Mellieħa residents fear ‘bee factory’ on cliff-edge

Residents objecting to Lands Authority’s beekeeping lease for €9,000-a-year on inland Mellieħa cliffs

The land being leased out by the Lands Authority (photo: Lands Authority)
The land being leased out by the Lands Authority (photo: Lands Authority)

A group of Mellieħa residents are objecting to a Lands Authority tender for a cliff-edge on Triq l-Għerien to be leased out for beekeeping purposes.

Residents informed the Lands Authority’s chairman, Dr John Vassallo, that at an annual rent of €9,000 for 15 years, the amount of bees required for such an enteprise to be feasible would be “phenomenal”.

They also remarked that the land itself, located on a cliff-edge, did not appear to be suitable for beekeeping. “Such use will probably incur some sort of development on virgin land, and residents think this would be the first step for this pristine land, identified in the local plan as being of ecological importance, to be eventually developed.”

The zone itself is marked as a protected area in the North West Local Plan, specifically marked as a Level 2 Area of Ecological Importance under various Structure Plan Policies protecting inland cliffs, and important natural features within urban areas.

The residents said they were prepared to take legal action in a bid to safeguard their interests against the Lands Authority tender. “The tender is evidently being issued to the advantage of some third party who, with the excuse of beekeeping, gets to develop virgin, pristine land of ecological importance.”