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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    I am moving soon and want to go somewhere with bee friendly laws. I started at the mayors office of the most likely town. The woman who answered hardly knew what I was talking about. Her English was poor at best and didnt even answer the phone in English. She said call this number, they had the identical reaction. After about 6-7 calls to various departments someone finally said I dont know not us. I gave up... I cant find the laws online, I am really at a standstill here. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on what department usually has this information??

    Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Some towns may not have their own regulations on beekeeping, and so only State laws would apply. Its not surprising that town employees would not know about state law in that situation.

    The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets handles enforcement of state agriculture laws. Start there.
    http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AD/AnnualReport1999.html

    Note New York has "Freedom to Farm" legislation. If you are thinking about 7 acres or more, read this:
    http://nationalaglawcenter.org/asset...rm/newyork.pdf

    Post the cities/town you are considering. You may find Beesource members in those towns who know the score and can point you to the town regulations, if any.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    They seem to vary quite a bit. In my town, there are no specific requirements. Other towns may have ordinances dealing with setback or number of hives, etc. The state has a registration system and when I gave them my info they steered me to a local beekeeping association and that's where I got a lot of help. I would try that but with the caveat that information from an association may not be as accurate as getting the same info from the source. Nevertheless, it's a good place to start.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Don't ask. Don't tell.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    I am actually in NJ these days, just outside NYC. Cant seem to figure how to add that to the location field. Space is tight, bees are not very welcomed, NYC beekeepers know about NYC and areas not really NJ. Nearest NJ org is far away. I thought about dont ask dont tell. I may well do that. But.. any places here I move to are so small neighbors will almost certainly see me. I wanted to try and prevent this and if need be, cite laws that allow beekeeping.

    Graham thanks for the links. I would think though that a local employee would know local law, IE - are there laws on the books specifically banning beekeeping in that town. NJ state law is favorable to bee keeping, supposedly.

    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Our city has some laws but they are basically a re-statement of Colorado state bee law. Aurora has a comprehensive bee law but again it is basically state law with a few added provisions. Finding out what laws your city has in place is a pain, other beekeepers is a good place to start. Don't take their word for what the law is though, find out where they got their info and verify it.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    > Cant seem to figure how to add that to the location field.

    The only way to update your location is to send a PM to Barry asking him to do so.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Well.. one town I found the following ordinance online. What do you guys think.. Seems like a judge or police could interpret this to mean keeping is illegal. ????

    " Dangerous Animal
    Includes any mammal, reptile or fowl which is not naturally tame or gentle and which because of its size, vicious nature or other characteristics would constitute a danger to human life or property if it is not kept or maintained in a safe manner or in secure quarters. "

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    > Includes any mammal, reptile or fowl

    Bees are none of these, they are insects!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    595

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Dan,

    This very specifically applies to a mammal, reptile or fowl. The key word in this is "and." If one were to remove the phrase "which is not naturally tame or gentle" you'rel lft with "includes ANY mammal, reptile, or fowl AND which becasue of its size, vicious nat....." You're in the clear, based on this phrase alone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Based on the generalities in that "dangerous animal" ordinance, I think you may find out just how they enforce it the first time you run into a problem. Of course, then it's already too late.

    Why not look for a place outside city limits, at least to keep your bees if not to live there yourself?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    500

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Thanks all so far. Difficult to move out of city. I wish it were possible. At least this town seems to be legal. This also gives me an idea to ask when I speak to city officials. I can ask what their oridinance is on animals in general. That might get me some info.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan. NY View Post
    I am moving soon and want to go somewhere with bee friendly laws. I started at the mayors office of the most likely town. The woman who answered hardly knew what I was talking about. Her English was poor at best and didnt even answer the phone in English. She said call this number, they had the identical reaction. After about 6-7 calls to various departments someone finally said I dont know not us. I gave up... I cant find the laws online, I am really at a standstill here. Does anyone have any tips or tricks on what department usually has this information??
    We did a successful rezoning for beekeeping and I looked up many laws and codes.
    http://www.municode.com/
    and search for bee, hive, etc. in location will get you farm
    karla

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Don't ask. Don't tell.
    That was the approach I took. (Of course, one should always have a plan B for just in case.)

    As to finding out more information -- perhaps it's easier to look for beekeepers in your tentative new location? Your profile says "0 years", so finding a beekeeper to talk to would be a good idea, particularly for assessing a specific site as to suitability.

    -K
    Kevin M. Pfeiffer -- Berlin, Germany

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    A guy in one of the towns around here wanted to keep some quail in town. The town has ordinances against almost every animal (including bees), and some specifically against chickens, poultry and domestic fowl. In researching it, he found that the ordinances left a loophole concerning game birds.

    However, his asking about game birds alerted the city that he was likely to try keeping birds in town. They acted quickly to close those loopholes, and banned game birds as well.

    Makes me wonder if the authorities would be alerted if a pheasant wandered into city limits.

    I just want to point out that sometimes asking can alert people to what you have in mind.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    All my hives (other than 2) are in the county, and the info I got from a migratory beekeeper located in the same county as myself said beekeeping laws in the county are pretty much non-existent. Colorado law is for urban areas. Some of the provisions make sense for the county such as providing a water source, keeping bees away from fenced in animals, posting the beekeeper's name and phone number prominently in the apiary, keeping bees 25' from property lines etc. I would default to state law if i couldn't find local laws. Ignorance isn't a defense but at least you could say you were trying if you get a ticket.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    santa monica, ca
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan. NY View Post
    Does anyone have any tips or tricks on what department usually has this information??

    Dan
    In our town bee law is enforced by the animal control dept (dog catcher). a subdivision of the police. But you can also get nailed by code enforcement (don't ask how I know) if your are not properly registered with animal control
    Buzz Abbott
    USDA zone 11a, Western Garden zone 24 (75 ft elev. n34.0w118.47)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,263

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    call the bee inspector in the area your looking to go. otherwise get ahold of the local bee club. you have to ask local people that know bees.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,061

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    go to the area where you can list members of beesource, do a search on nj, n.j., etc and find some active members from new Jersey and send them a message and ask them.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    283

    Default Re: Finding laws about bee keeping for certain towns/cities

    More likely a homeowners association would be the problem that a city ordinances.

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