Swanbourne resident unhappy with Town of Claremont killing bees on her property

Swanbourne resident unhappy with Town of Claremont killing bees on her property

A SWANBOURNE resident has lashed out at the Town of Claremont’s bee policy after the council tendered a pest control company to kill a swarm of bees at the front of her property.

Sarah Cammack said she called the Town last week and asked that the bees be moved without being harmed and was assured by staff they would not be killed.

She said that the following morning a pest control company turned up at her house and poisoned the hive, killing the bees and two geckos near the tree.

“I’m so upset they were killed. If I had known they weren’t going to move them, I would have paid for them to be moved,” she said.

“I find it ridiculous when we are constantly told to plant native trees to encourage native birds and bees, and then they spray poison and kill them.”

However, Claremont chief executive Stephen Goode said the Town had a duty of care to ensure the safety of the community and in some instances bees were a hazard.

“When bee hives and swarms are located on public property and deemed a public danger, the Town will engage an apiarist to relocate bees to a more sustainable location. Bee clusters are removed only if they impact the community or native fauna,” he said.

“Relocating bees is not always possible. When bee hives are located in tree hollows, the queen bee sits deep inside the tree cavity. Once established, the queen never leaves the hive and therefore it is impossible to find and relocate her and the entire hive.

“We regret that bee control is the only option in this situation.”

Ms Cammack said she understood bees could create a public safety issue, but the Town did not even send an apiarist to assess the situation and instead decided to send pest control.

“Yes it’s a public health issue, but the pest control man came the next day and an apiarist could have also done that,” she said.

“I was also told by the pest man that the poison will hang around for two days. Who knows what else it will kill and the damage the poison is doing to the environment?

“I am disputing the way this was handled. I have a friend who is trying to get bees on her property and she is on a waiting list to get some, and here they are killing them.”

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.

“There is no need for a blanket policy to kill them and an apiarist should be called to see what can be done before they are killed.”