Kirklees Council Allotments and the Honey Bee!

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Mission 

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I recently took a small number of my hives to my allotment. This was with the full support of everyone else on the allotment and the site secretary. Being a responsible Apiarist I also erected a 2m high mesh fence around the hives and made sure everything was safe and secure. I engaged all my fellow allotmentees and made sure they were comfortable with the bees and also welcoming of the fact they were there. Everyone was happy.

This is a link to my Facebook pictures that show the allotments development since April. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=112770&id=633682194&l=a355845d73

On Wednesday I received a letter from the local council telling me I had to remove the bees as they are livestock and as such I don’t have permission to have them there. They also stated that Kirklees Council don’t allow bee keeping on their allotments, so I must remove them within 28 days or risk being thrown off my site. They are sighting section 12 of the Allotments Act of 1950, regarding livestock as the reason to remove the bees. Given my desire to keep the plot, obviously I am going to comply and remove the bees. However................................

I decided to raise this issue with our local news paper as quite frankly the ruling was stupid to say the least. I also contacted our local MP’s Barry Sheerman and Kali Mountford, and then finally our new Mayer who was the first Green Party candidate to hold the post. Finally I showed the letter to a friend who is a bee keeper and also a Magistrate. She took the letter to a District Judge to ask his opinion. And this is where it gets interesting. The Judge told her, that under UK law Livestock is considered to be a vertebrate. Insects do not come under the ruling of section 12, as they are not vertebrates, therefore the council cannot force their removal.

Our local newspaper decided that the story was of serious importance given the state of the future that the Honey bee faces and sent a reporter up to take photos and the story. Today it made the front page!!

See these links.
http://www.examiner.co.uk/
http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/loca...ent-because-they-re-livestock-86081-23929478/

In order to gain some value from my £25 membership, I am now writing to the BBKA to ask them to get involved with the Education of Kirklees Council. I am also asking Kirklees Council to confirm their policies on Honey bees as their Environment Office is in favour of the promotion of the Honey bee, but the department in charge of the Allotments is against them. I think I have stirred up the proverbial “Hornets Nest” but if it makes Kirklees Council sit up and take notice well then it’s worth the trouble. I shall still be removing the hives from the allotment, however they will be returning as soon as this battle is won and Kirklees Council accepts the fact that in line with other local councils, Honey bees should be encouraged on an allotment.

I will keep everyone informed on how things develop.
 
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Mission 

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Thanks Poly - My allotment site took delivery of 2 poly hives this morning as well!!
 

planbee 

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I hope that the fence that you erected, is a comfortable one, because you seem to have a Mayor sitting on it!

John
 

VEG 

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Well done you and I hope those against it get a right kick up the rear end.
 

East Yorks New Bee 

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Good for you Jay, I hope reason and common sense prevail here. Nothing worse than beauracratic penpushers pushing people around. Allotments need bees. I am lucky my allotment society is a private run one and the chairman and the rest of the committee have agreed that I can have my bees on my allotment. I have still asked them to provide this in writing though.
 

JCBrum 

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I'm sure I read somewhere that at least one council had decided that bees could not be 'livestock' because they were wild creatures, like snails, foxes, hedgehogs, birds, worms, etc, which could come and go as they pleased, and beehives were merely providing the same sort of habitat as bird-boxes, or any other dwelling place for wild creatures.

JC.
 

Geoff 

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Its not the politicians who are the problem here, it is the bureaucrats who obviously like to push people around. In Shrewsbury a beekeeper was told to take his bees off the allottment site where they had been for many years against the wishes of the other allottment holders. The council quoted health and safety and worries about personal injury claims I think. I have just realised that that council has just been disbanded. i wonder if the new authority will let him go back. Trouble is it might be the same officials there - little Hitlers they are!
Mission all power to your elbow. The little Hitlers hate being shown up to be stupid in the press.
 

Baggyone 

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And my councils allotment agreement specifically states that 6 head of poultry and bee colonies are the only livestock allowed on a plot.
I have even checked with them what the requirements are and they only require to be informed that bees are on the site.

I do hope that you get to keep them on the site as your fellow plot holders will have far better yields with them than without.
 

Mission 

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Hi Baggy, is there any chance that you could send me a copy of your councils agreement? It would help me with the fight.
 

Baggyone 

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Will try and dig it out. Might be the old version that does not have any mention of bees which I find. But I will have a look.
 

chris_richmond 

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Well done on the publicity obtained in the local paper, we only got bees on our allotments last year. It started with me getting two hive and my mate getting two, we were given a section of a plot that was empty (next door to mine) on saturday we bought another two each and I also have a nuc coming along nicely made from my own hives.

We have recently approached the chairman (our allotments are run by a committee made up from plot holders) to ask for more space as the hen plot next to the apiary has come available, and he has almost said yes to us but it looks like it will be around september when we get the space to extend the apiary.

I wish you all the best with your plight and hope they change their minds, its just a shame that the powers that be are so ignorant.

Cheers Chris
 

Baggyone 

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Personal injury claims are not the councils concern because your membership of the BBKA has the necessary 3rd party insurance. Bang goes that argument.
 

Mission 

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FANTASTIC!!!

They must have picked to story up from the local press.
 

Brosville 

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now all you need to do is point the "Countryfile" team to that article.......... it's exactly the sort of story they love... or the PM programme, or "you and yours", or come to that the Jeremy Vine programme..... local BBC stations are usually pretty good at this sort of thing too
Wish you well with your battle against the forces of darkness!
 

Mission 

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