Web Banner Waikanae

Keeping bees

Show Sidebar

Keeping bees

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 600m2
  • only one beehive on a property with an area of between 600m2 and 900m2
  • a maximum of 2 beehives on a property with an area of 900 m2 or more
  • 3 beehives maybe kept on a property with an area of 900 m2 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
  • 3 beehives may be kept on the property so long as there are no dwellings or sensitive uses on adjoining properties

Conditions for keeping bees in any zone

The following 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 hives or elevate them to ensure that bees fl y at least 2.5m above the ground before crossing the site boundary
  • position hives so as to ensure that 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 30 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.

If an environmental health officer considers that any bees are being kept in a manner or position that is considered to cause a nuisance, action may be taken which may include the destruction of bees.

Written council approval is necessary to keep bees outside the conditions above. 

You can fill in page 2 of the application form.

Forms and more information

Application form - Keeping Bees

Bylaw - Keeping of Animals, Bees and Poultry

Last updated: