Council gives a bee plus

Restrictions beehives are to be removed from the draft Waipā Animal Nuisance Bylaw.

And people wanting to keep beehives at or above the second storey of a building can also do so provided the building is strong enough to support the additional weight.

The council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee first heard verbal submissions on the proposed bylaw in February but it became clear then there was some ambiguity in the technical information and advice staff received about keeping bees.

Strategic Projects driver Graham Pollard originally suggested a maximum limit of hives depending on the size of the property and rules around location.

Submitter Phil Evans said there should be no restrictions at all on how many hives and where they were located.

“It is irrelevant and distance from boundary needs to be removed from the bylaw. Fence height is of far more importance.”

Nuisance complaints could easily be dealt with by the council instead, he said.

The committee this week agreed to change the beekeeping recommendations and remove the clause limiting the number of hives and distance from the boundary provided there is a solid two metre high fence.

Apiculture New Zealand submitted on the bylaw earlier this year and told the committee hobby beekeeper members reported successfully keeping hives on apartment block balconies, on garage roof tops and on top of containers.

These bee changes to the bylaw will now be sent to council for adoption at its next meeting.

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