Bees

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 (refer to Bee Removal below).

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.

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 – (08) 8207 77902 or (08) 8207 7975 or visit: http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/bees

Alternatively, you could contact our local beekeeping group (Active Bee Community) via their FaceBook page or contacting their members on (08) 8651 2450, (08) 8651 3016 or (08) 8651 3257.

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

Honey

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.

Council does not provide a service to remove beehives from private property.  It is the resident's responsibility to arrange for the removal of the beehive on their property.  Contact a member of the Active Bee Community who can advise you on removal and relocation to a more suitable location or place the bees with a local beekeeper.  Contact the Active Bee Community via their FaceBook page or telephone their members on (08) 8651 2450, (08) 8651 3016 or (08) 8651 3257.

Bee removal - council property

Every attempt will be made to re-locate the bees without destroying them.   Contact a member of the Active Bee Community who can advise you removal and relocation to a more suitable location or place the bees with a local beekeeper.  The Active Bee Community has pamphlets available with more information and contact numbers.

However at times, access may be difficult and destruction may be the only option, and if the hive is located in a tree cavity it will be blocked using approved methods that ensure protection of other domestic and wild hives.  This will only be undertaken after consultation with a member of the Active Bee Community.  Contact the Active Bee Community via their FaceBook page or telephone their members on (08) 8651 2450, (08) 8651 3016 or (08) 8651 3257.