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The Western Australian Apiarists’ Society (WAAS) is an incorporated not for profit association whose members are beekeepers and people simply interested in bees.  Some members are professional or ex-professional beekeepers, but most have a small number of hives and could be best described as hobbyists.

WAAS was founded in 1953. It is the second oldest beekeeping association in Australia, and with over 1000 members is one of the largest in Australia. WAAS is managed by an elected committee of members and relies on volunteers for most of its activities.

WAAS has Chapters operating in regional Western Australia, covering the Greater Bunbury region, and the Margaret River region. Link to our Chapters page for more information and contact details for these groups.

We also have Bee Buddy groups all over the Perth metropolitan area and in a growing number of country towns. Check out upcoming meetings and other activities on our events calendar.

WAAS provides education, support, fellowship opportunities and third party insurance for your bees and honey products. You will also get access to our members only pages, full of useful beekeeping resources, recordings of past meetings, an online shop and much more. If you are a current or prospective beekeeper, why not join us

Swarms and Feral Hives

Spring is typically the time that honey bees swarm. Swarming is a natural element of hive behaviour and is an attempt to expand the colony by rehousing the "old" queen and some of the workers, to create room for a new queen. Beekeepers manage their hives to reduce this swarming behaviour but sometimes swarming is unstoppable.  And there are many swarms generated from wild  hives too, so the swarm you see may not be from your neighbour!

If you see a large mass of bees in your garden, under a tree or in some other temporary location, this is the best time to move them on. You can contact one of the listed Swarmcatchers to assist you in doing this. Dont be overly anxious about swarms as the bees tend to be totally focussed on protecting their queen and are unlikely to be aggressive. They are just looking for a new home, although in finding one they may outcompete native fauna for scarce housing in tree hollows. 

If the bees find a more permanent location - in your patio furniture, in your compost tumbler or even in the walls of your house - they become a feral hive and can start acting aggressively. Removal can become considerably more difficult and expensive, so act as soon as you see them. There will more than likely be a cost involved, so please read the advice on the WAAS Swarms page about the questions you should ask.

For more information and to locate a swarmcatcher, go to the Swarms page.


Getting started with beekeeping

A checklist of the things you need to know before you decide to keep bees.

Best Practice Guidelines for Urban Beekeeping

Practical advice on the best ways to manage bees in urban settings  so as to minimise impacts on neighbours.


What to do if a swarm lands in your garden!

Find a swarmcatcher to help remove swarms or feral hives from your property.

Legal obligations

Learn about the legal requirements associated with beekeeping, including registration and council approvals.


Have any questions? Need more information? Have something to send us? Please visit our Contacts page. We are a volunteer organisation so it is best to contact us by email. We will reply as soon as we can.

Become a member

Join other hobby beekeepers across Western Australia and beyond - benefit from education, insurance, support and fellowship opportunities. 

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This website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You are welcome to use our text and images for non-commercial purposes as long as you attribute them to the Western Australian Apiarists' Society.
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