Bee ban has caused a real buzz among Norfolk’s beekeeping community
Bees are essential to plant pollination, provide us with honey, and for hundreds of years have produced wax used in candles.
But are they safe to keep on allotments?
Sheringham Town Council thought not – and when it drew up its allotment rules, fears for stings and allergies led it to ban allotment holders from keeping bees.
But the British Beekeepers Association has issued advice on how to keep bees safely on allotments, and says they need more and more support from man to help them survive.
Carolyne Liston, chairman of the Norfolk Beekeepers Association, said the association had a number of members who kept bees safely on allotments, adding: 'If they are sited properly then there is no problem with it.'
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Norwich City Council allows beehives on its allotment site, but requires people to have a formal beekeeping qualification.
In Aylsham, written consent is required before any bees can be kept.
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Peter Davies, from the West Norfolk and King's Lynn Beekeeping Association, said some councils were wary of being held liable.
He added: 'I advise people if they can put them on the allotment then do. But if there is trouble they should have somewhere else they can move them to. Most allotment associations are quite happy for them to pollinate their vegetables.'
He said hives should be kept out of the way, and it was a good idea to face it towards a hedge.
But Barry Walker-Moore, who keeps bees on farms across north Norfolk, said it would be dangerous if anyone on the site were allergic to bee stings.
He added: 'All you need is one person to object, that is probably what happened in Sheringham.'
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