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Allotment Beekeeping

One possibility for urban beekeepers

Many urban beekeepers have a shortage of space at home to have bees, so they need to look elsewhere. Allotments are an obvious choice, but probably more care needs to be taken than if an apiary was set up in a field in the country.

I have no experience of keeping bees on an allotment myself, but several members of the Wisborough Green BKA have. Their experiences vary considerably from the allotment management being very helpful to a firm "NO!". I suspect the same is the case in other locations.

I think common sense should play a major part. If it is favourable, you need to make sure there is no abuse and everything is done to minimise the risk of anyone getting stung. If the request is met with resistence, then don't push it, otherwise you may end up regretting it.

Allotment managers usually have rules to work to, which should be respected. These may include such exclusions as "livestock". Some will see bees as livestock, others won't.

I suggest reading terms and conditions to see what you are allowed to do and what you are not. Some allotments have a rule that holders can't sell produce. If so, you had better check to see if this extends to honey.

The keeping of bees on allotments needs understanding and tolerance from everyone. There is some useful information and advice in BBKA Leaflet L015.

Roger Patterson.