Are There Bees In Vietnam?

credit: Yay

Vietnam is a country full of biodiversity, visible in its many different species of fauna and flora spread across the country. Travelers to Vietnam are bound to come across many kinds of insects, some familiar with and some not. So, are there bees in Vietnam?

Yes, there are bees in Vietnam. Vietnam is a country high in biodiversity, with six types of honey bees, eight types of stingless bees, and two kinds of bumblebees. None of the bees are dangerous unless someone is allergic. Over one and a half million bee hives are managed in the country.

There Are Bees In Vietnam

Vietnam has plenty of bees to speak of. It is hard to imagine that a country with such ranging climates and topography would not have pollinators like bees. Overall, Vietnam has a great level of biodiversity, with hundreds of different mammals, birds, reptiles, and thousands of species of insects.

Bees get nectar from lotus flower somewhere in the Mekong Delta Vietnam
Yay Bees get nectar from lotus flower somewhere in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

One can find six types of honeybees in Vietnam; they are named the following:

  • Apis mellifera
  • Apis cerana
  • Apis andreniformis
  • Apis laboriosa
  • Apis florea
  • Apis dorsata

It may be surprising to some to know that Vietnam also has stingless bees, which could ease people’s anxiety who are allergic to bees. There are eight types of stingless bees in the country:

  • Trigona laeviceps
  • Trigona iridipennis
  • Trigona pagdeni
  • Trigona gressitti
  • Trigona scintillans
  • Trigona fuscobalteata
  • Trigona ventralis
  • Trigona carpenteri

Travelers can also come across bumblebees along their journey through Vietnam.

  • Bombus haemorrhoidalis
  • Bombus breviceps

How Many Bees Are In Vietnam?

All the mentioned bee species are native to the country except for one honey bee species (A. mellifera). It is tough to estimate the number of bees in the country, especially in the wild. There are approximately one and a half million honeybee hives (A.mellifera and A. cerana) managed by beekeepers in Vietnam.

Does Vietnam Make Much Honey?

The three honeybees most important for honey production in Vietnam are A. mellifera, A. cerana, and A. dorsata. Vietnam puts considerable effort into growing and maintaining its bee population and producing honey.

Vietnamese beekeeper in Dalat Vietnam
Yay Vietnamese beekeeper in Dalat, Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the main exporters of honey in the continent, exporting over sixty thousand tons of honey (worth over a hundred million dollars) in 2021.

Honey and bees are not just important for international revenue but also play a vital role for the local population. The sweet golden nectar produced by hard-working honeybees is a significant commodity for locals. Introducing Beekeeping projects has helped alleviate poor communities in the country, giving them an additional source of income.

Are Bees In Vietnam Under Threat

Vietnamese bees and beekeepers must deal with European foulbrood disease (EFB), Sacbrood disease (SBV), Nosema, and parasitic mites. However, Vietnamese beekeepers are equipped and educated in biocontrol methods to deal with these diseases when they present themselves. Formic acid is used to deal with dangerous parasitic mites.

The biggest concern for bees in Vietnam (and worldwide) comes from the negative effects of climate change. The rapid climate change prolongs the country’s dry seasons, increasing the risk of droughts in several areas, which puts bees at risk. There are fewer flowers for bees to pollinate during drought periods.

As bee hives get harder and harder to maintain due to harsh conditions, beekeepers give up the craft and search for other ways to make an income. A lack of beekeepers to maintain beehives results in fewer bee colonies.

Are Bees In Vietnam Dangerous

A traveler in Vietnam can come across several types of bees. Honey bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. Needless to say, there is no need to worry about stingless bees since they cannot sting you.

Honey Bees In Vietnam Are Not Dangerous

Honey bees are the smallest bees (with a sting) you can encounter in Vietnam. They are your classic bee that has black and yellow stripes with a fuzzy body. They can be found in various environments, including urban areas, farms, gardens, etc.

Vietnamese bees on honey
Yay Vietnamese bees on honey

A honey bee’s venom delivered through its sting is only dangerous for people who are allergic. Perhaps it is best for people who are unaware if they are allergic to bees to find out before traveling to Vietnam.

A honey bee’s sting usually causes a decent amount of pain and can lead to redness, swelling, and itching. If, on top of those symptoms, someone stung by a bee finds breathing difficult, they should seek medical assistance promptly.

Bumble Bee Stings Are Not Dangerous In Vietnam

You will likely see a bumblebee buzzing around when hiking through the beautiful and dense jungles of Vietnam. They are bigger than honey bees but have a similar appearance, with black and yellow stripes. Look out for bumblebees in bushes and trees.

Like the sting of a honey bee, a bumblebee sting can cause quite a bit of pain, especially to someone who has never been stung before. However, a bumble sting is not dangerous unless you are allergic.

Nevertheless, one should seek medical assistance if the site of the sting on your body gets red or swells up significantly.

Vietnamese Carpenter Bees Are Not Dangerous

It can be challenging to tell a carpenter and a bumblebee apart as they wear the same black and yellow colors, but the carpenter bee is bigger than the bumblebee and does not have as much of a fuzzy look.

If you want to avoid carpenter bees, try to avoid dying or dead trees, as these are where they make their nests. However, they also make nests in other unmaintained wooden structures, like sheds and tree houses.

A carpenter bee’s sting can hurt but won’t lead to a severe reaction unless one is allergic. The bee sting site can turn red, swell up a bit, and cause itchiness. If someone experiences symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, they should seek medical assistance as soon as possible, as these symptoms indicate an allergic reaction.

Watch Out For Hornets In Vietnam

Although they are no bees, hornets are common in Vietnam, particularly in the northern mountains. They can build their nests in various places, like trees, wooden and concrete homes, and other buildings. They are bigger than honey bees but have thin waists and yellow-orange stripes.

A hornet’s sting causes similar pain to a bee sting, with redness and swelling developing on the skin after the sting. It is recommended to seek medical assistance if the pain does not reduce over time but gets worse. One should also seek medical attention if shortness of breath develops.

Can Tourists See Bees In Vietnam?

There are places for bee lovers or enthusiasts in Vietnam to see bees. Depending on where you plan to spend your time in Vietnam, you can visit some eco-friendly farms with bee hives.

Beehives in the jungle of Dalat Vietnam
Yay Beehives in the jungle of Dalat, Vietnam

One of these farms is the Phú Quốc Bee Farm, located on the beautiful paradise-like Phú Quốc Island. The farm has around fifty bee hives of various species (mostly Italien honey bees), which can choose from mango, jackfruit, durian, avocado, and rambutan trees. The local honey bees have been given their area on Phú Quốc Island, so they can be preserved.

Tourists can visit the farm for free between 9 am and 5 pm. People can walk around the garden and taste the farm’s various fruits in the summer. Visitors can be educated about bees and the structure of bee hives. Bee-related products, like honey and beeswax products (soap, candles, etc.), can be bought at the farm.

Understanding the importance of bees for the ecological system, Phú Quốc Bee Farm works with its neighboring farms to promote an environment welcoming to bees.