The bees who built this hive at Riverton substation were rehomed.
Conserving the environment’s precious pollinators is a focus for us in managing the network’s assets with a new policy to rehome bees.
Bee hives are often found in green domes, attached to poles or located in substations. This poses a risk to electricity supply, the safety of our people when maintaining the network and the bees themselves. In the last six months alone,, we have undertaken 59 bee relocations in the metropolitan area.
Western Power Environment Head, Graham Downe, said the new policy now meant bee removal contractors must either collect the bees, or if this was not possible, use proven methods and best practices to encourage as many bees as possible to leave the hive.
How do we relocate beehives away from assets?
“If the queen is accessible, our contractors use smoke to sedate the bees and retrieve the queen. She is placed into a bee home and the colony follows. The swarm is then relocated to a quarantine farm. If the queen is not accessible, the bees are vacuumed into a bee home and the home is left near the hive to collect any returning bees. Smoking is then attempted a few days later and the bees are relocated, he said.
“Once bees are collected, the entry into the old hive is sealed to prevent bees from re-entering.”
“We always contact our customers before any bee rehoming work is undertaken and encourage people to contact us on 13 10 87 if they find a beehive in their green dome or on a Western Power pole near their houses,” he said.
A sustainable approach to managing the environment
“We will endeavour to collect and relocate the bees safely with minimal impact on residents. We have received positive feedback and responses from our customers regarding our new approach and it’s great to be helping the environment as part of our work.”
Graham said the new bee rehoming policy was part of our commitment to delivering sustainable outcomes through appropriate planning and maintenance of the grid.
“Having a sustainable approach in managing our natural environment is a key priority for us.”