Abuzz over Singapore's bees at new trail opening in HortPark

The pearly-banded bee (Nomia strigata) is a 1cm-long solitary insect that nests in the soil. It is a buzz pollinator and likely the key pollinator of chillies, tomatoes and brinjals in community gardens. Its favourite plant, however, is the Singapore
Andrew’s blue-banded digger bee (Amegilla andrewsi) lives on its own in the soil. The 1cm-long creature likes to visit the flowers of the snakeweed, melastoma, dissotis and ardisia plants. It is a buzz pollinator. The pollen of some plants are held within a part of the flower called the anthers, and they can be unlocked only through a special action: the buzzing of a bee. The special frequency of the bee’s buzzing causes the anthers to shake and the pollen to fly out. This phenomenon is known as “buzz pollination”. PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH/NPARKS
The pearly-banded bee (Nomia strigata) is a 1cm-long solitary insect that nests in the soil. It is a buzz pollinator and likely the key pollinator of chillies, tomatoes and brinjals in community gardens. Its favourite plant, however, is the Singapore
The broad-headed leafcutter bee (Megachile laticeps) is a solitary creature and nests in small, pre-existing holes. The 1.5cm-long insect cuts leaves and folds them to form its nest. It is also among the few groups of bees that can reach the pollen of the pea flower. Its favourite flowers are the yellow cow wood, nipis kulik and the rattlebox plant.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH/NPARKS
The pearly-banded bee (Nomia strigata) is a 1cm-long solitary insect that nests in the soil. It is a buzz pollinator and likely the key pollinator of chillies, tomatoes and brinjals in community gardens. Its favourite plant, however, is the Singapore
The broad-handed carpenter bee (Xylocopa latipes) is one of the larger species to occur in Singapore, measuring 3cm long. It is a semi-social insect, with multiple females that can reproduce and live together. It nests in wood and likes to visit the melastoma, dillenia, luffa and thunbergia plants for pollen. Like the Andrew’s blue-banded digger bee, it is a buzz pollinator. It is also sometimes confused with the bumblebee, but bumblebees do not occur in Singapore.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH/NPARKS
The pearly-banded bee (Nomia strigata) is a 1cm-long solitary insect that nests in the soil. It is a buzz pollinator and likely the key pollinator of chillies, tomatoes and brinjals in community gardens. Its favourite plant, however, is the Singapore
The pearly-banded bee (Nomia strigata) is a 1cm-long solitary insect that nests in the soil. It is a buzz pollinator and likely the key pollinator of chillies, tomatoes and brinjals in community gardens. Its favourite plant, however, is the Singapore rhododendron.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH/NPARKS
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore's forests in 2012. The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin. The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Sin
Ridley’s small carpenter is named after Singapore Botanic Gardens’ first director, Henry Nicholas Ridley.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH, NPARKS
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore's forests in 2012. The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin. The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Sin
The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH, NPARKS
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore's forests in 2012. The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin. The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Sin
The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Singapore 20-cent stamp.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH, NPARKS
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore's forests in 2012. The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin. The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Sin
The Singapore sweat bee is so far known to be found only in Singapore.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH, NPARKS
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore's forests in 2012. The gold-margined stingless bees are native pollinators found on islands such as Pulau Ubin. The cerulean carpenter bee has a dense coat of blue hair and has been featured on a Sin
The fiery resin bee was first sighted in Singapore’s forests in 2012.PHOTOS: ZESTIN SOH, NPARKS

A Bee Trail opening at the HortPark next Saturday will give visitors the chance to spot up to 20 different bee species, learn where these fascinating creatures live and the many beneficial roles they play in nature. Jose Hong sneaks a peek at some of the bees buzzing about.

The Bee Trail that opens on Sept 15 winds its way through three bee habitats at HortPark.

Eagle-eyed visitors may spot up to 20 species living in the gardens and learn about how native bees benefit us.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2018, with the headline 'Abuzz over Singapore's bees'. Print Edition | Subscribe