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Fighting For The Ancient “COOL” Bee

Stingless bee, or locally known as ‘lebah kelulut’ is a bee type that does not sting. I always call them the ancient “cool” bees as they are not dangerous. The bees have long existed since millions of years ago and only thrive in tropical and subtropical regions. They produce a variety of many sought-after products, including honey (madu kelulut), propolis and bee pollen. (Pict of Dr. Zul with fosil).

The bees produce their honey in cerumen pots built by them at an average of 4kg of honey per colony each year. Mating only once, the queens have a productive lifespan of up to 7 years according to their species.
In comparison, worker bees and male drones may live for around 60-90 days only.

Already one of the most bio-diverse countries on Earth, with a rich array of fauna and flora, bees are integral to Malaysia’s biodiversity. In the natural ecosystems, they do a lot of works in the background to keep our forests intact.

Not limited to the forest only, the importance of stingless bees as a critical asset can also be seen in the agriculture sector. The world today has seen an increasing agricultural demand on pollination, in its effort to tackle the alarming food security issues. That is why beekeeping should be regarded as a prime tool to achieve sustainable development across the globe.

I believe we owe so much to the tireless, albeit silent, work of bees. Despite the significant importance of the bees, the number of wild bee colonies here in Malaysia and other countries has gradually declined. They are threatened by habitat loss brought about by logging activities, expansion of residential developments spanning virgin forests and from the effect of pesticide use on farms.

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