Category Archives: Insects

Giant Honey Bees at Pasir Ris Park

When we normally talk about enjoying the great outdoors in Singapore, the general public assessment of risk typically include fear of snake bites, or ferocious wild boars running loose. Some will fear wild dogs, and others will fear spiders, scorpions and other creepy crawlies. While some of these are undoubtedly dangerous if handled incorrectly, thankfully for the past few years, there have been no fatalities involving any of these animals.

There is however one exception. Giant Honey Bees have been responsible for the unfortunate death of a Singaporean pest control officer1 (link) in November 2013.

The Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata) is a honey bee common in South Asia and South-East Asia. These bees migrate seasonally. They nest in the open on tree branches or trunks and even on balcony of buildings2 (link). There is much to fear about them. Unlike their more docile cousins the European or Asiatic Honey Bee, they are rather ferocious especially near their nest or provoked, and will collectively swarm their target causing multiple potentially fatal stings3 (link). Killing of a single bee will cause pheromones to be released signalling further aggression. In other words, when you spot them, getting away will be the wisest decision.

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