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Author Topic: Hives on roofs illegal?  (Read 993 times)
prestonpaul
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« on: January 23, 2013, 08:39:35 PM »

Has anyone heard of a local law in Victoria making it illegal to have bee hives on a rooftop or awning?

I have just had a visit from our local Planning Enforcement Officer to say that one of our neighbors have been complaining regarding our bees "swarming" regularly in their back yard. I am not entirely sure that either the Officer or the neighbor know what a swarm looks like and I am a bit upset that the neighbor did not come too see us instead of going to the council but that is not the issue.
We have our hives (2 hives and a nuc) placed on an awning about 3 meters up on an awning to keep them out of the way of our dogs and to make sure their flight path is well above the footpath that runs past our property. The Council officer has stated to me that local planning laws prohibit the placement of hives on rooftops or awnings which seems a bit strange to me. She said that we would be able to keep one hive if we moved it to ground level, but in the interest of neighborhood relations I offered to remove the hives all together.
This is not a huge issue for us as we have a rural property where the rest of our hives are so we will move them out there on the weekend.
I am just curious if anyone else has come across this issue or knows of where I might be able to see this law in writing. I have searched the council website without much luck.
I have emailed the officer to see if she can provide a copy of the regulation and any others regarding beekeeping within the council area so it will be interesting to see what she comes up with.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 08:50:04 PM »

I would wait to see a copy of the regulation if at all possible.



           BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:25:28 PM »

See may be trying to use her authority figure as pressure to get you to comply with her wishes and made the statement without justification. before moving the hives get the info first. then go to the council and request here appearance and justification for her statements. then request that they get DNA of the bees swarming with photos and request they DNA bees from within 5 miles radius. if they refuse to prove the bees are only yours that are swarming then the law stands by you and if they try to enforce  it with out hearings they lose to the provincial law broad. they have to put up or shut up at their cost.


john
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 11:29:49 PM »

Thanks for the support guys.
The issue for me is not so much moving the bees, I have no problem with that, as much as I will miss being able to go out and watch them. I have another location for them to go to and I would rather move them than start a feud with the council and my neighbour.
It's more that it is a strange law to have and I wanted to know if it was something widely known that I had missed or if it is something peculiar to my council that is hidden away in the archives. Or as some have suggested, something made up to try and bluff me into moving the bees?
I will have to wait and see if the council officer gets back to me. Failing that, she is coming back to inspect for "compliance" Friday next week so I will ask the question then.
Paul
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 12:31:05 AM »

Just spoke to the council officer. Turns out there is no law, just her flawed inturpretation of the Apiary Code of Practice  rolleyes
 She now also understands what a swarm is, she was trying to tell me a swarm is just a large number of bees. I clarified that for her.
It turns out that our council is just biased against beekeeping in Urban areas and they would preferr that bees be kept in rural areas only.
Needless to say I will have some information to give her next week about the global decline in bee populations and Australia's roll in maintaining a Varoa free refuge for honey bees  grin
We are still going to move the hives to keep the peace but I think the education of people enforcing laws they don't understand is in order.
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edward
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 01:56:40 AM »

Seem a bit like she s taking sides and helping your neighbors with there problem.

BUT you are also a member of the community and she should also take your interest into consideration.

When your hives disappear who is going to pollinate the neighborhood?

With out bees to pollinate the fruit and vegetables in the local gardens the populous will bee forced to import food from other areas and over seas.

This food is often industrielt farmed and of a lessor quality in taste and nutrition.

This will also lead to a strain on the buying power of the region when they have to buy food that they could have got for free in there gardens  Sad

What a difference you small bees make  bee

Seems to me she doesn't have a leg to stand on if s´he starts to bully you with lies, maybee something for the local bee club and local press to take an interest in, its a small slippery slope, you today , tomorrow the rest of beekeepers


mvh edward  tongue

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edward
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 02:00:45 AM »

Also how can she limit you to one hive?

A bee yard should have at least 2 - 3 hive to be sustainable and help to diagnosed eventual problems, no queen with moving eggs and larvae from hives with to hives without.

Seems the council needs to go to bee school. police

mvh edward  tongue
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 11:12:54 PM »

The apiary code of practice http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/41832/Apiary-Code-of-Practice.pdf clause 5.1 limits hive density on property's of less than 500 square meters to 1 hive (our property is 465 square meters) so unfortunately we  can only have 1 hive. The issue I have is she is twisting clause 5.1.2 to her own ends, saying we need to have a vegetative barrier of greater than 2 meters  high in front of the hives. This is not correct if the hives are further than 3 meters from the property boundary and does not preclude the placement of hives on the roof or awning as long as the hives are further than 3 meters from the boundary.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 11:33:15 PM »

I would request a Superior to be there to interpit the code for her. The word preclude does not mean to not allow but to exclude. she needs to go back to preschool and learn again. tongue

John
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 11:55:57 PM »

The word preclude is mine, not hers so incorrect usage is my fault. What can I say, i'm a tradesman not an english teacher 😊 Having re- read her emails and the code I think she is getting caught up in her definition of the term flight path. She is saying that the bees flight path is interfering with the neighbours property as they are swarming in their back yard (her words) I would argue that the flight path is the route the bees take to the area where they forage not the actual foraging activity. I would argue the purpose of any form of barrier or hedge is to raise the bees flight path above head hight, not to change their foraging location. I would argue that having the hives elevated serves the same purpose.  As we all know, if bees want to forage in a particular location they will do so no matter what barrier is in the way.
Unfortunately all this is doing is upsetting me, raising my stress levels and making me loose sleep. So what I am going to do is move the hives on the weekend and do my best not to get caught up in it any more.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 12:06:08 AM »

I wish you luck. I have my hives all around my property on the property lines. the neighbor two house down is afraid of the bees but his little girl is fond of them. she brings her friends over to look at them flying when I out back. ( some times when gets a little to inquisitive for my liking but that's how they learn.)

but all the neighbors love the honey!

john
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edward
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 04:13:47 AM »

Maybe you local beekeeping club could help out as this is a problem that could make problems for more beekeepers down the road.Here are the Swedish guidelines , Not laws for keeping bees in urban areas.



 
Beekeeping in an urbanized area - permissible or not ...

There are no detailed rules governing how to have bees or not, nor any authorization procedure. According to the Environmental Code is the beekeeper must take preventive measures to reduce the risk of harm to human health.There are several measures that the beekeeper can do to reduce the inconvenience and risk of nuisance to those living nearby. It may therefore be appropriate to talk to their neighbors before setting up colonies in an urbanized area, including the difference in behavior between bees and wasps.

Apiary site location

- Is important to minimize the risk that the bees come in contact with neighbors or passersby. Colonies should be placed as far as possible from a busy street, road or neighboring plot. If possible, beekeeper take preventive measures so that the bees get up altitude. Using a 1.5-2 m high fence, hedge or similar standing a few feet in front of hive hive bees get a steeper ascent and approach can be above head height and the risk of collision between the bees and neighbors, pedestrians, cyclists, etc. decreases.

 

It is also good to colonies placed so children are not tempted to get into the apiary. The location of the apiary should be done where possible confidential.

Powerful spurts where tremors, vibrations and "noise" in the apiary site may worry the bees and trigger aggression. While this is the reason for placing the colonies as far as possible from a road.
 

The enterance should be placed so that the prevailing air route, as much as possible over their own property, or out to an uninhabited area that is not the way.

Apiary site equipment

Among apiary site equipment should be an efficient watering devices exist. This means that bees collect water at the home of the beekeeper and not as the neighbor birdbath or pool.


A watering device is also good from an infection standpoint, the bees get this clean water that is not contaminated by either pesticides or bee excrement. Water device placed outside the main direction of flight.

Colony maintenance
The care is important, among other things. a beekeeper to do swarm prevention measures. Swarming in itself is not dangerous, bees are often the kindest when swarms but it is not fun for the neighbors to get a wild bee swarm the chimney, tree, attic, etc. The wild bee colonies can also be a cause of the spread of bee diseases.

During dearth poor periods and especially in the fall, it is important that the beekeeper manage their hives so that robbery did not occur in the apiary. Robbery involves a weak hive get their honey stolen by the other colonies in the apiary. Robbery may cause an uncontrollable arrival and departure of all apiary site hives which can be perceived as unpleasant by people nearby.

In urban areas, it is particularly important to have bees that are bred in controlled environments. The beekeeper should also strive to have young Queens to minimize the risk of swarming.
 
In conclusion we can say that beekeeping can sometimes be perceived as stressful by neighbors. Judicial decisions have often been to the beekeeper's favor. The various authorities have since highlighted the immense benefits which the bees are doing.
There are two judgments of the Supreme Administrative Court to show that bees are not a nuisance even though in one case was a person who was allergic to bee stings on the condition that there are too many hives and to follow the above advice.
The vast majority of cases where a beekeeper and one of his neighbors have different views on beekeeping in urban solved and beekeeping remain by the beekeeper takes the precautionary measures that can be done to minimize the discomfort that neighbors can feel.
 
Acceptable number of bee colonies
How many hives should be accepted on a normal sized property? This question must be assessed case by case. But up to 5-7 bee colonies should be accepted if the beekeeper has calm bees, manage bees, have screens that allow the bees make a steep departure and approach, the watering device as mentioned above.


mvh edward  tongue
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