Bees swarm corridor of Woodlands HDB block

SINGAPORE - Residents in an HDB block on Woodlands Drive 50 saw an alarming sight when they opened their doors on Sunday evening.

Hundreds of bees were swarming the common corridor on the eighth storey of Block 894C. They quickly closed the door to keep the insects out. About an hour later, dead bees littered the common corridor near the lift landing.

SIM Global Education undergraduate Maxine Koh, 22, said she saw the bees when her mother, Madam Karen Kiong, was about to leave their four-room flat to buy dinner for the family. "The moment we opened the door, we saw bees flying around the corridor light outside our apartment. We closed the door and called the National Environment Agency to report the incident," she said.

When Madam Kiong opened the door later, she found that the bees were dead.

The 50-year-old housewife said: "We didn't see any exterminators because we had kept ourselves indoors. Around 9pm, my brother came by our flat and when we opened the door, the bees were dead. By Monday morning, they had been cleared."

Her neighbour, Miss Sree Kutty, said she had seen pest exterminators coming to the block. "They sprayed some chemicals along the corridor and the bees were gone within five minutes.

"I think only our block was affected. I called a friend who lives in a block nearby and she told me there were no bees there," said the 21-year-old.

A spokesman for Sembawang Town Council told The New Paper that it received a call about the bees at 8pm and pest control officers were deployed immediately "to treat the problem of the migrating Malayan bees by applying chemical treatment to the common lighting and the corridor".

What could have caused such a situation? Mr Glen Aw Yong, the director of Pest-Pro Management, said Malayan bees migrate based on weather conditions and seasonal changes.

The bees can be aggressive when provoked, and their sting is harmful to humans, he added. "Malayan bees are attracted to light and it's common to see these insects at HDB blocks. Our company deals with at least 70 such cases at HDB blocks each month," he said.

He advised residents to report any sighting of bees to the town council immediately.

"They should also close all doors and windows and turn off all the lights. If any bees get inside the flat, residents should go into an air-conditioned room and wait for assistance," he added.

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