2018 February: 50,000 Bees Poisoned (Paddington NSW)


Beekeepers and residents frustrated after council poisons up to 50,000 bees (Feb 9 2018)


Residents and beekeeping authorities are frustrated after a local council sprayed an urban nest with poison, killing tens of thousands of bees, in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.

Key points:

  • Local resident found dead bees beneath nest, across road
  • Council says it called pest control after a resident complained about the nest
  • Council says it was focused on minimising harm and responding to residents’ requests

Doug Purdie from The Urban Beehive said the nest — which is commonly referred to as a hive — was substantial and up to 50,000 European honey bees would have been killed in the process.

“There’s plenty of people who remove beehives so I’m not sure why the council felt the need to spray it,” he said.

Mr Purdie said local beekeeping authorities will often remove nests and relocate them for free.

“It’s just frustrating that they chose to poison it instead.” he said.

He said nests are usually removed if they are situated in problematic areas, such as near preschools.

However, Mr Purdie said poisoning a nest should be a last resort if it cannot be relocated.

The nest was situated on Glen Street, along a walkway near residential properties.

Local resident Heather Simington was shocked to find thousands of dead bees beneath the nest and across the road.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless,” Ms Simington said.

“The coverage was probably a metre long and half a metre wide and 3 centimetres deep. And that’s just counting the ones under the tree.”

A spokesperson from Woollahra Municipal Council said they called pest control after a resident complained about the nest.

“We had a request to attend the hive from residents who were concerned about the bees,” the spokesperson said.