Bee Conservation in Singapore: An In-depth Analysis
Current Status of Bee Populations in Singapore
The bee population in Singapore is a subject of debate. Based on what I have seen, the bee population is under threat. I have launched a petition to protect bees by law, suggesting changes such as prohibiting bee extermination and identifying spaces for beekeeping. However, Assistant Professor from the National University of Singapore's Department of Biological Sciences disagrees, stating that while some bee species are endangered, none of the four local Apis honey bees are threatened. The National Biodiversity Centre identifies 133 species of bees in Singapore, with four main species regularly removed for public safety. As there is not existing data to monitor the trend of bee population plus the common practices of exterminating when uncovered a beehive of the above mention 4 species. The bee population would be affected for sure. These can be inferred from the publication by government that in the past 5 years there were about 8400 cases of bees, wasps and hornets sighting.
Main Threats to Bee Populations in Singapore
The threats to bee populations in Singapore are multifaceted. My petition highlights the extermination of bees as a significant threat. However, practical challenges exist in implementing humane beehive removal methods, as pointed out by pest control companies is unfound as Nutrinest had already rescued more than thousands of beehives. Beside there are at least 2 other individual had followed what Nutrinest had been doing. Some pest control also try to collaborate with the beekeeper to use the humane beehive removal method. Globally, bees face threats from exposure to agrochemicals, parasites, malnutrition, intensive agriculture, and the industrial-scale use of managed honey bees. While specific information about threats to bee populations in Singapore is lacking, these global threats likely apply.
Key Species of Bees in Singapore
Singapore is home to approximately 120 species of bees. The most common species include the Asian Honey Bee, Smooth-headed Stingless Bee, Broad-handed Carpenter Bee, Broad-headed Leafcutter Bee, and Himalayan Cloak-and-Dagger Bee. Other species include Apis Cerana, Apis Andreniformis, Apis Florea, Apis Dorsata, and Trigona (Stingless Bee). Each species has unique characteristics and contributes to pollination in different ways.
Existing Conservation Efforts for Bees in Singapore
Conservation efforts for bees in Singapore are ongoing. The National Parks Board has implemented measures to promote bee conservation, such as creating bee-friendly environments. My petition to protect bees by law is another effort, although it faces practical challenges. Assistant Professor John Ascher's research on bee ecology also contributes to understanding and conserving bees. Nutrinest is working on a more comprehensive solution to make local bee conservation more easily accepted by more people.
Impact of Bees on Singapore's Ecosystem
Bees play a crucial role in pollinating crops such as durian, longan, and lychee in Singapore. However, the impact of bees, especially introduced species, on Singapore's ecosystem is not well understood due to limited information. Despite this, bees are recognized as important for maintaining ecosystem balance and food security. According to a recent research document published by NUS, about 70% of the plants crop in community garden were pollinated by Dwarf bees and Apis Cerana, two of the most commonly exterminated honeybees!
Potential Strategies for Improving Bee Conservation in Singapore
Improving bee conservation in Singapore requires a multifaceted approach. This could include further research to understand the status and threats to bee populations, implementing Xavier Tan's suggestions where practical, and continuing to create bee-friendly environments. Additionally, public education about the importance of bees and how to coexist with them could be beneficial. Many government agencies should work together with the experienced individual to create a bee friendly ecosystem and minimised unnecessary killing of these keystone species.