Bees and Wasps

Keeping Bees

So you want to find out if you can keep bees because you live in an urban area? Here is the answer for you.

Our bylaw states that bees can be kept by people in an urban environment on a case-by-case basis, subject to our approval.

So if you think your home is an appropriate place for some bees, contact us and we can assess your proposal.

Approval is often subject to a few conditions relating to the location and number of hives that are able to be kept and often the conditions are set in consultation with  Apiculture New Zealand.


Four species of wasp commonly cause problems: German, common, Asian paper and Australian paper wasps. German and common wasps pose the greatest risk to human health. They also attack bee hives and prey on native insects. Asian and Australian paper wasps are far less aggressive than German and common wasps, but also prey on insects, and chew weatherboards.

Wasp Control

No one wants to have hives of wasps on their property, so what can you do if you find a hive?

Firstly, if you find a hive in one of our parks, reserves, playgrounds or buildings, please contact us immediately and we will arrange for it to be destroyed.

If you find a hive on Department of Conservation land, you can contact them to arrange disposal.

The Waikato Regional Council is responsible for pest management in our region. While they don't run eradication programmes for wasps, they can order someone to destroy hives if a complaint is made.

If you find a hive and need advice, or you want to report a hive in your neighbourhood, contact the Waikato Regional Council.


Where they're found

In the last five years, wasp numbers have increased in the Auckland and Waikato regions, and they've invaded southern parts of the North and South Islands. Wasps build their nests in a variety of places, often choosing sunny spots:

  • underground
  • along banks
  • attached to wall
  • attached to plants
  • under the floor and eaves of houses.

The best time to search for a wasps nest is on a sunny day, preferably at dawn or dusk. This time of day is good because the low light highlights their flight paths as they go in and out of their nests.

Controlling wasps

Being proactive about wasp control will help protect you and your family from wasp stings and attacks. The most successful way of reducing a local wasp population is to find and destroy all the nests.

Find out more about how to control wasps, by visiting this page on the Waikato Regional Council's website.