Originally posted Oct 2021
For additional reference:
In view of the renewing of wildlife acts and try getting the wildlife protected in a top-down manner. I love that part to penalise the intentional killing of wildlife, which includes bees. This means that Pest control is not allowed to indiscriminately kill any bees anymore! Because of this, many pest control companies have approached Nutrinest and request about learning how to humanely removing wild beehives. I can see the effects of the new acts but at the same time problems too! I think it is time to get the top-down and bottoms-up meet.
Many pest control would like to follow the act but they are not equipped with the knowledge and skill to properly handle bees. With that, I am seeing more clients complaining about bees issues and when I investigate the physical bee colony I found that there are a lot more escape bee colonies. this usually happened when the colony is being served by someone who could not manage the bees well. With this, the strength of the colony is greatly reduced and chances of surviving are much lower. I have been helping to save such a colony but most of the time they dissolved after a period of time. This is worst than exterminating cause a colony is double handled leaving both separate colonies to die slowly!
I would like to know what is the plan to quickly bring up the service providers' knowledge and skill to handle wild bees properly? Is there a guideline or standards established to ensure the wild bees are humanely managed? If there is, where can the general public get on hold to it?
In the new acts, it is also mentioned that it is illegal to keep wildlife including bees without written approval from the Director General Wildlife Management. For a better wild bee control, it is best to evenly distribute the colony population. Hence, it is important to have more locations to relocate the rescued bee colonies. Will the government prepared to release more sites to house all these rescued bee colonies? I am constantly looking for new site. Capture and release will only satisfy in resolving a particular incident but not the root cause. I would like to suggest the idea of Nutrinest Total Wild Bee Managment and work with all the stakeholders to implement this. It will include educating the public, the service providers, and the authority in handling wild bees under different situation, and establishing standards and methods in managing the wild bees.
May I ask how to get in touch with the Director of General Wildlife Management to work with him on all these?
Originally posted Oct 2020
There are many people approached me to learn about urban beekeeping. Most of them wanted to keep stingless bees. Even some government agency such as NPark and Schools requested to collaborate with Nutrinest in keeping stingless bees. I have rejected all of them and here is the reasons:
The objective for urban beekeeping is to provide education opportunities for the public to understand about our local bees and how we can better interact with them instead of exterminate any if found! For this to be effective, keeping different types of honeybees is the key to achieve the goal. Public will get to learn and differentiate the different types of bees. The ability to identify which type of bee will sting and which will not.
This year the participants not only get to learn about the types of local honey, they also got the chance to make their own lip balm using the 100% Beeswax extract from the unwanted comb that I have. One of the invited guest also share about their experience in co-existing with their bees. Many had decorated their adopted beehive and my task is to fill up all these beehives with colonies of bees.
One of the last year adopted beehive was housing a colony of Trigona that was rehomed from Mandai Zoo area. This colony is now residence at the rooftop of Temasek Shophouse. Nutrinest is collaborating with Temasek Trust in experimenting urban rooftop beekeeping in urban environment, such as Orchard, a very dense environment.
Currently Nutrinest is managing 3 bee gardens within Singapore, in the north, center and west part of Singapore. I hope I will be able to save as many bees from the current pest control exterminating method. I hope more and more people will support my bee conservation work and make Singapore, a city in the garden that is also truely bee friendly.
Back in March 2021, Mrs Tan approached Nutrinest with her Bee “problem”. I get her to send me some photos and videos of her bee “problem” for me to understand the situation.
She asked:” Hi I just discovered this mass here on this tree and I thought it is a beehive. I got your number online and wondering if you could advise me what to do with it. I do not want to harm the bees.”
I told her that these are dwarf bees and they are docile. Looking at the beehive location it might be ok to leave them alone and share some space in her garden with the bees.
She Replied:” Thank you Xavier for your quick response. It is not in the way and I do not mind giving them the space for a while, if they don't grow too big. I had once previously and a pest control came and exterminated it, which made me feel very sad. I didn't want to do that again. I will let it stay if it is docile. However may call for your service if it grows too big. Thank you very much for your advice.”
To be sure, I requested her to send me a video of the surrounding area that is near to the beehive to ensure it is ok for people living close by. After reviewing her videos we both think that it is ok to keep the bee as it is. The only precaution is to only water the plant at the base without splashing. She was happy after keeping the bees for a few days and gave me a 5 stars review!
In September, Mrs Tan came back to me to let me know that the bees had decided to move on to their next destination.
Based on the empty comb we can observe that the colony had already gone through a full cycle. There are empty drone chamber and a few queen chambers. There was a slight wax moth infestation (one of the reason why the colony decided to move to a new place). It was natural shift as all honey was removed, chambers are all empty. The colony had produce about 12 new queens!
Then I requested her to help do a write up about her experience to share with everyone. Hoping that will encourage more people to coexist and share some space with the bees! She agreed and below is her sharing:
The first time I saw a beehive in my garden was many years ago. I panicked and called for a pest control company promptly. It came and exterminated it swiftly. It was a regrettable experience for me seeing the dead bees on the floor. I didn't feel right.
When I encountered a hive again in March this year,
I decided to go online to look for a better solution. I was lucky to find Xavier who is experienced and knowledgeable in bees. From the pictures I sent, he was able to advise me the kind of bees I had in the garden and their living habits. Assessing that the beehive location was not in anybody way, he asked if I could give it space as the bees are nomadic and they would probably move on subsequently. I decided we could give it a chance and learn to live with it for a while. I also learned that the bees are having trouble surviving in the modern world.
It soon became our 'house pets' of kind, and we checked on it every now and then. We noticed that there was a tree chameleon (actually it is garden lizard) which was always looking at the hive. The bees would flutter whenever it got too near to them.
Over times we observed that the colony expanded, than decreased and then expanded one more time. Unfortunately, my new neighbour spotted it one day and we thought it was time we get Xavier to come and remove it safely. Then out of a sudden, we found the hive empty one rainy day in August. Our little friends had also decided to bid goodbye. We were relieved but kind of missing them at the same time. We cut off the branch and removed the hive.
The bees were with us for about half a year. It was a good experience for us to get so near to nature and observe them first hand. I am glad that I didn't kill them and they moved on to a greener pasture in due time.
I saw a tiny bee in my dinning room the other night, I hope it is not looking for its hive.
There are bees everywhere, with a beehive near us or not the risk of getting stung by a bee is equally low. in fact if we know the location and try to make some adjustment on how we use the place. the risk is lesser than when we don't even know where the beehive is.
Next time when you encounter a beehive just leave them alone. if you are not sure, please WhatsApp to Xavier at 91474065 with a video showing the beehive and the surrounding area. We are happy to provide free advice on how we can manage the wild bees. Please do not engaging a pest control or try to handle the bees yourself, if you do not know how. Bees are very important to our eco-system and they are not dangerous. please help to conserve the bees.