3 months...and she is still waiting

3 months...and she is still waiting

SINGAPORE - Publicist Olivia Choong set up an apiary in the garden of her bungalow in the central part of Singapore several months ago.

But despite trying everything she could to lure bees to the wooden box over the past three months, the bees have not come.

The 34-year-old, an environmental activist, said she tried melting a beeswax tea candle in the box and dripping the melted beeswax around the openings at the side of the box.

"For a moment, I thought that by using a different kind of beeswax candle giving off a different fragrance, I would attract more varieties of bees," she said.

Ms Choong discovered Edible Garden's beekeeping efforts through a talk conducted by its founder Bjorn Low, 33, earlier this year. "I love bees and it's fascinating how they help pollinate flowers."

Said Ms Choong: "I was also very inspired by the success of urban beekeeping efforts overseas and wanted to contribute to the growing tide of support for beekeeping locally."

Ever since beekeeping was legalised in New York City in 2010, over 200 artificial beehives have popped up on rooftops of hotels and office buildings there. Other cities like Tokyo and London also have a long history of beekeeping.

Ms Choong said that many Singaporeans are still too quick to label bees as dangerous pests.

Her neighbourhood, though, is a lot friendlier to these unsung heroes.

There was a ruckus among her neighbours a couple of years ago when a beehive was found hanging from a tree. But since then, residents in her estate have accepted and even welcomed the honeybees.

After all, these hardworking bees help pollinate the wide variety of flowers residents grow in their gardens.

Ms Choong continues to check on her box every few days, even though it has remained hollow.

"I guess I'm just not lucky enough," she said.

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