Beekeepers set to feel council sting
THE Gladstone City Council got a bee in its bonnet this week.
At a meeting on Wednesday councillors debated whether bee-keeping should continue within the city limits.
Councillors considered a recommendation to investigate the amending of local laws as a result of receiving eight complaints in 18 months about bees causing a nuisance to residents.
Long-time beekeeper Max Weir, of Barney Point, said he would be disappointed if the council banned bee-keeping in the city.
He said he had kept bees for more than 10 years and had received no complaints from his neighbours.
Mr Weir said bees produced more honey in suburban areas because of a greater variety of blossoms available in gardens which also had better irrigation than outlying areas.
In a report to the council, environmental services manager Brent McAlister said some residents had complained about being stung by bees but council had no regulatory powers to prevent unlawful bee-keeping on a residential lot.
He said in one case a resident had 17 hives where only two were allowed, and another resident had hives stacked up against the side of his house, posing a threat to neighbours.
Councillor Gail Sellers said she was concerned about council bringing in trivial laws which would unnecessarily restrict people's rights, but conceded keeping a large number of hives might be excessive.
Councillor Chris Trevor expressed concern bees might pose a safety risk, such as allergic reactions, and suggested the number of hives kept could be restricted under animal husbandry law.
Council accepted the recommendation and will further investigate the potential for including bee-keeping in its local laws.