Over the weekend of 11-13 November, some members and affiliates of the Insect Diversity Lab drove up to Seremban, Malaysia to visit the local beekeepers and scientists involved in stingless bee keeping and research. This visit included stingless bee farms managed by Jeffry Iskandar Foo, and the Malaysia Genome Institute.
At Jeffry’s farm, we saw the hives of many species of stingless bees endemic to Malaysia. These hives were often constructed from wooden boxes or created from hollowed-out logs, where the bees would nest within. Jeffry was able to harvest the propolis used to construct nest entrances and the honey, which is simply squeezed from their honey pots.
The Malaysia Genome Institute also had more stingless bee hives just outside the building, where our avid IDL members continued to observe stingless bees and take photos. We were also taken on a tour of the lab facilities within the Genome Institute, where we got to see the state-of-the-art technologies employed in their stingless bee research.
Our trip was warmly hosted by Dr. Abu Hassan Jalil as well as Mohd Noor Mat Isa, Mohd Razif Mamat, Dr. Nor Azfa Johari, and Halimah Alias from the Malaysia Genome Institute. We are deeply grateful to them for the opportunity to visit their facilities and are also touched by their hospitality accorded to us for the duration of the trip.