Woollahra Municipal Council has copped stings of criticism for poisoning a suburban bee nest in Paddington, killing an estimated 50,000 European honey bees.
Joining a chorus of angry residents, the Urban Beehive’s Doug Purdie told the ABC the safe (and often free) removal of the hive located on Glen Street should have been organised.
"There's plenty of people who remove beehives so I'm not sure why the council felt the need to spray it," he said.
“It's just frustrating that they chose to poison it instead."
A council spokesperson told the ABC that calls were unsuccessfully made to beekeepers to remove the nest after a complaint from a resident.
"We had a request to attend the hive from residents who were concerned about the bees," they said.
The spokesperson explained the council next contacted pest control, who recommended spraying the nest.
"Pest control would have done an assessment on the best way to handle the situation," they said.
Following backlash from angry residents, an online petition is now demanding “justice for 50,000 bees killed” alongside an apology from Woollahra Municipal Council and the creation of a “Bee Conservation Act”.
They said: “We all know how important bees are to the ecosystem and we also know that we are facing a drastic continuous reduction of bee colonies worldwide.”