A Singapore press holdings portal

Singapore

Yue Yong Sheng
Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

Singapore

Swarm thing: Bees form growing hive on tree

The New Paper | Yue Yong Sheng | Saturday, Jul 26, 2014

BUZZING: A large beehive is seen outside a warehouse on Changi North Way.

He first saw it on Monday. It was perched high up on a tree branch beside the road at the industrial estate.

Two days later, Mr Alfred Tan, who works in a warehouse on Changi North Way, saw it again.

To his dismay, the hive had grown alarmingly big, to about 1m long.

Mr Tan, 23, said: "It was much smaller when my colleague and I first saw it at 6.15pm on Monday - probably half its current size."

Worried that the noise made by the heavy vehicles in the vicinity might agitate the bees and trigger an attack, another colleague called the authorities on Tuesday morning, and was told that it "will send people over".

Mr Tan said he and the second colleague made another call each - one in that evening and another, yesterday morning. In the meantime, the hive got bigger and the worry grew as well.

Several workers in the vicinity told The New Paper that they had reported seeing bees flying around their warehouse early last week. But they assumed the bees to be "strays" and did not pay much attention to them.

They said they could not close the shutter doors of their warehouses to keep the bees out as it would make their working environment stuffy.

TNP visited the tree twice yesterday to check on the hive, and it was still there at 7pm. Stray bees were seen flying around the area as workers, oblivious to what was on the tree, walked beneath the hive.

Several workers gathered at a distance to watch.

SHAKING

Occasionally, a heavy vehicle would drive past the two-lane road, shaking the branches of the tree as it went by.

When contacted yesterday, an NParks spokesman confirmed that it had received public feedback through its helpline on Tuesday regarding a beehive at Changi North Way.

She said: "When notified, NParks' contractors were alerted immediately.

"Generally, beehives will be cleared within the day after receiving the feedback, but for this particular case, we understand that the contractor did not clear the beehive promptly."

She added that NParks has already activated its contractor to have it cleared by last night.

Past cases involving swarms of bees

NOVEMBER 2013

A pest control officer died after being stung over 100 times on his face and body by a swarm of giant honey bees in the Tanglin area. Mr Mohammad Sallehen Mohd Ali, 30, died at Singapore General Hospital from bee venom.

He and two colleagues had been sent to the site following complaints from residents that people had been stung.

DECEMBER 2012

A swarm of bees stung eight people at the top of Sentosa's Skyride chairlift ride, a part of the Skyline Luge Sentosa attraction.

The passengers had taken up three chairlifts and some were stung on the arms while one was stung on the head.

The bees flew off when it started to rain 15 minutes later.

NOVEMBER 2011

Thirty-eight students and staff were taken to hospital after a bee attack at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

They were warming up for their weekly physical education class that morning when the swarm appeared.

yueys@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 24, 2014.
Get The New Paper for more stories.

No comments yet.
Be the first to post comment.