Bee hive poisoning a sting in the tail for Wembley Downs residents


Emily Wallis
Emily Wallis

WEMBLEY Downs residents have a bee in their bonnet with the City of Stirling about the poisoning of a hive in a Luita Street park.

Resident Emily Wallis, who lives opposite the park, said she saw a contractor applying poison to the hive late last month.

“He wouldn’t tell me what he was putting on the hive and he got a bit aggressive,” she said.

“Eventually he told me the hive was being removed because a child in the area was stung by a bee.

“Surely you would not remove every motor vehicle off the roads because of a road death.

“Some common sense must prevail and we must protect every bee we have, not poison them.”

A broad spectrum insecticide called Coopex Dust was used to kill the hive which was in the fork of a tuart tree about 2.5m off the ground.

Stirling parks and reserves manager Ian Hunter said the hive was removed after a complaint was made from a resident.

“The City always looks to relocate bees if at all possible given their important role in the pollination process, however in this instance the hive was in a narrow cavity in a fork of a tree, so relocation was not possible,” he said.

“The City was also aware that a large crowd was expected at the reserve at the forthcoming weekend for the Wembley Downs Community Fair.”

Mr Hunter said the City had discussed the matter with the resident concerned.

“There are a few other hives in trees in the reserve that were also identified but deemed to not be an imminent threat to reserve users, so they were not treated but will be monitored,” he said.

Ms Wallis said the City should explore other options, such as relocating hives.

“Instead of calling a pest controller, they should be calling an apiarist who understands bees,” she said.

“The powder they use could get into a bee and go an contaminate another hive in the area and it will wipe out the whole lot.

“I wouldn’t mind the beehive going into my backyard if they have to relocate it.

“Now I know why I have not seen a bee in my garden for some time, only dead ones here and there.”

Apiarist and Honey I’m Home Produce owner Tristan Campbell said there were always options in moving bees.

“The first point of call shouldn’t be to kill the bees. There are always options,” he said.

“One of the main concerns with poisoning a hive is that some will die, but others will travel to other hives and damage a secondary hive.