A teenager who rescued a bumblebee says it is now her loyal pet – sleeping by her bed and even following her to the shops and bowling alley.
Lacey Shillinglaw, 13, spotted the large fluffy bumblebee lying in the road while walking her dog two weeks ago.
She scooped up the bee, now named Betty, noticing it had a crumpled wing, and tried to put it in a safer spot, on some flowers in a nearby park.
But it refused to stay put, buzzing back over to Lacey and crawling all over her, and after an hour she gave up and headed home with the creature perched on her shoulder.
And despite repeated attempts to leave her outside, the buzzy friend has refused to leave Lacey’s side ever since.
It is always by her side in the house – sleeping on her bedside table – and has followed her to the shops and on a family trip to the bowling alley.
Lacey, from Coventry, West Midlands, said: “Betty is totally amazing – I’ll remember this forever.
“I thought she would fly off on the first day but she just never did.
“I’m so happy and I just love spending my time with her.
“She’s so fluffy and I love our friendship.”
Betty hitched her first ride when Lacey found the insect on August 7, while walking with mum, Laura Pashley, 35.
On the way home Betty perched on the girl’s glasses as she went into her local shop to buy milk – shocking other shoppers.
The insect apparently enjoys sharing jammy dodgers, eating the middle while Lacey nibbles at the edges.
Lacey also feeds it sugar water, honey, and strawberry jam, as well as Haribo Tangfastics.
Lacey takes her bee-pal into the garden to feast on flower nectar, but as soon as the teen goes back inside, Betty is right beside her.
At night Lacey tucks Betty up in a little pot beside her bed, and while there is no lid, the animal stays put until morning.
During the day Betty nestles on the back of Lacey’s neck, or inside her sleeve, between buzzes around the living room.
Betty apparently even liked a stroke between the wings, but steers clear of the rest of the family; car salesman dad Lee Pashley, 35, and siblings Vinnie Pashley, nine and Betsey-blu Pashley, five.
The insect, whose wing is now recovered, went bowling with Lacey and 14 other members of her family earlier this month.
She stayed on Lacey throughout both games – for two-and-a-half hours.
Laura, who makes edible flower bouquets, said: “She absolutely loves her.
“It’s completely lovely and also bonkers.
“Betty wanders all over her. including her face, and her glasses, and even in between her toes.
“She’s on her 90% of the time during the day. It’s so beautiful – just gorgeous.
“I can’t believe Lacey isn’t scared.
“Bumblebees sting, and like wasps, they can repeatedly sting you without being hurt or dying like honeybees do.
“Lacey’s hair is down to her bum, and Betty climbs in it like some kind of jungle.
“We have all the doors open a lot and she’s just never gone – I haven’t the foggiest why.”