KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) today said it is aware of the mass of bees at Terminal 2 of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2) in Sepang and will act to disperse the swarm if necessary.
The country’s main operator of airports also played down the danger level in response to concern from AirAsia officials posted on social media earlier today on the potential harm to passengers and workers in the vicinity.
“It is quite common for migrating swarms of bees to congregate at airports especially at the airside and they would normally disperse when there is rain or heavy wind.
“We monitor such situations and if they do not disperse by nightfall, we will get pest control to fumigate so as to avoid the formation of a beehive,” the company said in a statement today.
Now we have bees in klia2. We got maggots, rats and now bees. Maybe a zoo or KLIA 2 honey. Could be new income which could reduce airport tax. Jokes aside this is dangerous for my passengers and my staff. Will the non-communicative new CEO solve this? pic.twitter.com/D6AEudkASo— Tony Fernandes (@tonyfernandes) 8 January 2019
MAHB clarified that the picture that has been spread online showed a swarm of bees at the Bay Q4 at the KLIA2, and that it is not a beehive as reported earlier.
“In this particular case, the swarm had appeared between 10am to 11am this morning. If the swarm remains, we will continue to take similar actions and we are ready to fumigate at 8pm tonight,” the company said.
The company said such pest control activities are normally done at night “for safety reasons as it would be hazardous to disturb the swarm during the day”.
“We have not had any situation where the migrating swarm had caused harm to anyone in the past,” it added.
MAHB’s statement was in response to comments on Twitter earlier today by long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X Berhad CEO Benyamin Ismail and budget airline AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes on the sighting of the bees.
Fernandes had posted a photo of bees at the external ledge of an airport building, jokingly suggesting it could result in honey as new income that could reduce the airport tax, before asking if MAHB’s new CEO could resolve the matter.
Benyamin’s tweet had featured the same photo, with the caption: “Not just Airport tax that stings you at #KLIA2. BEE-aware!”
AirAsia has been disputing the new rate for passenger service charge or airport tax of RM73 per passenger at KLIA2 for international departures to non-Asean countries, which brought these rates to the same level as those collected at KLIA.
AirAsia has instead continued to collect the RM50 rate before the 2018 increase and refused to collect the additional charges, arguing that the same rates should not be imposed on KLIA2 passengers as it was a low-cost terminal with lower levels of service provided to passengers as compared to the full-service main terminal KLIA.