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Bees and Wasps

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Bees and Wasps

Council does not deal with wasps or bees on private land.  The property owner/occupier is responsible for controlling or attending to any bee or wasp nuisance on their own property. 

You can find bee and wasp contractors in the yellow pages of the phone book.

How to destroy a wasp nest

  • Locate the entrance to the nest during the day. 
  • At night when wasps have stopped flying, sprinkle an insecticide powder (tablespoon of Carbaryl Insecticide) around the entrance.   Carbaryl is available from garden centres or hardware stores.
  • The wasps will carry the insecticide into the nest and kill all the wasps in the nest.
  • Do not shine a torch or other light on to the entrance, this will cause the wasps to come out.  
  • Leave it for a few days until there's no sign of wasps.
  • It may be necessary to repeat the process 5-7 days later. Then remove the nest.

Paper wasps nest can be destroyed by:

  • Spraying the nest at night with household fly spray. 
  • Remove the nest containing the larvae by snipping the base with scissors and drop it into a plastic bag.
  • Otherwise contact a wasp contractor.

Keeping bees on your property

Bees may be kept without permission in a Gisborne urban area residential zone (mainly Gisborne city) if:

  • The property where the bees will be kept has an area greater than 600 square metres.
  • Only one beehive on a property with an area of between 600-900 square metres.
  • A maximum of 2 beehives on a property with an area of 900 square metres or more.
  • Three beehives may be kept on a property with an area of 900 square metres or more so long as there are no dwellings or sensitive uses on adjoining properties.

Bees may be kept without permission within other residential zones (mainly rural townships) if:

  • A maximum of 2 beehives on the property.
  • Three beehives may be kept on the property so long as there are no dwellings or sensitive uses on adjoining properties.

These conditions apply for keeping bees in all zones

Placement of beehives is a critical factor in avoiding problems for neighbours.

  • Place an obstruction in front of the hives or elevate them to ensure that bees fly at least 2.5m above the ground before crossing the site boundary.
  • Position hives to make sure the primary flight path will not affect your neighbours homes or living areas.
  • Provide a water trough.
  • Talk to your neighbours about when they are happy for you to do hive working and manipulation.
  • If you split beehives already on a property, causing a greater number of beehives than that allowed, the beehives must be removed:
    • by the 30th of September - for beehives split between March and August;
    • within 6 weeks - for beehives split between September and February.
  • Hives must be constructed and maintained so as to ensure that no nuisance occurs from its existence or use.
  • Parasites, flies and other pests must not reach levels that may create a nuisance to neighbours or a health risk to humans or animals.
  • Bees must be located and kept in such a manner that no other nuisance occurs.
  • No nuisance shall be caused by any activity associated with the keeping of bees including storage of honey and waste.

You need council approval if you are keeping bees outside the conditions listed above. 

This is the application form and fact sheet 

You also need to read the bylaw Keeping of Animals, Bees and Poultry Bylaw 2005.