Dealing with concerns about bees on your plot
The BHAF was recently asked on the Forum:
“just read Tracy Llewellyn’s article about bees. How did she manage it? We’ve been on Campsite for about 8 months and are very keen to aid pollination and keep bees. The local association would provide the hive and run it for us while we’re learning, but we’ve been told not to bother. we’re supposed to get permission not only from every allotment holder, but from each resident around the whole site, including the blocks of flats. we reckon it could take 6 months or more. Does Tracey know a short cut or have we been misinformed? If anyone else wants to keep bees and can maage to get permission we can put you in touch with the people who are anxious to provide hives.”
Here is the advice from Tracey about her experience
All I had to do was to post notices around the area, very similar as for the process of a planning application, stating my intention to keep the bees. I had to provide my contact details in the event that anyone wanted to object to my proposal to keep the bees. I suppose, therefore, that your own notices could be posted on the site notice board, at either end of your plot, on the entrance to the flats to which you refer and so on. The notice has to be in situ for a statutory period of time (see here for more details).
Another requirements, and this is an important one, is that you have the necessary public insurance liability insurance which you would have automatically on joining the local Bee Keeping Association. The Allotment Service will not consent to the keeping of bees on Council l and without a copy of your certificate of BKA membership and insurance.
One other thing which you might do, to reassure those immediately in the vicinity of the plot where you propose to keep the bees, would be build the hive an enclosure. The flying height of bees is approximately 15ft but when they emerge from the hive they obviously have to climb to that level. A problem often encountered on the plots or paths very close to the hives hives is a clash of bees and people due to the bees’ flight path. So, what we have done, is to build them an enclosure which consists of three sides of fencing panels (6×4 I think), one side of builders netting which doubles as the entrance to the enclosure, four posts attached vertically to the fencing and the netting attached to the posts to a height of approx 9 ft. What this means is that the bees, on emerging from the hive entrance, have a short steep climb out of the enclosure and do not fly into our allotment neighbours or members of the public walking on the public footpath which runs past our plot.