Protection of 16,000 invitees which includes three thousand eight hundred Graduates has been the primary concern of the University of Peradeniya authorities during the two day 84th Convocation of graduates that would be held on the 24th and 25th of May at the Gymnasium converted to a Convocation Hall.
The biggest responsibility is to keep the “Giant Honey Bees “ ( Bambaru ) out, without their attacking the invitees. The University authorities have been spending around twenty-five to fifty thousand rupees yearly for the last tweleve years to keep away these Giant Honey Bees ( “Bambaru”) from any such attack. They build their hives underneath the bridge spanning the Mahawelli from the Engineering Faculty Akbar Hall and the main Campus of the University. The Bridge is popularly known as the ” Akbar Bridge “
Hundreds of undergraduates cross the bridge without any hindrance and have never been disturbed nor have these undergraduates ever been attacked by them. But, the same could not been said when such a mass of invitees gathers within the range of the bridge at the Gymnasium. A risk cannot be taken said the Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Terrance Mudajith.
A Conservation Association was given the task to clear the Giant Honey Bee hives which include their wax with honey .. But, there is an allegation why not get rid of the Giant honey bees once and for all. without spending monies for this exercise.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Terrance Mudajith said that these Giant Honey Bees ( Bambaru ) could be burnt or sprayed with a chemical which would completely eradicate the Bees and their progeny. But, the University would not do that, as these Giant Honey bees are of no hindrance to the University community and they are the ‘pollinators ‘for the area. or even more. If they are burnt or destroyed the community would be losing a group of pollinators who cannot be replaced.
No doubt the University is spending monies for its removal, which exercise is a gigantic and risky task fro those involved in this excersie and that is been done to protect the invitees for the Convocation as they are alien to the area and any disturbance would tend to risky , for the bees to attack them.
As a precaution this has to be done each year during the period of the Convocation said Professor Mujadith, and they have never attacked the University Community during any period, though hundreds of undergraduates pass over the bridge daily, he added
The excercise was carried out by a Conservation Organization nmed ” Bigu Conservation Assocition ” haeded by it s technical Officer Mahinda Wijsinghe. Undergraduates and Lecturers of the Agriculture Faculty was also involved in this exercise.