported that 40-50 bees were on a parrot at the South Texas Botanical Gardens when in fact, 40-50 bees were swarming a parrot in a large parrot enclosure. The bees were not on the parrot.
Debra R. Benedict, the Animal Care Department Coordinator with the South Texas Botanical Gardens said once the bees were found all the parrots and reptiles were immediately relocated to an indoor location, as per the facility’s safety protocol.
“They were examined for stings and monitored. One parrot received a single sting which was treated and has been under observation with no further effects,” Benedict said, “The bees were looking for water. Additional water sources have been located throughout the facility for bees, butterflies, and other insects."
We apologize for the error.
You’ve all heard of the birds and bees, but it might not be what you’re thinking.
Workers at the Botanical Gardens are worried about bees stinging their parrots after they found up to 50 bees in a parrot's enclosure. However, they also want to preserve the bees because they said the amount of bees in the world is declining. They are putting out sugar water and hummingbird feeders to attract the bees away from their parrots.
“Now what we’re trying to do is just have other water sources and extra water sources available throughout the garden…not just for the bees but also butterflies are going to need water and other insects," Dr. Michael Womack, the gardens' executive director said.
Currently they have about 20 parrots and because one got stung, they are putting them inside for part of the day and giving them treats. They said the parrot that got stung is doing well.
The Botanical Gardens said this isn’t a common occurrence, but since their parrots weigh about 3 pounds and have sensitive skin, they don’t want their parrots to stress out about being harmed or even swarmed. One of the parrots even got his foot stuck in the enclosure because that parrot was scared.
“We’re trained to look for any kind of signs of stress…the bees were stressing them out. Since that has happened we have been doing bee patrols. We’ve just been walking around making sure there’s no bees there," Lindsey Durrent, an animal care specialist at the Botanical Gardens said.
They believe the enclosures that got the most swarmed by bees were those in the northeast enclosures because the wind was blowing towards those parrots, and since they aren't used to bees, they may not know how to react.
“They feel lots of emotions that a toddler would in this moment and if a toddler had a bunch of bees on them…they’d be frightened and trying to get them off," Brianna Mcgirl, another animal care specialist at the gardens said.
The Botanical Gardens also took the parrots’ vitals to make sure they were healthy and also evacuated some of their turtles and iguanas just in case the bees swarmed them.
They said the bees are not a threat to humans and have not stung anybody and encourage people to continue visiting the gardens.