SHAH ALAM, June 30 -- Bees are normally considered as venomous and harmful insects that should be eradicated but have you ever thought that they actually play an essential role in the ecosystem of plants.
Besides producing nutritious honey for the benefits of human health, bees are also among the main agent in the pollination process where plants can continue to survive and reproduce naturally.
Ooi Leng Chye, 47, a volunteer with the Bee Saviour Association of Malaysia (MY Bee Saviour), is of the opinion that society in this country is still lacking in its understanding and is, in fact, not bothered over the role these tiny creatures play in the life cycle of plants.
This lack of understanding is evident when many would just resort to destroying bee colonies found on their premises or homes by burning the hives lest the insects attack and sting them.
“If bee colonies continue to be destroyed, there is a huge possibility that they will face extinction. Maybe, many are ignorant that there are countries facing extinction of wild bees and are forced to ‘rent’ bee colonies from bee farmers in order to perform pollination.
“Bees are not harmful (to humans) except if we poke at the hives, swat them or when they hear noises of grass-cutting equipment.
‘’That would make the colony feel threatened and attack humans,” he told Bernama after removing a bee colony from a house in Setia Alam, here.
With two years of experience as a volunteer with MY Bee Saviour of relocating bee colonies for free, Ooi admitted that he is not an expert but his love for bees motivates him to hone the skills to correctly move colonies to safer locations in order to preserve the bee population.
According to the software engineer, the Apis andreniformis (lebah lalat) and the Apis cerana (lebah kampung) bee colonies which are normally found residing in buildings and homes in this country are harmless to humans.
“However, the giant honey bee (lebah tulang), is quite dangerous because they are big and aggressive but normally they live in the forest. It is simple, do not poke at the hives and they will not attack you,” he added.
According to Ooi, they will take home Apis andreniformis and Apis cerana bee colonies that they remove from premises to rear while the giant ‘tualang’ honey bees will be relocated to their natural habitat in the forest.
He added that MY Bee Saviour is a registered association founded in 2015 with 136 members nationwide which is keen to collaborate with the Fire and Rescue Department and Malaysia Civil Defence Force to preserve bee colonies.
Malaysia National News Agency
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