Native beehives are distributed to residents to look after or ‘foster’ on their property. The hives are very low maintenance. Residents are only required to keep an eye on the activity of the hive and report any concerns or problems to the Environmental Programs team. We will visit hives every two years in order to perform a split. Splitting is how we create more hives for the program and is an obligatory component of fostering a hive. Finally, just enjoy the thousands of tiny new additions to your backyard!
Watch our Native Beehive care video for all the tips to look after your hive.
The hives are periodically split into two halves to provide new hives to more residents. Every hive distributed to residents remains the property of Council and a part of the Native Beehive Program. Residents with beehives will be contacted by Council to arrange for the hive to be split every couple of years. Splitting the hive is a really important part of expanding the program and distributing new hives.
No hive will be split unless it is healthy and ready. The health of your bees is our primary concern and we won’t risk any hive by splitting it prematurely.
Download 2020 beehive splitting diary(PDF, 976KB)
A small number of hives are sold out of area each year and all funds from this are put back into the program. More information on sales of hives can be found below.
Go behind the scenes of our Native Beehive Program and read the Beehive Splitting Diaries from 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The next round of online registrations for hives will open in June 2021 and will close in November 2021.
September - The Environmental team will visit residents registered with the program to check the health of their hive in preparation for a split. Healthy hives will then be split and the new hives that are created are then rested for 6 weeks before being distributed to residents from the waitlist during December & January. Resident beehives are generally split on a 2 year cycle.
I am not a resident can I get a hive?
The Native Beehive program is open to Ku-ring-gai residents only. However, people out of area can purchase a native beehive, see purchasing information below. All funds raised are returned to the program.
Terms and Conditions
Hives remain the property of Ku-ring-gai Council.
Hives remain the property of Ku-ring-gai Council and as such you are not permitted to split the hive yourself, collect honey, or move the hive to another address (unless within the Ku-ring-gai area and with prior consultation with Council).
Should you be moving out of Ku-ring-gai you are required to arrange the return your hive to Ku-ring-gai Council.
You must be a Ku-ring-gai resident to participate in the program.
How hives are allocated
Hives are only allocated to residents of Ku-ring-gai. Unlike in previous years, hives are now allocated by the principle of a lottery dur to the overwhelming demand for hives on the program. The wait list will be open for a much longer period (between June and November) and will not cut off at a set number. Everyone who has registered their details has an equal chance of hosting a hive.
Please be aware that there is a limited number of hives available and this registration does not guarantee you a hive. Council will do its best to ensure those on the wait list receive a hive and that as many hives as possible are made available. However, hive availability is subject to the success of splitting seasons which is dependent on prevailing weather conditions.
Requirements of the program
The hive is to remain on the property of the person registering for a bee hive. If you move outside of the Ku-ring-gai area, you must contact us regarding return of the hive to the program.
A condition of receiving a native bee hive as a resident of the Ku-ring-gai Local Government Area (LGA) is that Council retains ownership of the hive and therefore the right to check and split the hive on a yearly or two-yearly basis. This usually takes place between September and November, and you will be contacted via email prior to the check and split taking place.
We will require safe access to your property to check and split the hive. If you are not comfortable or unable to provide Council staff with access to your property for hive maintenance you will be unable to participate in the program and the hive will need to be collected and returned to the program.
Please provide the details requested on registration about locked access and dogs on property. This is essential to enable us to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit, if locked and for our staff to access safely if you have dogs.
Residents are required to be contactable via email, please inform the program if you update your email address. If no contact is able to be made with participants the hive might be removed from the property. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address list so that the emails do not go to your spam folder.