Yanchep residents allowed to keep bees

The City of Wanneroo will now allow residents in residential zones to keep up to two hives in their backyards. Picture: DAFWA

THE WA Farmers Federation has welcomed a new bee keeping law allowing people in residential zones, including Yanchep and Butler, to keep up to two hives in their backyards.

In its submission to the City of Wanneroo on the draft law the federation said it hoped other councils looked at the city’s initiative and made changes to their existing apiary restrictions.

The City of Wanneroo approved the bee keeping local law at its December meeting following two extensive periods of public consultation.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said while residents did not require a permit there were common sense provisions to keeping bees.

“Before putting bee hives on their property residents have to notify, in writing, their adjoining neighbours, as well as keeping the hives at least five metres from any boundary,’’ she said.

“Similarly they must keep the hives at least 10m from any thoroughfare such as a footpath or parkland.’’

People wishing to become hobbyist apiarists are reminded by law they must firstly register with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, which then provides a hive identifier with a certificate of registration.

The registration of bee hives helps the department in the control of pests and diseases and also to notify hive owners of emerging threats.

There are almost 1000 registered beekeepers in Western Australia with a combined total of nearly 29,000 hives.

The department’s website has extensive information sheets, aimed at small landholders, who want to keep bees.

A constant and clean water supply, kept close to the hives, is an important tip in stopping bees becoming a nuisance to neighbours.

A Department of Agriculture and Food WA spokeswoman said as well as being registered with the department hives must be maintained as per the State Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act 2007.

She also advised bee keepers to check their council’s requirements.

Any unusual bees or suspect mites or any other biosecurity concerns can be reported to the department’s pest and disease information service hotline on 1800 084 881 or email enquiries@agric.wa.gov.au

More information, including registration requirements, is available from the department website.