What is Bee Rescue?
1. Why save bees in the first place?
At our continued rate of deforestation for development, wild bees continue to be pushed out of their natural environment and into our living spaces.
The common misconception about bees is that they are naturally aggressive and want to sting anything within reach. The reality is that bees only sting as a defensive measure, and often only as a last resort (a worker bee that stings dies shortly after).
Bees are crucial animals of any ecosystem – in fact, they are the greatest pollinators on our planet. A single colony can pollinate up to 3,000,000 flowers a day. They help fruit 30% of what we eat: watermelons, pears, apples, cabbages, mangoes, and many more. Without them, our dinner plates would be less colourful and nutritious. And our bowls will be filled with much less –and more expensive– food.
As a precautionary measure, bee colonies that move into spaces close to humans need to be removed. But while extermination used to be the only solution, a better understanding of their importance to our ecology, and with improved techniques, relocating a colony of bees is now the much better option.
2. The Importance of Pollination
For a nation that has almost no agricultural industry to speak of, is pollination by bees or other insects really all that important?
Yes, hugely so! Because around 70% of native flora in Southeast Asian lowland forests depend on bee pollination. The loss of bees and their crucial role of pollination severely impacts our biodiversity. How?
a. Pollination plays a key role in maintaining genetic diversity within a plant population.
b. The loss and or weakening of these plants directly impacts carbon cycling and soil erosion.
c. It also impacts the food supply and shelter of plenty of other wild animals and insects. What happens when monkeys and wild boars get hungry? They enter spaces humans occupy!
We often read of how the loss and extinction of certain animals has dire and unexpected consequences on ecology and even human life. The loss of bees and their contribution of pollination is one such threat.
A traditional extermination job makes use of harmful chemicals and kills an entire colony of bees in 5 minutes. That's anything from 5,000 - 40,000 bees gone in a flash! This used to be the only option... up until recently. Singapore now has 3 bee relocators, and people have started realising extermination wasn't the only way!
We spend much more time, effort, and care to do the job. Through much R&D and experience, we remove them alive, and relocate them to one of our three apiaries in Siglap, Bukit Timah, or Thomson.
After the bee rescue is complete, the job is not done. Now we work hard to give them an attractive new home full of floral resources, to keep them fed and staying put in these safe spaces.