'Irritation' over bees in urban areas could see hive numbers in Auckland backyards limited

Honey making in urban areas of Auckland could be curbed with Auckland Council proposing a beehive limit.

Source: Seven Sharp

Auckland Council says the rise in popularity of beekeeping over recent years is causing issues with bee poo and bee pollen which is becoming “quite an irritation for some Aucklanders”.

To contain any issues caused by these urban bees, the council is proposing to change the Animal Management Bylaw 2015 to introduce a new limit on the number of beehives people can keep in urban areas.

If the new limit is introduced, beekeepers in urban Auckland would have to get council approval to keep more than two beehives on land less than 2000 square metres.

This would involve applying for a license online and paying a fee to keep more than two hives.

Beekeepers would also have to show a site plan showing where the hives would be contained on the property, the hives’ location and size, flight path of the bees when foraging, housing for the bees and potential nuisance to neighbours.

“The new rules seek to find a balance between enabling urban beekeeping and minimising the nuisance caused by bees,” says Council Regulatory Committee Chair, Councillor Linda Cooper.

The main proposed changes to the bylaw are:
• requiring an approval to keep more than two standard beehives on urban premises with a land area less than 2000 square metres. Currently no approval is required.
• incorporating rules from another bylaw about the feeding of animals on private property.
• updating the bylaw definitions, structure and wording to make it easier to understand.
Council has already heard a range of views about limits on beehives in urban areas and is seeking feedback on the following:
• allowing more or fewer beehives without an approval than the proposed two.
• limits for different sized urban premises than the proposed 2000 square metres.

Aucklanders will get their say on the proposed bylaw changes from today until July 16.