The District Council of Peterborough is populated by several species of bees including native bees and the European Honeybee. All species live harmoniously in urban/semi urban and rural environments if left undisturbed. Bees play a vital part in the pollinating of our farming crops, fruit trees and vegetables, as well as our native plants and gardens.

On occasions especially during spring, when the weather warms up, there will be an increase in the movement of bees and bees may swarm into an undesired location requiring removal. (see bee removal )

During the warmer weather, bees may form a colony, or beard, outside of the hive. This is their way of trying to get cool and can be quite frightening due to their size and the amount of bees present. Generally during this state, the bee colony is not aggressive as they are trying to protect the queen.

Honeybees undertake an important pollination role in our veggie patches and orchards. Almond trees are 100% dependent on the European Honey Bee for pollination.

Bee Keeping - Private Property

Residents of the District Council of Peterborough are permitted to keep bees on their property as long as they do not become a nuisance or hazard to other persons. The council may order a person to remove bees kept on their property in order to abate a nuisance or a hazard to health or safety, under the Local Government Act 1999. It is important to consider neighbour’s within close proximity before keeping bee hives.

Managed bees are considered livestock and as such all persons keeping bees are by law required to register as a beekeeper and comply with the SA Apiary code of conduct – fines for noncompliance apply.

Registration as an Apiarist/Bee Keeper:
Person(s) keeping bee hives are requested to have a Certificate of Registration from the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA) as a registered Apiarist. For more information on the keeping of bees contact the South Australian Biosecurity Apiary unit – 820777902 or 82077975 or visit:

Unregistered persons keeping bees and unmanaged hives put our state at risk of bee diseases. Fines may apply for not registering your bees.


All persons selling honey to the public must comply with food safety laws and be registered as a food business with their local council. In addition if residing in another council but selling at a market in this council area, a temporary food permit must be sourced via Peterborough council. Pre-packaged Honey requires correct labelling, including weight, nutritional panel and batch number for food recall purposes.

Bee removal - private property

Warning - do not disturb or attempt to remove a bee colony yourself. Bee stings may prove fatal to those with an allergy. An authorised contractor should be engaged for the removal/destruction of the bees.

Council does not provide a service to remove beehives from private property.  It is the resident's responsibility to arrange a pest controller to remove the beehive on their property, at the resident's cost.

Bee removal - council property

Council will remove bees from council land if it has been identified that the bees are causing a risk to public health and safety by the resident reporting the bees. Please call council offices on (08) 8651 3566 to report a bee hive that is causing a nuisance or is a public health and safety risk in your area.

Every attempt will be made to re-locate the bees without destroying them. However at times, access may be difficult and destruction may be the only option.

Please note however, if the bees are swarming but have not settled into a hive (clump) for at least 48 hours, we cannot arrange for their removal.  Often the queen bee settles for 24 -48 hours and a “temporary” hive is formed to protect her.