Honeybees of Singapore
Bees and Wasps are not pests; in fact they are beneficial insects! Wasps prey on pests such as cockroaches, while honeybees pollinate flowers and produce honey that humans harvest and enjoy. Both carry a venomous sting that can be painful and may cause allergic reactions in some people. However they are usually defensive and will only attack if their nests are disturbed.
A colony of honey bees has one queen, thousands of workers and a number of male drones. Workers bees collect pollen and nectar, and maintain the nest. The ones you see flying around are just doing their work to care for the colony! They spend their day pollinating plants and crops, not trying to attack you.
Some honeybee colonies can live for several years in a sheltered space. When young queens have hatched in the nest, the old queen gathers up to half of the colony and swarms. They can suddenly appear on your wall but it is no cause for alarm as they are peaceful and merely looking for a new home!
Since 2020, The Sundowner has been humanely relocating bees to several apiaries located around Singapore. Learn more about honey bees below, and if you wish to relocate them without killing any, contact us.
Nests are built at 1-3m height, usually in bushes and trees. They build a single small comb on a branch. It can be 1ft across across with 1 - 5,000 bees. Relatively tame, and stings are not so painful.
These are the easiest species to rescue, with just the snipping of branches. A 30 min to 1hr job. If built on metal pole it is a bit more challenging, but still removable.
Asian Honey Bee
Asian Honey bee
The most common honey bee in Singapore. Nests are built only inside cavities (dark spaces), most usually under roof tiles. You will see bees flying in and out during daylight hours. Inside, they form 5 - 10 combs on a flat surface. 5 - 15,000 bees, they won't attack unless you agitate the nest.
A colony is a technically difficult species to rescue, involving creating an access hole, then vacumming bees into a specialised box, finding and trapping the queen, then cutting out the honey comb, and finally reinstalling onto frames. This is a 1.5 – 3hr job.
If it is a swarm (no comb built yet), or a best built inside a pot that can be taken away, the work will be much faster.
Giant Honey Bee
Giant Honey bee
Nests are built high up in trees, usually in forested areas. They form a single comb on a large branch. Can be 1m across with 20 - 50,000 bees that can be ultra aggressive / defensive, and lethal on occasion.
Given the difficulty of access, large nest size and defensiveness, we generally do not do rescues for this species.
If they don't need to be killed, we can do shoo-aways that will just chase them away so that they can form a new nest elsewhere.