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My Norwich

Keeping bees on an allotment

Before applying, you must have experience and a formal qualification in beekeeping. You must not bring any bees or equipment onto the plot until you have received written permission from us to do so.

If you are given permission to keep bees you must comply with the Allotment Rules and Livestock guidance.

When you apply

You will need to provide:

  • evidence of your formal qualification in beekeeping, or have performed competently in both an approved theory and practical course and have a minimum of one year’s experience of handling and keeping bees.
  • evidence of your annual public liability insurance of £5 million
  • a sketch showing the proposed location of each hive and the position of the screen or barrier and the water supply.
  • two emergency contact numbers which must be displayed on your plot.
  • proof of registration with the National Bee Unit

It will take up to eight weeks to process your application. This will allow us time to contact neighbouring plot holders for comment on your application.

Save the application form to your computer before completing it.

Application to keep bees

Things to consider

  • You should consider whether bee hives can be placed on your plot without causing a nuisance to others and without attracting vandalism. Hives should be as unobtrusive as possible. The area needs to be accessible enough to allow manipulations to be carried out without working in the bees’ flight path.
  • Hives must be located near the centre of the plot and not next to a boundary, unless the boundary is next to an area in which no nuisance is likely to be caused; ie not a garden, another plot, a path, a park or a communal area. A railway line, river or natural area would be acceptable.
  • If your plot is next to a road, public footpath or cycleway, permission is unlikely to be granted.
  • If the environment is suitable and there is an adequate forage area for honey bees.
  • If there is access convenient for you.
  • You will need to have access to protective clothing and be prepared to visit the allotment regularly to check on the bees.
  • There is a maximum limit of three hives per acre and we reserve the right to reduce this figure.
  • The number of hives permitted for an individual plot will depend upon the demand from other allotment holders on the site but will be no more than three per tenant of a full sized (250m2) plot.
  • A water supply must be provided on the plot close to the hives.
  • A two metre high screen or other physical barrier should enclose the hives so that the bees are encouraged to fly at that height when leaving or approaching the hive.
  • We reserve the right to refuse you the right to keep bees, eg if it is considered that the plot or the site is in an unsuitable position.
  • We reserve the right to request that beehives are removed, eg if the presence of the bees is found to be causing a nuisance to other people.