Native animals and wildlife
Bees are a crucial part of our environment as they pollinate native bushland, local gardens and food crops. In Sydney there are around 200 different species of native bee as well as an introduced honey bee species.
For general information on bees and bee swarms, please refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
If bee swarms or hives located in your home have become problematic please contact the Sydney Bee Club Inc who can assist with removal and relocation of the bees and hive.
If bee swarms or hives located on Council property have become problematic or hazardous, we can arrange for their removal and relocation. Please call our Customer Service Centre on 9391 7000 to report problematic bees on Council property.
If you keep honey bees (Apis mellifera) in New South Wales you must register with the NSW Department of Primary Industries. This requirement is legislated under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
For more information about native bees in the local area visit our biodiversity projects page.
Varroa mite threat in NSW July 2022
Honey bees in NSW are at risk as the deadly varroa mite has been found at the Port of Newcastle with some hives impacted on the Central Coast.
Varroa mites are the most serious pest of honey bees worldwide. The mites are tiny reddish brown external parasites of honey bees. NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is urgently trying to stop the spread of the mites.
What should local beekeepers do?
For people keeping honey bees:
- Check for DPI updates regularly and use the online map to determine whether you are in a biosecurity zone.
- If you are in the zones indicated on the map notify the DPI of the location of your hive by completing the Beekeeper Notifications - Varroa mite online form
- NOTE: We currently have some areas of Woollahra in the yellow notification zone.
For people with native bees:
- No action is necessary if you only have a native bee hive.
- Varroa mite does not present a risk to native bees and native bees are not a carrier of the mite.
- There is more information for native bee keepers available on the Aussie Bee website.
In their natural environment, possums usually live in tree hollows but with the loss of native bushland many of these natural homes have been destroyed. Being highly territorial, possums do not relocate easily and so they sometimes seek safe shelter in your roof.
If a possum has made its home in your roof, visit NSW Environment and Heritage for advice on how to get the possum to move to a new home.
One group of native mammals that is still seen regularly around the harbour are bats, in particular Grey-headed Flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus). These large, sometimes noisy and much maligned bats can often be seen roosting in the Botanic Gardens, a site they have known to have occupied for over 100 years. Another smaller species of flying fox, the Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus), is also present in Sydney during some years.
For more information visit The Australian Museum
Flocks of sulphur crested cockatoos can damage wood on trees, decks, outdoor furniture, window sills and houses. This damage is fairly common, particularly in spring.
See these tips from NSW Environment and Heritage to help deter cockatoos from damaging property.