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Environmental Nuisances

Bees & Wasps

Beehives and swarms

A beehive is an enclosed structure where bees live. Being enclosed allows the bees and their honeycomb to be protected from predators. Hive locations can include but are not limited to, trees, irrigation boxes, roof eaves and wall voids. Wild beehives that are not managed can cause a risk of swarms and of disease that could spread to other hives. A property owner with a wild beehive should engage an apiarist to manage the bees.

A bee swarm is a group of bees that are in-between homes. They usually form a vertical football-shaped cluster, while the scout bees fly out to find a new home. If you have a swarm on your property, they will usually leave within a couple of days. Swarms are usually not aggressive unless provoked. Swarms can be found on tree branches, roof eaves or hanging from fencing.

Bees are not dangerous if they are left alone. People who have known allergic reactions to stings must take particular care .

Bees produce honey and beeswax and are important pollinators of horticultural and seed crops. For more information about bees visit

European Wasps

Autumn is when European Wasps are active. At that time of the year, they are attracted to food, sugary drinks, and certain types of plants and can impact your enjoyment of the great outdoors. They can be found flying into holes in the ground, at the base of trees, in rockeries and retaining walls, and in house roofs and walls.

What to do if you get stung

European wasps have a nasty sting and can sting repeatedly. Bees only sting once. Use first aid to treat the sting or seek medical help. Visit for more information.

Removing bees or wasps on private property

Unlike bees, wasps are invasive pests and together we can work to clear our environment of them.

Wasps can only be eradicated by treating their nests. If there are wasps around, follow their flight path (being careful not to upset them). Talk to your neighbours as the nest might be on their property or in a nearby park.

It is the responsibility of property owners to remove bee and wasps from their property.

  • If a beehive or a swarm has remained on your property for several days, contact a beekeeper (apiarist) to have them removed.
  • If you have located the wasp nest, contact a pest controller to treat the nest.

If you notice bees or wasps on someone else's property, you should let them know. If they refuse to have them removed, you can contact Council:

If you believe bees or wasps on someone's private property is a risk to the public, you should contact Council. We will investigate the matter on your behalf.

Removing bees or wasps on Council property

If you notice bees or wasps on Council property, including nature strips, please contact Council. To help us find them, provide an accurate description of the location, or send in a photo or pinned location from your mobile phone.

Removing bees or wasps from light poles

If you notice a beehive or wasp nest on a light pole, you must contact the energy supplier:

Please provide the company with:

  • the address of the pole
  • what the issue is
  • your name and phone number

Removing bees from Telstra pits

If you notice a beehive or wasp nest on a Telstra pit, you must report it to Telstra.

Becoming a beekeeper

If you are interested in becoming a beekeeper (apiarist), you must register with Agriculture Victoria.

Mice & Rats

Nobody wants rats and mice in or around their home or business. They can damage wiring, get into your pantry and spoil food, keep you awake at night, and transmit diseases.

Rats and mice are most active during night-time. Being creatures of habit, they will travel the same routes to get to food and water. This assists in the placing of baits and traps.

Look for:

Droppings inside your cupboards and ceiling, burrows under buildings and rear storage, signs of wire cables, plastic pipes and food container lids being chewed.

At night, listen for:

Scratching, fighting, squeaking, clawing and gnawing sounds.

Note that a ‘chirping sound’ may be a smoke detector warning you that the battery needs changing.

Helpful tips to control rats and mice:

  • Use chemical baits and traps inside your home.( avoid open areas where pets or native animals can find them;
  • Don’t leave exposed food out on benches, shelves or in cupboards;
  • Seal gaps and holes under eaves, roof tiles or external walls as mice can squeeze through small gaps;
  • Keep trees and vines away from your house;
  • Don’t compost meat scraps;
  • Keep pet food dishes clean and securely storing bulk pet food;
  • Remove fruit and nuts from trees at the end of the season;
  • Keep your garden well maintained and grass mowed;
  • Don’t stack firewood against your house.

Council does not provide rat or mice removal services.

If you need further assistance to remove rats or mice from your property, we recommend you contact a licensed pest controller.

If this does not solve the issue, contact the Environmental Health Team for advice on (03) 5671 2211

Wood Heaters & Smoke Pollution

Buying the right wood heater, using it correctly and maintaining it well can reduce wood smoke pollution. Burning firewood, the right way can help minimise smoke and keep your house warm.

Visit the EPA website to find out more about smoke pollution and how to maintain your wood fire or refer to these resources

EPA brochure - Burning wood in the right way

EPA brochure -Burn brighter

Before reporting the problem ‘do the check’

Go outside and look at the flue. If after 20 minutes, there is still white smoke coming from the flue the fire may need drier wood or air the vents need to be opened to get a better fire.

If you’re affected by smoke from a wood heater, try to talk to your neighbour first as they may not be aware of the problem.

If this does not solve the issue, please report it to Council on (03) 5671 2211.

If there is excessive smoke in your general area, please contact the EPA pollution line or visit Planned Burns Victoria to check for planned burns in your area.


When investigating an odour issue, Bass Coast Shire Council considers the:

  • amount of odour being emitted
  • duration and rate of emission and the odour's characteristics and qualities
  • sensitivity of the environment into which the odour is being emitted and the impact that it has had or may have
  • views of any other neighbours or complainants.