Why are we introducing restrictions on beehives when bees are good for the environment?

    Beekeeping is growing in popularity in Auckland and sometimes bees can cause a nuisance to other people. The restrictions seek to find a balance between enabling urban beekeeping and minimising the nuisance caused by bees both now and in the future. The proposed restrictions will still allow Aucklanders to keep up to two standard beehives without needing an approval (license).

    How does the animal management license system work?

    If a person wants to own more than two standard beehives, they must apply online for an animal management license. This will operate in a similar way to existing animal management licenses for stock animals.

    Animal management licenses are required if you live in an urban area and want to keep more animals than the standard amount listed in the Bylaw. 

    How do I apply for an animal management license?

    People must apply online for an animal management license, pay a fee, and include a scaled site plan showing where the animals would be contained on the property. 


    After the application is submitted, compliance officers consider matters including:

    • beehive location and the size and suitability of the site
    • flight path of the bees when foraging
    • housing for the bees and potential nuisance to neighbours

    How long will the application take to process?

    Council aims to process applications in ten working days if all necessary information is included.

    What are the fees for animal management licenses, and what are they used for?

    Fees for animal management licenses are calculated based on the recovery costs for processing an application, administration and inspecting the property as well as council overheads. The current fee for a license to keep livestock is $260. The fee for a license to keep beehives has not yet been set.

    I live in a rural area, do the new rules about beehives apply to me?

    The proposed restrictions on beehives will not apply if you live outside of urban areas, similar to the existing controls on keeping stock. Urban area means:

    • any land zoned Residential or Business as defined in the Auckland Council Unitary Plan, and 
    • land zoned Island Residential 1 and 2 and Commercial 1 – 7 on Waiheke Island, as defined in the Hauraki Gulf Islands Operative District Plan 2013.

    Cats can kill wildlife – are there any new restrictions on cats to protect wildlife?

    Legislation means council’s concerns about wildlife protection are addressed through the Biosecurity Act 1993 and not a Bylaw. Council has also determined that suggestions about registration and microchipping of cats require central government legislation similar to the Dog Control Act 1996 to be effective.