It was looking stormy this evening and although a storm never materialised, about half an hour before sunset it suddenly went chilly and tipped it down. The lavender, as usual, had been full of bees, so we had a quick check to see if any of the more daring (or perhaps less attentive) bees had been caught unawares. Indeed this was the case - both a small redtail and a bufftailed bumblebee were clinging to the lavender, scared to move.
One by one we cut the lavender and added them to a plastic tub and then took them to the back garden to heat them up. Here's a video of us heating the redtail:
In the case of the bufftail, we brought her indoors as it was absolutely chucking it down by then, and we left her inside to warm up first with a lid on the tub. We waited till the rain past and checked it was still light enough outside (we still had some of our own braver bees leaving the nest, even though it was sunrise). We followed the same procedure with the hair drier and it worked a treat.
We might have buried one bumblebee tonight, but it's great we could help another two on their way!