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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    In Arizona it's common for homes to include restrictive covenants that cover the entire neighborhood. I have looked through mine and there's nothing specifically calling out bees as a nuisance. The question is, are they considered noxious or an offensive activity? Is there any federal rule that would allow me to keep these bees since my HOA doesn't specifically prohibit them?

    Here's a quote from the applicable HOA CC&R section:

    6.4 Noxious and Offensive Activitv: No activity that the Board reasonably deems to be noxious or offensive shall be allowed on the Lots nor shall anything be done thereon that may be, or may become, an unreasonable annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood, or that shall in any material way interfere with the quiet enjoyment of each of the Owners and tenants of their
    respective Lots and Residential Units. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no rubbish or debris shall be placed or permitted to accumulate on any Lot, no unreasonably offensive odors or loud noises shall be permitted to arise or emit from any Lot, and no speakers, horns, whistles, bells, sirens or other sound devices, except security devices used exclusively for security purposes, shall be located or used on a Lot. In no event shall any Lot or activity thereon be permitted to be unsanitary, unsightly, unreasonably offensive, or otherwise unreasonably detrimental to any other Lot or the Common Area. Normal construction activities shall not be construed as a violation of this Section but Lots shall be kept reasonably neat and tidy during any period of construction. Supplies or building materials and construction equipment shall be stored only in such areas and in such manner as may be approved by the Architectural Committee or Declarant.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    It depends how picky your HOA and your neighbors are. This is defnitely one of those opened ended or catch all regulations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    The first 15 words say it all, "No activity that the Board reasonably deems to be noxious or offensive shall be allowed....". The Board can deem anything they want to be noxious or offensive, including the color that you paint your house and the type of storm windows that you are allowed to install.

    No federal law is going to save you either. In the micro-politics world of a HOA, s

    That said, I would keep bees hidden (bushes and/or fence) on your property and hope nobody is bothered by them enough to complain. If they do complain, drag your feet as long as you can.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,202

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    If you place your bees in such a way as to make the hive invisible - like behind a trellis screen or by a fence then no-one will know they are there most of the time...
    The problem is that as a newbie you have a learning curve and your hive will likely swarm as part of your learning curve. If that happens when you're at work and can't deal with it all manner of hell is likely to break loose.
    What I suggest you do is have a fallback plan. Be a secretive beekeeper now, and meanwhile see if there is someone with a rural lot not too far away that will accept bees. An ad. in an organic produce store is a good way to start.
    Last edited by Adrian Quiney WI; 02-17-2011 at 01:45 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,819

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    Soarwest,

    How big is your lot and how close is the nearest "Common Area"?

    I have a one acre lot that backs up to a pasture. No problems there yet, but the neighbors on either side have young childrens and their repective moms get a littled concerned when my bees swarm. Luckily with holiday gifts of wine and honey, everbody has been pretty cool about it (then agin, nobody has been stung yet except me).

    If I had a 10,000 sf lot that backed up to a walking trail, I doubt I would be keeing bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    We got very good at disguising hives in San Francisco, It's amazing how many heat pumps were actually hives in disguise. It is all going to depend on how educated the people you are dealing with are. I live in WA State now and offer free beekeeping presentations to any school that asks and heavily cover how to behave around bees and wasps and how to tell the difference. Most HOA rules that would get in your way are there to "protect" the children of the community. If you can educate the kids and assuage their fears, then the adults feel less of a need to protect them from bees.
    I had one community actually rewrite their rule to allow beekeeping after I had presented at the local school and several of the residents contacted me about hosting hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    If someone gets stung then it will be a problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    Less noxious than a meth lab...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Yamhill Co- Ore-gun
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    I think keeping them concealed/hidden for as long as possible would be your best bet if you want to avoid problems. Document when you install them and work with them when the fewest people are home (ie middle of the day/middle of the week). If down the road someone does complain, you have some documentation to show the bees have been there for X number of months/years. Its harder for someone to justify a problem when have supporting documents to show the hives have been there for a long time without complaints.
    If they HOA ends up having a beef with it, Id fight it tooth and nail. Its easier to get forgiveness than permission.
    Visit us at www.farmzee.com for everything related to small farms!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,299

    Default Re: IS Beekeeping a Noxious or Offensive activity?

    You've had a lot of good advice about "hiding" your beehives. Mine are in plain sight in my back yard. Two years ago the five acres next to me was developed out, houses built extremely close to each other. My lot is about half an acre, and I have three neighbor lots backing up to the long side of mine on the west. My last neighbor's deck is maybe 100 feet from my 6 hives... and we've had no problem at all. I don't even have a privacy fence, and they're in plain sight. But I was there first, and I do try to be a good neighbor.

    Now, to your situation...hide them. Do a privacy fence to raise their flight path above any pedestrian ways. Keep records. If someone asks, you are providing a public service. After all, most places like that are decently landscaped, some heavily so, with flowers, flowering shrubs, etc. So you are simply helping the neighbor's property values increase as their landscaping flourishes, courtesy of your pollination services.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

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