Bees and Beekeeping

Bees are vital to our environment, helping pollinate plants and sustain our ecosystem. This page provides guidance on understanding bee behaviour, reporting bee issues, and the regulations surrounding beekeeping. 

Understanding and managing bee swarms 

Swarming is a natural way bees reproduce and expand their colonies. Swarms usually emerge in spring or during warm weather. They cluster together to safeguard the queen while scout bees search for a new home. 

Swarms are generally harmless if left undisturbed. Typically, they'll move on to find a new location, especially if the weather remains clear. 

Safety around bee swarms 

If you encounter a swarm: 

  • Avoid actions that might provoke the swarm: don't hose, pelt with rocks, or use smoke 

  • Ensure children and pets are kept at a safe distance 

  • Steer clear of the swarm's immediate vicinity 

  • Wear suitable footwear to avoid bee stings on the feet. 

Reporting bee issues 

If there's a beehive on private property, it's the responsibility of the owner or tenant. However, there is a process to report and handle beehives located on council-managed land. 

Reporting hives on council-owned land 

If you encounter a beehive on council-managed land, contact the City’s Parks Services team at 08 9411 3444 or email [email protected]

Complaints about bees on private property 

If a hive or swarm on private land causes issues, it might be considered a nuisance. 

Try to raise your concern with the property owner first. If the problem persists, you can make a complaint to the City by completing the Submit a Request Form. Attach an accurate record of events to your request. 

Your complaint will be assessed according to the nature of the problem, how often it has occurred, and the views of other people affected. 


Keeping bees can be a rewarding hobby, but it comes with responsibilities to ensure both human and bee safety. 

Approval to keep beehives 

Residents may be approved to keep up to two beehives on a residential lot subject to conditions. 

On non-residential land, residents can keep more than two beehives with the necessary approval. 

For more information about approval to keep beehives, call the City’s Health Services (contact details below).

Beekeeping guidelines 

After receiving approval, beekeepers must adhere to the following: 

  • Position the hive outdoors, at least 10 metres from any structure apart from a fence 

  • Place the hive a minimum of 10 metres from public spaces like footpaths or streets 

  • The hive should be at least five metres from the lot's boundary 

  • Enclose the hive on all sides with a fence, wall, or other barrier

  • Provide a constant water source for the bees.

More information and contact 

For more information about bees and beekeeping contact the City’s Health Services team on 08 9411 3444 or email [email protected]



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.