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Don't let your bees become a nuisance.

Beekeeping in Urban areas.

Backyard beekeeping is fun and rewarding. In urban areas, it has the potential to be a nuisance to your neighbours. You may love your bees, but it does not mean that your neighbours love bees.

In Victoria there is a "Code of Practice" for beekeeping in urban areas. I thought it might be helpful to apply some of the same ideas to beekeeping in Adelaide, South Australia.

General Points for Urban Beekeeping

  • Keeping bees in urban areas requires good management skills — otherwise, the bees can have a negative impact on those who live close by.

  • Hives are best placed in a sunny but sheltered spot.

  • Always position the hives so that the bees do not become troublesome to neighbours.

  • Do not place hives in the front yard where bees only have to cross a low fence before mingling with a passer-by that may happen to cross the flight path of the bees.

  • Some people are extremely sensitive to bee venom. If a passerby receives an accidental sting or even a bee in their hair — any beehives nearby will be blamed.

Beekeepers can apply a universal principle, "Be a Good Neighbour" to their urban beekeeping.

Victoria's Apiary Code of Practice.

The main aim of the Apiary Code of Practice is to reduce the nuisance factor of urban beekeeping. The Code describes a number of standards for the placement and management of hives throughout Victoria.

What is in the code?

  • manage colonies to prevent or minimise swarming

  • provide water on the property where the bees are located if they don't have access to water

  • maintain colonies located in urban areas with young docile queens

  • store unused hive components in such a way that bees cannot gain entry to them

  • prevent or minimise activities of robber bees

  • observe hive density limits for properties in urban areas

  • ensure bee flight paths don't interfere with neighbouring land

  • place hives greater than 3 metres from a property boundary fence (This does not apply if a bee proof barrier, higher than 2 metres, is situated on the boundary fence line adjacent to the hives.)

There are some good principles of backyard beekeeping in the Victorian Apiary Code of Practice. Could these principles improve your backyard beekeeping?

Interested in reading the full Victorian Apiary Code of Practice? Download here.

Victorias Apiary Code of Practice
Download PDF • 1.92MB

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