'Outrageous': Residents furious after council poisons 50,000 bees in huge hive

Sam Hussey

A council responsible for poisoning thousands of bees in Sydney’s east is facing backlash from the community, furious at its heavy-handed approach.

Residents criticised the Woollahra Council’s decision to poison the hive in Paddington, reportedly containing up to 50,000 odd bees, rather than relocating it.

Heather Simmington said she couldn't believe her eyes when she discovered thousands of dead bees beneath the nest on Glen Street.

"I couldn't believe it. I was speechless," Ms Simington told the ABC.

Woollahra Council have been slammed by Paddington residents after 50,000 bees were poisoned. Source: Getty (file image)

"The coverage was probably a metre long and half a metre wide and three-centimetres deep and that's just counting the ones under the tree."

Simon Mulvany, who runs Saves the Bees Australia said there are natural and far more humane solutions that could have been employed instead.

But a council spokesperson told Yahoo7 News that no beekeeper would have been prepared to take the hive.

"An expert assessment of the hive, located just above head-height on a low-hanging tree, determined that it could not be relocated because it had been infected by a beetle," the spokesperson said.

"Our staff inspected and were concerned about the safety of pedestirans. Spraying bees is never our first option, but was a decision that had to be taken in this instance."

An online petition has echoed the outrage of local residents, demanding an apology from the Woollahra Council.

"We demand justice for 50,000 bees killed unnecessary by the Woollahra Municipal Council," the petition read.

“This act is outrageous! We all know how important bees are to the ecosystem and we also know that we are facing a drastic continuous reduction of bee colonies worldwide.”