Beehives draw residents' ire


Roadside beehives in the Marlborough Sounds have drawn some complaints from residents, but they also had the positive consequence of deterring people from dumping rubbish near the hives, a council report says.

Residents at Moetapu Bay, Kaiuma Bay and Queen Charlotte Dr had made the majority of the complaints, the assets and services committee report said.

Marlborough Roads engineer Steve Murrin said during the committee's meeting in Blenheim on Thursday that a couple of people had been stung by the bees.

Beekeepers placed hives on road reserves near manuka trees to encourage their bees to collect nectar for manuka honey, which was in high demand, the council paper said.

Marlborough Beekeepers' Association president James Jenkins told the committee he had a 20-year history of keeping bees in the area. His bees pollinated people's gardens, he said.

Councillor Peter Jerram said there were few enough places to pull over in the Sounds without there being beehives by the side of the road. However, he could understand Mr Jenkins' perspective, he said.

The committee recommended that Marlborough Roads, who manage the reserves, formulate guidelines on hive placement and report back to the council. It also recommended all unauthorised beehives be removed and that anyone wishing to place beehives on road reserves must get approval from Marlborough Roads.

The Marlborough Express