Buzz over beekeeping ban

By Chris Thomson | posted on November 30, 2017

A BAN on beekeeping in the suburbs of Albany will be reviewed, as two Gledhow apiarists hit cafes and food stores to challenge it.

Albany’s Animals Local Law prohibits beekeeping in town sites and residential areas outright, and in special rural areas without city approval.

However, the city has told The Weekender the law will soon be reviewed and lifting the ban could be considered if supported by elected officials.

Kiri Lewis and her partner Daniel Warne are circulating a petition around Albany cafes and food businesses calling on the city to can the ban.

“A lot of other places in Western Australia allow one or two beehives upon approval or application,” Ms Lewis said.

“It’s dumbfounded a lot of people why they can’t actually do it responsibly here.

“We’ve got such a disease-free area and Albany is a prime place to have bees, and yet it’s very restricted.”

The couple’s petition is available for signature at Solomon Merchants, The Health Nut, Paperbark Merchants, Goodlife, Mount Melville Fresh Organics, AVEG, McKails General Store and Southern Stockfeeds.

“So, we’ve spread it around a bit,” Ms Lewis said.

“I find that once people read it, they think it’s a bit ridiculous not even being able to apply for a beekeeping approval.”

She and Mr Warne live on a rural block, and so are allowed to keep bees.

But they plan to sell beekeeping equipment and a continued ban would smother that budding enterprise.

“I feel we should be encouraging people to support the bees, look after the bees, maintain their health and encourage beekeeping’s development instead of saying: ‘No, you can’t have them here, you can’t have them there’,” Ms Lewis said.

The City confirmed public comment would be sought ahead of any changes to the local law.

Image: Kiri Lewis Ellah-Rae Warne and Daniel Warne at their Gledhow property. Photo: Chris Thomson