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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Carlisle, Pa
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    22

    Angry Bees Not allowed

    I sent an email to my local borough counsel. I got an email back from our local zoning officer stating that bee keeping is not permitted in the borough. I know for a fact that there are several apiaries in the borough. Here is what he referenced as to preclude me from keeping bees;

    ANIMAL HUSBANDRY -- The raising and keeping of livestock, poultry or insects for commercial purposes, or any keeping of animals for any reason beyond what is allowed in a permitted stable or kennel or under the keeping of pets, in compliance with *255-200D(6). Animal husbandry shall not include a bulk commercial slaughterhouse or a central commercial stockyard for animals awaiting slaughter.
    *255-174. Nuisances or hazards prohibited.
    It is the responsibility of each landowner to ensure that no land or structure in any zoning district shall be used or occupied in any manner that creates any of the following activities or conditions:
    A. Communicable disease hazards, including activities that encourage the breeding of disease-prone insects and rodents.
    B. Activity that would create physically dangerous conditions, especially activities that would be easily accessible by small children.
    C. Activity that would prevent a neighboring landowner of ordinary sensitivities from making reasonable use of their property.
    D. Activity that would be a significant hazard to the public health and safety because of serious explosive, fire, biological or toxic hazards.


    Here is 255-200D6

    (6) Keeping of pets.xxxviiEN (Note: This does not pertain to animal husbandry which is regulated by 255-
    199.)
    (a) This is a permitted by right accessory use in all districts unless otherwise stated.
    (b) No use shall involve the keeping of animals or fowl in such a manner that it creates a serious
    nuisance, including noise or smell or a health hazard or a safety hazard.
    (c) In the residential districts, no more than three dogs and no more than four cats may be kept, unless
    the nearest dwelling other than that of the owner is at least 300 feet from any area in which the
    animals are regularly kept. No numerical restriction shall apply to cats and dogs less than six
    months of age.
    (d) In any zoning district, not more than two horses may be stabled or maintained, provided that no
    structure housing the horses or area fenced in for their use is less than 50 feet from any lot line and
    is not closer than 150 feet to the nearest existing dwelling other than that of the owner.
    (e) Keeping of more than the specified number of cats or dogs or for commercial purposes shall be
    considered a kennel.
    (f) Keeping of more than the specified number of horses shall be considered a stable.


    I will hit on a few points that in my opinion would allow me to keep bees with this in place and also a few questions.

    1. This would not be a commercial endeavor. All products of the hive would be for personal consumption or be given away for free to friends and neighbors.

    2. Don't know how I can get past the provision of disease-prone. We all know that there are several diseases that the bees can get that would rear their ugly head to the powers that be. We are required in PA to register our hives and also have inspections in place to ensure they are disease free all conducted by the state.

    3. The bees would be segregated in such a manner that children and the general public would not have easy access to the hives.

    4. The bees would be maintained in such a manner as to not hinder neighbors from using their properties.

    5. I know bees are not a significant hazard to public safety.

    Any and all advice on how to proceed to either have bees or get the law changed is greatly welcomed.

    http://www.carlislepa.org/vertical/S...BC14955%7D.PDF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    427

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    After reading this a few times, I dont see anything that specifically disallows bee keeping. To me, nothing there pertains to bees. One could argue the disease restriction does not apply to bees. Did the zoning officer say which of those items bee keeping violates, in his opinion? Or did he just send you an email saying its against the law, here is the law. I might get a hive or two, have a backup location just in case, and not worry that the law is being violated. But... if you wanted to press the issue, ask specifically which law, which part of the law, and exactly how bees fit into the law that is being violated. Pin down whoever it is that said no.. make them explain the whys to you. Nicely and pleasantly of course. Another idea is to talk to the other apiary owners and ask them their experience with the law. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pa
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    He just said it is against the law here is the law, no specifics.

    Here is what i replied to him with;
    "Thank you for the quick reply to my question.

    According to your attached reference I see that you may be wrong in that keeping bees is not permitted.

    "ANIMAL HUSBANDRY -- The raising and keeping of livestock, poultry or insects for commercial purposes, or any keeping of animals for any reason beyond what is allowed in a permitted stable or kennel or under the keeping of pets, in compliance with 255-200D(6). Animal husbandry shall not include a bulk commercial slaughterhouse or a central commercial stockyard for animals awaiting slaughter"

    The bees would NOT be kept for commercial purposes. All products of the hive would be for personal consumption.

    A. Communicable disease hazards, including activities that encourage the breeding of disease-prone insects and rodents.

    The hives will be registered with the state as per law (copy attached). Also hives will be inspected for disease per law.

    B. Activity that would create physically dangerous conditions, especially activities that would be easily accessible by small children.

    Hives would be maintained in a manner to preclude easy access by children and or the general public. Bees are not classified as a dangerous organism unless disturbed and all prudent safety measures would be in place to preclude such activity.

    C. Activity that would prevent a neighboring landowner of ordinary sensitivities from making reasonable use of their property.

    Hives and bees would be maintained in a manner to not interfere with neighboring landowners reasonable use of their property.

    D. Activity that would be a significant hazard to the public health and safety because of serious explosive, fire, biological or toxic hazards.

    Bees and beekeeping do not present a significant hazard to public health and safety by any known authority.

    I will be in the near future proposing local legislation that will specifically address the keeping of Honey Bees within the borough.

    Thank you for your time."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,705

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Sounds like a good reply to me. Keep us updated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Madison, VA, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    1) The way I read it, the code is basically stating that they either consider an animal (or animals) to be pets or to be being raised for commercial reasons. I think you would have to make a case for the bees being pets (such as an ant farm would be considered to be).
    2) I think they mean diseases that effect humans or create an environmental danger but I could be wrong.
    3) If being five feet from a hive is considered dangerous then I really don't think you can convince people that a wall will make them safe when the insects fly. As beekeepers we know that bees will pretty much only bother a person if that person REALLY deserves it, but John Q Public doesn't know that (and never will).
    4) Same as above. Laws and ordinances such as these are not based on logic but on irrational concerns without any research.
    5) Same as above.

    Honestly your best bet is to try to get the ordinance changed. You can try to keep bees without getting caught or try to change the ordinance and then keep bees, but if you fight and get around the already existing ordinance you will probably just bring more attention to yourself. I severely doubt if anyone on your local zoning counsel actually cares about this ordinance personally, but if you make them aggravated with you simple human nature will cause them to take notice of you in a negative way. Best to just play the game amicably and get it changed.

    Just my $0.02
    See my progress at http://bpapiaries.blogspot.com!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Carlisle, Pa
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    22

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by BPApiaries View Post
    1) The way I read it, the code is basically stating that they either consider an animal (or animals) to be pets or to be being raised for commercial reasons. I think you would have to make a case for the bees being pets (such as an ant farm would be considered to be).
    2) I think they mean diseases that effect humans or create an environmental danger but I could be wrong.
    3) If being five feet from a hive is considered dangerous then I really don't think you can convince people that a wall will make them safe when the insects fly. As beekeepers we know that bees will pretty much only bother a person if that person REALLY deserves it, but John Q Public doesn't know that (and never will).
    4) Same as above. Laws and ordinances such as these are not based on logic but on irrational concerns without any research.
    5) Same as above.

    Honestly your best bet is to try to get the ordinance changed. You can try to keep bees without getting caught or try to change the ordinance and then keep bees, but if you fight and get around the already existing ordinance you will probably just bring more attention to yourself. I severely doubt if anyone on your local zoning counsel actually cares about this ordinance personally, but if you make them aggravated with you simple human nature will cause them to take notice of you in a negative way. Best to just play the game amicably and get it changed.

    Just my $0.02
    Totally agree.
    I have had dealings with the zoning officer in the past and it was not a good experience for either of us. I proved him wrong and made him look like a fool. So I have been on the radar for a while now. That is why I asked for clarification on keeping bee in the borough.

    I could go the route of it is easier to ask forgiveness than ask for permission. But being on the boroughs radar kind of makes that a bit more difficult.

    Before I place some hives I WILL get the law either changed or have wording included that is specific to bee keeping. Just need to figure out how to proceed at this point.

    S

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
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    232

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    I know of one case, Wilhelm v. Flores (2003) in Texas, in which the court decided that bees, unlike wild animals, are within the classification of "ferae naturae" which have been domesticated. Bees are not pets, nor are they animals, nor are they exotic, nor are they rare. You could look up a lot of cases such as this and inundate the zoning powers-that-be with evidence.

    I didn't ask my HOA for permission, because the CC&R prohibitions apply to animals, exotics, and anything not commonly kept as a pet, which bees are not. Besides, they can't prohibit me from keeping bees as long as they allow one of my neighbors to have a pet bobcat. A neighbor even had an African Mongoose.

    So put a fence around your hives. Beehives have probably caused fewer deaths than swimming pools, which have to be fenced.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Let me know how you make out with this. I live in Harrisburg, but I keep my bees in the Carlisle area. Thankfully, my hive is not in the borough and is in much more of a rural location. But I am considering moving to the Carlisle area in the relatively near future and I hope that I will be able to keep my bees on my property. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    I just noticed that you said there are several apiaries in the borough. How can they allow those, but not allow yours? Do you think they simply don't know about them?

  10. #10
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Perhaps these beekeepers may have some advice for you. Montgomery County Beekeepers Association.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pa
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by SRBrooks View Post
    I just noticed that you said there are several apiaries in the borough. How can they allow those, but not allow yours? Do you think they simply don't know about them?
    Yes I don't think they know about them. I am hoping that by raising this with the borough I don't get them in hot water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Perhaps these beekeepers may have some advice for you. Montgomery County Beekeepers Association.
    Will do thanks!!!

    I am in touch with my county Bee coordinator and we will see. They law will be changed or clarified when I am done.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,196

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by bakpakr View Post
    2. Don't know how I can get past the provision of disease-prone. We all know that there are several diseases that the bees can get that would rear their ugly head to the powers that be.
    Keep in mind, if people are allowed to keep dogs and cats under these rules, bees would fit as well. Dogs and cats are disease prone, but as owners, we take care of them in such a way so as not to be diseased.
    Regards, Barry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    The "disease prone" refers to diseases that people can get from the animals. Like rabies, bubonic plague, tapeworms, etc.

    These sound a lot like the regulations that we have.
    Chapter 5.23
    ANIMALS KEEPING
    Sections:
    5.23.010 Keeping prohibited except in compliance with chapter.
    5.23.020 Conditions for keeping.
    5.23.025 Permit required for keeping wild or vicious animals or reptiles.
    5.23.026 Allowing wild or vicious animals to run at large prohibited.
    5.23.027 Exceptions for circuses, zoos, and transportation of wild animals.
    5.23.030 Violations Penalty.
    5.23.010 Keeping prohibited except in compliance with chapter.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any horses, asses, mules, cattle, goats or sheep within the city limits of the City of
    Tacoma; provided that this chapter shall not apply in areas in which slaughterhouses or stockyards are permitted by
    appropriate ordinances of the City of Tacoma; provided, further, that upon full compliance with the provisions of
    Section 5.23.020 of this chapter, the keeping of any such animal or animals may be permitted when the conditions of said
    Section are and continue to be complied with in all respects. (Ord. 15852 1; passed Apr. 22, 1957)

    Chapter 5.30
    DOMESTIC FOWL
    Sections:
    5.30.010 Keeping Prohibited places.
    5.30.020 Running at large.
    5.30.030 Exception upon consent of surrounding owners.
    5.30.040 Penalty.
    5.30.010 Keeping Prohibited places.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to keep chickens, geese, ducks, pigeons or other domestic fowl in any chicken house or
    building within a distance of 50 feet from the nearest portion of any residence, dwelling, hotel, apartment house or rooming
    house in the City of Tacoma; and the keeping of chickens, geese, ducks, pigeons or other domestic fowl as aforesaid is
    hereby declared to be a public nuisance; provided that this chapter shall not apply in areas in which abattoirs or stockyards
    are permitted by appropriate ordinances. (Ord. 22212 17; passed Sept. 30, 1980: Ord. 16586 1; passed Jun. 14, 1960)

    Chapter 5.32
    HOGS
    5.32.010 Prohibited places.
    The keeping of a hog or hogs within the City of Tacoma is hereby declared to be a public nuisance; provided that this chapter
    shall not apply in areas in which abattoirs or stockyards are permitted by appropriate ordinance. (Ord. 22212 20; passed
    Sept. 30, 1980: Ord. 4928 1; passed Apr. 17, 1912)

    Chapter 5.34
    RABBITS
    5.34.010 Prohibited places.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to keep rabbits in any rabbitry, building or other enclosure within a distance of 50 feet
    from the nearest portion of any residence, dwelling, hotel, apartment house or rooming house now existing or hereafter
    constructed, owned by any other person, in the City of Tacoma; and the keeping of rabbits in violation of the above
    provisions is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 11342 1; passed Oct. 21, 1936)


    But, the regulations also include:

    Chapter 5.24
    APIARIES
    Sections:
    5.24.010 Beekeeping Maintenance of colonies Nuisances designated.
    5.24.020 Enforcement and entry Right of entry for inspection.
    5.24.030 Violation Penalty.
    5.24.010 Beekeeping Maintenance of colonies Nuisances designated.
    A. It shall be the duty of any person having honey bees, Apis Mellifera, on his or her property to maintain each colony so as
    not to create a public nuisance.
    B. Honey bee colonies shall, in addition, be maintained in the following condition:
    1. All honey bee hives shall be registered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture as required by
    RCW 15.60.030.
    2. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives.
    3. Adequate techniques, such as requeening, in handling bees, and adequate space in the hive shall be maintained to prevent
    unprovoked stinging 75 feet or more from the hive.
    4. Lots having less than 10,000 square feet shall not have more than four hives.
    5. Hives shall not be located within 75 feet of any property line, public street, sidewalk, or alley except when situated behind
    a solid fence or hedge six feet in height parallel to any property line within 25 feet of the hive and extending at least 20 feet
    beyond the hive in both directions, or if such fence completely encloses the hives.
    C. All other nests (colonies) of stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, including Vespidae, in trees,
    buildings, underground, or in any other space, and diseased colonies of honey bees, constitute public nuisances. (Ord. 22662
    1; passed Apr. 6, 1982)
    5.24.020 Enforcement and entry Right of entry for inspection.
    A. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and the Police Department shall enforce this chapter.
    B. Proper officers of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and any Tacoma Police Officers are authorized and
    empowered, during reasonable business hours, to enter premises to inspect hives or colonies for the purpose of ascertaining
    the variety of insects occupying the hives, conditions of health, and management of crowding. Entry may be pursuant to
    warrant or pursuant to the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises, or without consent or warrant if there is probable
    cause to believe that a violation of this chapter is occurring on the premises and evidence thereof will be lost or destroyed
    before a warrant can be issued. (Ord. 22662 1; passed Apr. 6, 1982)


    To me, it sounds like they have no laws or ordinances against (or for) non-nuisance bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,196

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by seyc View Post
    The "disease prone" refers to diseases that people can get from the animals. Like rabies, bubonic plague, tapeworms, etc.
    I guess you can assume that, but it isn't written in such a way that that is the understanding. Unless I missed somewhere that states otherwise.
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Inverness, IL
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    13

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Sometimes its easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission! Stay below the radar if its not too late for that.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pa
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    22

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Excellent I may end up using portions of the law you posted in my proposal for an ordnance here.

    Thanks

    To late to go the ask forgiveness route as I am on the radar.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pa
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    22

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Here is what I have so far for an amendment to the local zoning law. Tell me what you think and any suggestions, additions, corrections or what have you appreciated.

    255-255 APIARIES
    Beekeeping – Maintenance of colonies – Nuisances designated.
    A. It shall be the duty of any person having honey bees, Apis Mellifera, on his or her property to maintain each colony so as not to create a public nuisance.

    B. Honey bee colonies shall, in addition, be maintained in the following condition:

    1. All honey bee hives shall be registered with the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture as required by 3 Pa.C.S.A. 2101 – 2117.

    2. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives.

    3. Adequate techniques, such as requeening, in handling bees, and adequate space in the hive shall be maintained to prevent unprovoked stinging 75 feet or more from the hive.

    4. Lots having less than 10,000 square feet shall not have more than four hives.

    5. Hives shall not be located within 75 feet of any property line, public street, sidewalk, or alley except when situated behind a solid fence or hedge six feet in height parallel to any property line within 25 feet of the hive and extending at least 20 feet beyond the hive in both directions, or if such fence completely encloses the hives.

    C. All other nests (colonies) of stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, including Vespidae, in trees, buildings, underground, or in any other space, and diseased colonies of honey bees, constitute public nuisances.

    Enforcement and entry – Right of entry for inspection.

    A. The Cumberland County Health Department and the Carlisle Borough Police Department shall enforce this chapter.

    B. Proper officers of the Cumberland County Health Department and any Carlisle Borough Police Officers are authorized and empowered, during reasonable business hours, to enter premises to inspect hives or colonies for the purpose of ascertaining the variety of insects occupying the hives, conditions of health, and management of crowding. Entry may be pursuant to warrant or pursuant to the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises, or without consent or warrant if there is probable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter is occurring on the premises and evidence thereof will be lost or destroyed before a warrant can be issued.

  18. #18
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    Jul 2012
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    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
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    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I guess you can assume that, but it isn't written in such a way that that is the understanding. Unless I missed somewhere that states otherwise.
    Oops. I have a degree in Microbiology. With that came some epidemiology, and basically, when the laws are written referring to "disease prone animals", it refers to animals and diseases that can be transferred to humans. Yea, one of those legal/medical things.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by bakpakr View Post
    Excellent I may end up using portions of the law you posted in my proposal for an ordnance here.

    Thanks

    To late to go the ask forgiveness route as I am on the radar.
    Here is the link: http://cms.cityoftacoma.org/citycler...Sanitation.PDF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,196

    Default Re: Bees Not allowed

    Quote Originally Posted by bakpakr View Post
    C. All other nests (colonies) of stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps, including Vespidae, in trees, buildings, underground, or in any other space, and diseased colonies of honey bees, constitute public nuisances.
    I don't see why this should be included. EVERYONE has some form of stinging insect living on their property.
    Regards, Barry

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