Can I still care for my beehives during Alert Level 4?

 The overriding purpose of Alert Level 4 is that everyone stays at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

However, you can leave your house to:

  • Access essential services, like buying groceries, or going to a bank or pharmacy.
  • Go to work if you work for an essential service.
  • Go for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature.

Travel to care for your animals, including bees, is also allowed. Managing disease and preventing starvation are vital to ensure bee welfare and survival. Hives can still be managed for this purpose.

If you do leave your house to attend to your bees, take the necessary health measures, and comply with any region-specific travel measures. Travel in your private vehicle, with other members of your self-isolation group (or ‘social bubble’) only.

It is recommended that non-commercial beekeepers limit any beekeeping activities outside of your home property during the period of lockdown. However, if you do have hives away from your home property and need to feed or treat them for disease, communication with landowners should be by phone. Ensure they are aware that beekeeping is an essential service, and your access is legitimate. Restrict interactions with landowners to a ‘wave’.

You should also use your own equipment to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Avoid sharing equipment with people outside of your self-isolation group.

You should also consider what will happen should you become sick and can no longer care for your bees. If possible, set up an arrangement with someone to provide hive management should you be unable to.

See for information on self-isolation & hygiene practices.