40,000 bees 'rescued' from roof of S'pore Association For The Deaf and relocated to Siglap shophouse

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What is the buzz?

About 40,000 bees were "rescued" from the roof of the Singapore Association For The Deaf building on April 29.

They were then relocated to The Sundowner Nature Experience Centre on the rooftop of a Siglap shophouse at East Coast Road.

This was made possible by a partnership between pest control company Killem Pest and The Sundowner Bee Rescue, which provides bee relocation services.

A spokesman for the Singapore Association For The Deaf told Stomp: "Due to the age of our premises (dating from the 60s) and our location surrounded by greenery, we need to engage gardening and pest management services."

Two bee nests were found in the roof of the association building at Mountbatten Road. According to Killem Pest, each nest had approximately 20,000 Asian honey bees.

Instead of exterminating the colonies with chemicals, which is the usual method, The Sundowner Bee Rescue carefully removed the bees and moved them to a new home in its apiary in Siglap. It has two other apiaries in Bukit Timah and Thomson.

Four people and a boom lift were involved in the rescue.

The cost of the bee relocation was fully covered by Killem Pest as part of its commitment to supporting charities in Singapore as well as to mark its 30th anniversary this year.

Killem Pest had announced its partnership with The Sundowner Bee Rescue in March.

"The true value of the bees is not the honey – it’s the value of pollination. The global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $55 billion around the world," said Mr Clarence Chua, founder of The Sundowner Bee Rescue, which saved 100 bee nests last year.

"Bees are one of the cleanest insects. They don’t carry any pathogens or diseases that can be passed to humans."

According to the National Parks Board (NParks) website, honey bees are docile and safe when foraging at flowers away from their nests.

NParks also advises that if a bee lands on you:

  • Refrain from smacking the insect! Injuring it may cause it to sting or release alarm pheromones that would attract more aggressive bees.
  • Calmly move the part of your body that the insect is resting on. If it still does not move, gently brush it off – it will fly away peacefully.

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