Bees

The City of Onkaparinga 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. (see bee removal )

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.

The City of Onkaparinga has a long history of honeybee association with beekeepers residing in our area since the mid 1800’s. Honey Pot Rd and Liguria Cres bare the names of our beekeeping history. We currently have over 50 registered beekeepers - recreational and commercial in our area.

Honeybees undertake an important pollination role in our veggie patches and orchards. Almond trees are 100% dependent on the European Honey Bee for pollination. The local area is well known for its native flora varieties of honey including:- Grey Box, Red & Blue Gum.

More information on bees can be found at:

Bee Keeping - Private Property

Residents of the City of Onkaparinga 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 – 820777902 or 82077975 or visit: http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/bees

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 Onkaparinga council. Pre-packaged Honey requires correct labelling, including weight, nutritional panel and batch number for food recall purposes. 

For further details:

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. An authorised contractor should be engaged for the removal/destruction of the bees.

Council does not provide a service to remove beehives from private property.
It is the resident's responsibility to arrange a pest controller to remove the beehive on their property, at the resident's cost.

Below is a link to the “Beekeepers Society of South Australia Inc” which contains a list of people and contact phone numbers who can remove and relocate bees for a fee: http://www.bees.org.au/swarms.htm#swarmlist

Bee removal - council property

Council will remove bees from council land if it has been identified that the bees are causing a risk to public health and safety by the resident reporting the bees. Please call our Customer Relations Officers on 8384 0666 to report a bee hive that is causing a nuisance or is a public health and safety risk in your area and they will arrange for its removal as soon as possible using an Apiarist to relocate the bees.

Every attempt will be made to re-locate the bees without destroying them. However at times, access may be difficult and destruction may be the only option.

Please note however, if the bees are swarming but have not settled into a hive (clump) for at least 48 hours, we cannot arrange for their removal.  Often the queen bee settles for 24 -48 hours and a “temporary” hive is formed to protect her.

Bees that have formed a hive over 2 metres high in a tree/stobie pole etc, will not be removed as generally this does not pose a health/safety risk.

Removal of bees from council bins

Council will remove bees if they have formed in the bins that have been put out the front on council land for rubbish collection, please notify the Customer Relations Officers on 8384 0666 to notify them of the hive. However, if the bins are on private property we cannot remove the bees as the contractors are not allowed to enter onto private property.

Removal from Telstra/SA Power Networks pit or similar

If the bees have nested in a Telstra/SA Power Networks pit or similar, Council will not remove them, please contact the responsible utility to arrange for removal.

Removal of bees from gas inspection plates on footpath

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