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When you can no longer keep bees in urban auckland


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It will be because of issues like this. Unreasonable?

 

An Auckland family is asking how much is too much after dealing with stings and swarms from their neighbour's 26 beehives. The family from Mangere Bridge believe Auckland Council should have more power over their situation. Husband and wife Tim and Kristelle Paterson say it's so bad they can't use their backyard in parts of the day.

 

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"Standing out there about 1.30pm, you'll be hit in the head by bees, our backyard is right in their flight path as they come and go," Kristelle says.

 

The bees weren't getting enough water, making their young children's paddling pools targets for bees, she says. Kristelle says a bee handler called to the site claimed "it was one of the worst" examples he'd seen of bee management. Bees often swarm in trees in their backyard. Kristelle says one swarm was so big it broke one of the branches.

 

A higher wall installed to alter their flightpath doesn't appear to be fixing the issue, Tim says.

He questioned why Auckland Council couldn't take more action. He says there should be limits placed on the number of hives allowed in residential areas.

 

The couple say they have had to get the neighbour to come over repeatedly to take the bees back. Some of those occasions had involved heated exchanges.

 

'NOT ALL NEIGHBOURS THAT COMPLAIN':

 

The beekeeper says he felt the neighbours were being unfair, when Stuff approached him for comment. He says we was working through a plan to reduce the hives with Auckland Council staff. But he wouldn't say what the plan was.

 

"I understand if people are concerned, but it's not all the neighbours that complain, only one does," he says. He pointed out he was in the process of moving some hives off the property. He says he had tried to reach the Paterson family a number of times to apologise, but nobody had been home or answered the door.

 

Auckland Council confirmed it had received a complaint.

 

However the matter was still under investigation, team leader of bylaws and compliance Dirk Timp says.

 

"Council is working through a graduated enforcement process, where the focus is on education and voluntary compliance in the first instance, to resolve this matter." The Animal Management Bylaw sets out compulsory minimum standards for beekeeping in urban areas, Timp says. The bylaw says "good hive management" is needed to reduce nuisance or risks to public health and safety.

 

According to the Keeping of Bees Control, that means beekeepers should "take all reasonable steps" to:

 

* Make sure beehives are positioned and managed to minimise impact to other people.

* Maintain colonies with a calm temperament, taking steps to control swarming.

* Make sure there is a suitable water source for bees on the premises.

* Minimise nuisance to people from bee excrement.

 

While the bylaw sets out minimum standards and guidelines, there is no specific rule over the number of hives suitable for urban areas.

 

Timp says additional guidelines aren't compulsory, instead they point out why the minimum standards are important.

 

"They will help to enable the keeping of bees in urban areas while protecting the public from nuisance and risk of beestings," he says.

 

He recommends anyone who keeps bees in urban areas to take up a beekeeping course.

 

Auckland neighbours disagree over beehives in the backyard

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It surprises me that there is a lack of legislation surrounding the issue and especially in Auckland, I'm quite sure in Gisborne you are only allowed 2 hives in your yard in town.

 

Either way, they should not be swarming into the neighbours trees, mine seem to think that it's ok though, I make sure to go over to the neighbours with about 10 jars of honey and apologise profusely.

 

As for stinging the kids, that's not cool.

The kids next door love my bees, one of them said to me once "one of your bees stung me" and I said "Oh, gee I'm really sorry, it probably didn't mean to, did you stand on it" and he said yes, I told him even if I took my bees away they would be just as likely to get stings walking on the flowers and I gave him 2 jars of honey, he decided he wouldn't mind the odd sting if he got honey, and that he might just wear shoes when he walked on the flowers.

 

My bees are really quiet and don't tend to cause trouble, I always work them when it's nice with no gear on so as not to panic the neighbours, I did put a screen up so that they fly up 6 ft so they're less of a nuisance, and because the kids were all leaning on the fence watching me and were a little bit too close to the action for my liking.

 

There's always going to be idiots who ruin things for everyone else, can't reason with unreasonable people.

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judging by the amount of hives and the way its setup, it looks like a bee hive hoarder.

neither a hobbyist or commercial would keeps bees like that.

 

the other angle the affected home owners could do is claim heath and safety issue. it looks like the person is semi-commercial (possible honey drums in the pic), so heath and safety rules apply. ;)

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26 hives on an urban Auckland property is too many. The test for this is whether the bees are causing a "nuisance". The law around bees and nuisance is still evolving and there is a case Auckland Council is currently involved that is before the Courts that should provide some better guidance. Bees poo, bees swarm, bees sting, bees can fly at lights at night, personally I think around five medium strength hives on an urban property is OK provided the flight path is not a problem. Most Council's seem to regard two as being appropriate I think.

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26 hives on an urban Auckland property is too many. The test for this is whether the bees are causing a "nuisance". The law around bees and nuisance is still evolving and there is a case Auckland Council is currently involved that is before the Courts that should provide some better guidance. Bees poo, bees swarm, bees sting, bees can fly at lights at night, personally I think around five medium strength hives on an urban property is OK provided the flight path is not a problem. Most Council's seem to regard two as being appropriate I think.

I have 2.

I am fully comfortable being around bees and being very near to them obviously, but I try to imagine what other people don't like.

And I would say that my two very strong hives would almost be too many bees to have in town.

I intended to move them but they got too big and heavy to move.

 

Two is a good idea I think given that a lot of people are not comfortable around bees, and a lot of people are deathly allergic.

The chances of them being lethal skyrockets when you're in town.

 

It's not only really dumb to try and have 26, it's dangerous.

I'll be gob smacked if they all get to stay.

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I am fully comfortable being around bees and being very near to them obviously, but I try to imagine what other people don't like.

you are lucky to have such nice bees you don't know what its like.

i started with very rough bees, i know what its like and don't wish that on anyone. a few grumpy hives can be deadly even for a beekeeper let alone members of the public.

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