Saving Malaysia's Bees One Nest at a Time
We found a great article about saving Malaysia’s bees and link to it at the bottom of this post so you can check it out.
Bees are vital to life on this planet, especially in pollinating major crops and in maintaining balance in ecosystems around the world. But their numbers have been dropping rapidly due to pollution, habitat loss, and pesticides, which are all manmade woes for bees.
Ooi Leng Chye, a 48-year old Malaysian man, places his bare hands into a swarm of thousands of bees. He uses his fingers to guide some of them gently into a wicker basket.
As a member of a group that saves bees and their nests when they are discovered in metro areas and cities, he tries to prevent these precious creatures from being destroyed by those who consider them pests.
Green activists in Malaysia founded the ‘My Bee Savior Association’ to help stop the bee decline. According to the United Nations, 40% of invertebrate pollinators like bees and butterflies are at risk of global extinction.
In this 2:30-minute video by South China Morning Post, we see the story that Malaysia is on a mission to save bees for future generations:
In Malaysia, the traditional solution to finding a nest of bees has been to call the fire brigade. They, in turn, are known to set fire to the nests and the bees inside it, burning them to a crisp in order to dispose of ‘the problem.’
My Bee Savior Association has taken on the added job of trying to convince official bodies like the fire departments to deal with bees in a different way, according to the group chairman, Norowi Hamid.
Convincing Malaysians not to fear bees is a challenging and ongoing task.
Hamid helped to set up the group when many colonies in the USA and Europe were wiped out by ‘colony collapse disorder’ which was caused by a mysterious scourge back in the mid-2000s. He says if we do not start managing bees properly then the day may come when they will not be here anymore.
When the group is tipped off about nests being found in places like near trees and under roofs, volunteers try to remove these bees and place them at new sites where they will be safe.
Responding to one of his recent cases in the car park of an apartment building in Kuala Lumpur, Ooi showed up wearing a short-sleeved shirt, trousers, and sandals. His day job is as a software developer. The building managers had reported a suspected bee nest.
Behind a wall under plasterboard, in an empty space, he and two other volunteers discovered half a dozen honeycombs and countless bees, a colony they believe was there for months. Ooi, who is not afraid of bees, was relaxed as he scooped up the bees with his hands and poured them into the basket. Dozens of bees buzzed around his uncovered face.
He explains that bees don’t attack for no reason, that they only attack for self-defense. If you understand their behavior, you have no reason to fear them.
He got a few stings on his arms—about four—but he shrugged it off saying it was mild. His arms may be covered in stings from previous expeditions, but he only wears a beekeeper’s suit when dealing with the most aggressive insects. He says the bee suit makes it difficult to be gentle when scooping up the bees.
It took nearly two hours in this instance to collect the entire nest, with a basket of bees wrapped in a cloth and net, and the honeycomb safe inside plastic bags. It is all taken to the home of another volunteer, where a makeshift wooden box will become their new hive. The honeycomb and bees are placed inside it.
This group of volunteers handle about 10 cases of nest discoveries as reported every day nationwide. They act on tip-offs from the public and from officials.
"We must protect bees for future generations. Otherwise they will curse us."
To view the photos and see the physorg article please click here.
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