The bee 'Manyi' (Melipona vidua) is an Iban omen only. If a swarm of bees settled underneath a house that had recently been built, it would be considered a bad sign, and probably it would be necessary to destroy that particular section of the house or to leave the house altogether.
Many Land Dayaks, on the contrary, keep bees in their houses, and among most of the peoples of Borneo, including the Ibans, it is most lucky in planting time to dream of an abundance of bees.
There are other creatures whose appearance, cry or movements may signify good or bad luck which are not omen animals (i. e., 'burong' or 'aman'), in the strict sense of the term. For example, the hawk owl (Ninox scutulata) makes a melancholy cry at night, on account of which it is very much disliked by the natives, who regard it as a foreteller of death. Its native name is Tongok.' If the Malay bear (Heliarctos Malayanus) climbs into an Iban's house, it is a bad sign, and the house would have to be pulled down.
According to Perham: "In answer to the questions of the origin of this system of 'birding' some Dayaks have given the following: In early times the ancestors of the Malays and the ancestors of the Dayak had, on a certain occasion, to swim across a river. Both had books. The Malay tied his firmly in his turban, kept his head well out of water, and reached the opposite bank with his book intact and dry. The Dayak, less wise, fastened his to the end of his waist-cloth, and the current washed it away. But the fates intervened to supply the loss and gave the Dayak this system of omens as a substitute for the book."
Another story relates the following:
Archdeacon Perham is perfectly right in his statement that: