Relocate bees instead of exterminating them

It is unfortunate to read in a recent news report that a resident felt her life "was in danger" when bees swarmed the corridor of the 22nd storey at Block 453D Fernvale Road recently.

Given the photo and description provided of the bees, it appears that they were simply in the process of finding a new home with the queen bee.

Swarming is absolutely harmless and happens due to an overcrowding in the previous hive.

It simply means the queen was leaving the old hive with half of the bee population in search of a more permanent nesting spot.

Swarms may temporarily rest in places, such as on the corner of a wall or on a lamp post, before the queen bee finds a more secure spot, like within a tree trunk and away from predators.

Bees worldwide are suffering from "colony collapse disorder", in which vast colonies of pollinating bees die out for inexplicable reasons.

Countries within North America and Europe have been focusing research on this disastrous phenomenon.

Bees are a major and vital source for the healthy growth of our vegetables, fruit and flowers.

Simply exterminating the bees in the manner that the pest control did is a flagrant disrespect and disregard to the importance of bees in our ecosystem.

More education should be carried out by the National Parks Board with regard to swarming, and better relocation methods by a proper apiarist should be employed.

People's lives will truly be affected only when the bees are extinct and our markets are no longer filled with fresh vegetables and fruit.

Andy Low Yong Chien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2019, with the headline 'Relocate bees instead of exterminating them'. Print Edition | Subscribe