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-
(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.