The Society recognises the importance of bees for pollination and permits and encourages beekeeping on the Society’s allotment sites subject to the criteria set out below:-
- Permission must be obtained from the site’s Management Committee or BDAS General Committee before any individual starts to keep bees on a site. In the case of existing beekeepers this provision is waived subject to signed acceptance of the policy here outlined. Numbers of hives must be maintained at a level consistent with the size of the site and therefore it may be necessary to put limits on numbers. To this end, the Society shall appoint an experienced beekeeper to represent it’s interests for apiaries on the Society’s sites.
- The Society’s representative or the site Secretary shall decide the whereabouts on the site that bees are kept and the maximum number of colonies permitted at each location and on the site as a whole.
- Each hive or group of hives shall be surrounded on all sides by a bee proof barrier of netting or or other suitable barrier at least two metres high and so constructed and maintained that bees flyin and out above head height over adjoining plots at all times. Any opening in this barrier shall either be protected by a two metre overlap of the barrier or shall be kept closed at all times by a bee proof gate or door. The only exception to this rule is in the case of an apiary kept at least twenty metres from the nearest worked plot, subject to the discretion of the Society’s representative/ site secretary.
- At each apiary, notices must be visibly displayed warning that bees are flying and giving contact details of the beekeeper. It is also desirable that an alternative contact be given in the event that the beekeeper cannot be contacted urgently.
- Each hive or group of hives shall be provided with a suitable supply of water for the bees therein and the beekeeper shall ensure this is maintained throughout the season when the bees are flying.
- Whilst not wishing to interfere unnecessarily the Society’s interests and liability must be protected at all times. Therefore, all beekeepers on the Society’s sites will co-operate fully with the beekeeper appointed by the Society to oversee and inspect apiaries and also with inspectors appointed by DEFRA or any other relevant government body. Registration with the Regional Bee Inspector or Seasonal Bee Inspector is to be encouraged. Any beekeeper who fails to provide proof of adequate third party Insurance may be required to suspend his/her apiary activities until the representative is satisfied he or she is in compliance.
- All beekeepers on site shall be Members of a British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) affiliated Association. The Society may insist that new beekeepers or those with limited experience attend an approved beekeeping course before being allowed to keep bees on a site. The Society encourages all beekeepers on site to take appropriate British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) examinations.
- Beekeepers on site will when requested re-queen any colony which is considered to be aggressive towards neighbouring plotholders or which is producing “following” bees.
- Beekeepers on site will manage their bees so as to minimise swarming and agree that they will capture any swarm arising on site regardless of it’s origin.
- In case of dispute over the decision of the Society’s representative the matter shall be referred to the management committee who may appoint two independent adjudicators to look into the matter, at least one of whom shall be a member of the committee. The adjudicator’s decision shall be final except as applies to the rules of the Bromley Allotments Federation and The London Borough of Bromley.
- All beekeepers on sites are encouraged to provide a sufficient proportion of their honey crop and to maintain a steady supply, suitably packaged and labelled, for sale to plotholders, at a price to the Society or site to be agreed by the beekeepers on Society’s sites collectively.