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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've been taking care of all of the details so I can start my hive this spring, and have come to find out, that as far as anyone can tell in the city, that one cannot have a beehive on their property unless it's zoned agricultural. Well, I'm zoned residential, so...

I'm taking this to the city council. However, I need some assistance- in particular, I could really appreciate any resources you all know of that could help me make my argument that beekeeping in the suburban environment is a good thing. Basically what I think this is going to come down to is the pros (pollination services, supporting a species in peril) to the cons (the stinger). So if I had some documentation with quantified data, it would really help my cause.

I'm obviously going to conduct a thorough literature search, but I was wondering if anyone knew off the top of their heads any great resources I could use, and/or if anyone who knows of any groups that support people trying to argue in support of urban beekeeping.
 

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Long fight ahead so your best bet is to get the hive and say nothing. In two or three years when no one is bothered you go and make your case for the bees. A mother and son in Evanston IL did a big media blitz on the bees, it turned out the neigbors just did not like them so they made it a hassle for them to do anything. But they did get a law passed for the city to have bees but only two hives for every so many miles.

Good Luck
 

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NYC is looking at getting their ban removed. You may be able to look up a thread that was just on here a few days ago to get some help. I have been in contact with those folks. I'll send you their information as soon as I can get my hands on it a bit later. Let me take a look at some of the local ordinances and talk to some of the other local urban beeks here. I'll see if I can get you a copy of the ordinances used here. Good Luck.
 

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Unless there's a law that specifically prohibits honeybees or specifically labels honeybees as agricultural livestock, I would just go ahead and get a hive. Get into the arguments only if someone starts complaining.
People love to tell you you can't do something if you ask them. They all have this idea of bees being vicious and deadly, like yellowjackets, attacking innocent people in swarms.
 

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Omie makes a good point. There's an old saying that serves many of us well...

It is better to to beg for forgiveness than ASK for Permission....

Start a hive and see how it goes... whether there is any neighbor complaints or anything. Build up some "proof" so to speak that having bees in your back yard is not causing any problems. It gives you something to fight with if the day should come that some city official says "NO, You Can't"
 

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Well, I've been taking care of all of the details so I can start my hive this spring, and have come to find out, that as far as anyone can tell in the city, that one cannot have a beehive on their property unless it's zoned agricultural. Well, I'm zoned residential, so...
Do you have a garage? Put your hive in your garage w/ a tube through the wall for their entrance. There probably aren't any regulations about having bees in the wall of your garage.
 

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A similar issue was discussed on a thread not too long ago. Can you provide the language in the city ordinance pertaining to this? I wouldn't just take the say-so of some city clerk that thinks bees may be lumped in with cows and pigs, were you informed of this by the city attorney?

Personally, I would just play ignorance and start your hive unless you have already raised eyebrows.

I guess the language in my quotation has changed a little from NY to OK. However, the general meaning is the same. And yes, I have had to beg forgiveness more often than I care to admit......... Perhaps Okies are more inclined to beg than New Yorkers??? haha
 

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As a thought to attempt to answer some of your question, do a search on your State Department of Agriculture and see what information is posted concerning the benefits of honey bees, their needed contribution to the world food supply, etc. As a law enforcement officer, I can tell you... A law is a law is a law and most City Attorney's and Judges will follow it, irregardless of what you can show and prove. This really boils down to what you as an individual does within your own conscious. The worst that would probably happen if you just start a hive is they will tell you to remove it, unless you have already drawn attention to your intentions. Good Luck, and DO keep us informed of how this turns out, as this seems to affect a lot of urban/residential beeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd love to go ahead and just do it, however, I learned that I can't keep bees on residential property from my insurance company, which called the city and actually discovered this fact. So if i kept bees at home, I would lose my coverage if something were to happen. Nope, if I want to have a backyard hive, I'm going to have to do this the hard way. Thanks for all the suggestions though, I appreciate it.
 

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keep in mind, people arguing against bees isn't a logical argument.

It's based on fear. mostly fear of being stung and having that one person in who knows how many having a true allergic reaction and suing someone else.

They will try to defend that fear fear with 'what if" arguments that indicate potential financial and health losses.

I have called city offices in several towns and often, beekeeping is a topic so little discussed, most staff have no idea what the laws actually are, that even happens when I talk to city attorneys offices. Don't take a phone call as the last word, where laws are involved, accept ONLY what is written in law.

I think you are in Kansas, Kansas is predominantly an agricultural state.

According to Kansas statutes, beekeeping and it's products, supplies, etc.. are identified as 'Agricultural. kansas statute

In Garden City, Kansas city ordinances, "Sec. 10-218. Same– Specifically."

Bees are not among those listed as not able to be kept:

Sec. 10-218. Same– Specifically.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, maintain or possess or control within the city any of the following animals:

(1) All poisonous reptiles, including lizards and rear-fanged snakes;

(2) All animals of the order Primata (primates), including new and old world monkeys and apes;

(3) All animals of the order Carnivora (carnivores), including, but not limited to, lions, tigers, bears, raccoons, skunks, etc., excluding domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), domestic cats (Felis catus) and European Polecat (Mustela putorius) not covered by other sections of this article;

(4) Crocodilians;

(5) Constrictor snakes in excess of eight feet in length or more;

(6) Ungulates (hoofed stock animals), including members of the deer, antelope and bovine family;

(7) Elephants, hippopotami and rhinoceroses;

(8) Ostriches, emus and rheas;

(9) Swine.
Under Garden City, Kansas city ordinances, There are no fees or registration for keeping bees.

All in all, Garden City, Kansas does not have anything restricting the keeping of bees in their published city ordinances.

From the above Kansas State statutes, beekeeping is loosely monitored and allowed in the State.

AS the State does allow beekeeping and there is nothing to prohibit beekeeping in the city ordinance, State law takes takes precedence

If nothing else, keep copies of the relative State statutes and the City ordinances and if they protest, show them those documents and have them show you where you are not allowed to have them.

Good Luck and if I can be of any assistance, let me know.

Big Bear
 

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If you go ahead and get all your stuff, bees, equip, and such and it does not work out im only 50 miles east, I would buy your stuff or keep them for you until you found a place to put them that way you would not have any risk if things dont work out.
 

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You also have to take into consideration any county ordinances and if you live in a housing sub, any existing covenants signed when moving in.

I couldn't find anything in the Finney County site to show if there were any rules regarding beekeeping, that may require further investigation.

Big Bear
 

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Don't you just love bureaucrats? I like Bigbear's posts... there is no law prohibiting you from keeping bees in Garden City, KS. So, don't tell anyone, just do it. If you have close neighbors, give them some honey. If city hall comes down on you eventually, and they probably won't, unless you call attention to yourself, there are plenty of alfalfa fields in your county, and that makes real good honey.

I used to live in Stafford, south of you, and kept 16 hives beside a farmer's alfalfa... I loved it, and so did he.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There definately is no Kansas regulation of honeybess, however local zoning may apply.

And that's exactly where the problem lies. I'm waiting to hear back from the city zoning comissioner, or someone like that. There are no laws against honeybees, but you have to be zoned agricultural to have them on your property. So we'll see.
 

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Earlier in this thread you said:

I learned that I can't keep bees on residential property from my insurance company, which called the city and actually discovered this fact. So if i kept bees at home, I would lose my coverage if something were to happen.
That seems mighty suspicious to me. Souds more like your insurance company is the one that has a problem with it.
 
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