For a yearly adoption fee, you can have a Malaysian-based hive to call your own and play a part in saving the bees. By Holly Graham.

This year, Kuala Lumpur’s Bar Trigona clocked in as a new entry at 40 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, and also took home the Sustainable Bar Award for its innovative bar programme, which supports local farms and celebrates local produce. Led by head bartender Ashish Sharma, he and the team seek out small producers of Malaysian ingredients to craft their menu of tasty drinks that support the local economy, most notably Dino Kalulut’s organic trigona honey farm in Negeri Sembilan, the bar’s namesake.

The trigona bee is stingless and produces a unique honey used in many of Bar Trigona’s cocktails. Now, the bar is amping up their environmentally conscious and sustainable practices by helping to give back to the farm that inspired its concept and aiding in the protection of the eponymous bees with Bar Trigona’s Adopt A Hive programme.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is causing a decline in global bee populations, with some bee species becoming extinct or endangered because of pesticides, habitat loss and other human threats. If CCD continues, it’s predicted that our planet will experience a global food crisis as bees are responsible for pollinating around 80 per cent of fruit and vegetable crops. In short, we need to save the bees so they can save the planet.

There are several ways we as individuals can help save the bees (see below for Ashish’s lists of tips) and Bar Trigona’s adopt a hive scheme is a unique and positive way to boost bee populations, open to both bartenders and environmentally conscious folk alike. By participating in the scheme, adopters will be contributing in many ways, from helping young apiarists learn traditional beekeeping skills, to supporting the future and growth of this oft overlooked – yet vital – industry, and protecting local bees, giving a means to provide sanctuaries where the bees can live, feed and produce healthy hives and honey. Adoption will also assist in the training of new beekeepers and the setting-up of more bee sanctuaries in Australia. Supporters will also be rewarded with health benefit-laden trigona honey that’s pure and chemical free as well as delicious – trust us, we can vouch.

Trigona hive

For a one year adoption fee of MY500, you’ll have one trigona hive of bees at Dino Kalulut’s organic trigona honey to call your own. You’ll be sent a personalised certificate and a small bottle of bee propolis, as well as quarterly videos and photo updates on your bees. If you’re a local, happen to be in town or just want to see your hive, you’re also welcome to visit the farm and meet the farmers and collect x6 500g jars of raw trigona honey, harvested and labelled by hand from your hive and delivered to Bar Trigona for your collection. You’ll also get special invites and beehive owners get a 10 per cent discount a Bar Trigona, so you can see how the honey is used in the cocktails at a discounted price as well as a thank-you jar of honey if you refer a friend.

For more details, please chat with the team via the Four Seasons App or WhatsApp +60 03 2382 8888, or simply ask for Ashish next time you’re at Bar Trigona.

Ashish hopes to see both bartenders and consumers alike getting behind this thoughtful and environmentally conscious initiative, but also says almost everyone can help save the bees by doing just one of the below:

  • Avoid the use of toxic chemicals (including pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) in your garden. Use certified organic garden products and natural pest strategies instead – they are safer, more economical and environmentally friendly.
  • Grow a bee-attracting garden with plants rich in nectar and pollen that bees love to feed on to encourage them to pollinate your food crops.
  • Provide fresh water in a small bowl for bees to access.
  • Buy local honey to support small beekeepers so they can maintain hives and biodiversity.
  • Swap your lawn for a food garden or natural bee habitat. Flowers, herbs and vegetables provide a rich source of food for bees.
  • Buy organic fresh produce to support organic farmers and avoid genetically modified crops.
  • Start keeping bees at home – both urban and rural environments need bees.
  • Refer a friend to adopt a beehive and get a free 650ml jar of honey as a thank you gift.
  • Spread the word and help raise awareness. Help educate others by sharing the adopt a hive scheme website with others.
  • Gift a beehive to friends, families and colleagues, or adopt one for your bar.