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I was thinking of starting a beehive this year. I went to the city clerk to ask if there were any laws against having bees. Or chickens. She said no. Then showed me the book and there was no mention of anything against it. So okay cool. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't breaking any laws before I did anything. The town I live in has about 700 people. Very rural so it shouldn't be a big deal. Yesterday I get a call from her saying that one of the council members has some concerns about the beehive and they want me to bring it up at the next meeting March 5th. I think this is just stupid. I could have gone ahead and gotten my beehive and since there were no laws being broken, there is nothing that could be done. But now since I wanted to do it the polite way, I may not be able to have it at all. Has anyone else here had this problem? What points can I bring up at the town meeting to convince them to let me have a beehive?

Thanks
Jason
 

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Since there is no current law you can go ahead and put bees in, or just the hive with no bees, who would know. Then if they do pass a law you would be grandfathered.

You could talk about the bees in New York City, about the pollination.

Show them a picture of Iddee with no shirt sitting by the bees.

Go loaded with an ordinance in hand for them to accept.
 

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IMHO
If it were me I think I would just let it be. I would call them and just tell them that you have an appointment or something and are unable to attend the next town meeting. If there are no laws prohibiting the keeping of honeybees, then there's no laws to break. I would put my hive in as unobtrusive spot as possible so as to not attract any unwanted attention and probably no one will be the wiser.
Sometimes when you try to do things the full blown right way, it gives people who would otherwise have no opinion to suddenly feel empowered to offer one.
Better to ask forgivness than permission sometimes. But given as there is no law against it you shouldn't have to do either.
 

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I agree with PerryBee. Beekeeping is a covert hobby in an urban setting. The less people know about it, the better. If you bring attention to it, your bees will be the blame for every yellow jacket, wasp and bumble bee sting within a mile radius.
 

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How about setting up an empty BAIT hive to callect a swarm. This would prove that:
1. there are bees in the neighborhood anyways
2. nobody has had reason to complain about them in the past.
3. place the hive where no one will see it. (out of sight---out of mind).
 

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I agree with the above, set up your hive NOW even if its empty in fact I would set up 2 or 3. If there is no law against it then you will be grandfathered if they do make a law. I would contact the local/state bee club for urban beekeeping info(perhaps someone will be willing to speak at the meeting). Also check your state apiary laws, here in Oklahoma the state law makes beekeeping (even urban) legal and states that cities/towns may restrict but NOT forbid beekeeping. Good Luck. Jim
P.S Web search Long Lane Honeybees I think they are in Indiana and speak with David or Sheri as they may be of help.
 

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Okay, I responded to your question over at the Hoosierbuzz forum, but I just saw in one of your posts here that you're in Paragon. When you initially said "southern Indiana", I thought you were down by the river, but instead, we're practically neighbors - I'm just over in Brown County.

Even closer to you is one of the largest beeks in this part of the state: Tracy Hunter. He's got bee yards all around Paragon. If you haven't been to his place, do so. (It was a field trip to his place with my kids that got me interested in bees over 10 years ago.)
http://www.huntershoneyfarm.com/

Next, plan to make a trip over to Morgantown to meet the Graham's. They are perhaps the biggest suppliers of bees and equipment in this part of the State:
http://www.grahamsbeeworks.com/

The two closest clubs to you are the White Lick Beekeepers in Mooresville, and the 10oClockBeeLine in Brown County:
http://www.whitelickbeekeepers.org/

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/10oclockbeeline/

Lastly, decide if you want to go to this meeting on the 5th or not. I kinda like PerryBee's suggestion to just let it slide. You've got and acre and half lot in a small, rural town. Unless you've got a particularly grumpy neighbor, no one's going to care (or even notice) that you have bees. IF you decide to go to this meeting and would like backup, let me know when and where. I can probably make it. If the small town council is impressed by titles and such, I can be there as a Board Member of the State Beekeeping Association.
 

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Wow!
Everything indypartridge said!
And Indy, that's a heck of an offer you made! Whether Jason takes you up on it or not, way to step up! :thumbsup:
 

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With many municipalities, townships, and towns, it is not whether there is a law on the books NOT allowing it, but rather IF the zoning ALLOWS it.

What happens is that they can not possible list every scenario and situation in laws and regulations. So they outline the intended purpose of the zoning (Residential, industrial, farming, high density, and so on), with details for the more common guidance issues. Then they have "Nuisance" laws, that they can used to enforce things that come up, based on public safety, complaints, public concern, etc.

Claiming they don't have a law on the books against beekeeping mean nothing. It is whether the zoning allows such things. Everything not listed, then is allowed by the way of a variance or other permit.

I bet they don't detail keeping rattlesnakes, open pit mining, operating as a heliport if you build an aircraft yourself, and thousands of other items. What they do more and more is list what the property is intended for, and then deal with individual uses as the situation presents itself. Unfortunately, you presented a situation.

I would go and see what you can do. Running from the situation is bound to not be good. And I would not "load up" and go in with guns a blazing. They probably know little of beekeeping, and you will set the stage in regards with the outcome by what happens at the first meeting.
 

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Wise advice BjornBee :thumbsup:
 

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It would be kind of hard to run from the problem since council members are already aware of it.

Not only zoning but also subdivision rules, if there is a subdivision.

Nuisance laws or ordinances as mentioned would be based on complaints or enforcement officers and with an acre and half lot in a small, rural town, I would hope this would not be a problem.

Again there are some common sense ordinances out there that IF they want bees in the town would keep folks from going overboard with hives.
 

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your biggest issues would be people confusing honeybees with yellowjackets, and hornets, or other wasps. Not alot of people know that there is a difference. Many was the occasion when I was sent to a persons house to remove a " giant swarm of bees ", and found a rather large bald faced hornet's nest. I would be asked how much honey I can expect from it??? I would always say won't get any honey but there is alot of trouble inside the nest of hornets. Seldom are the complaints based of factual matters, but on hearsay and old wives tales. Education is the ticket.
 

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Barry - I think you are correct and educating everyone would be great but doing it in a council meeting - I don't think so or I didn't think so until I saw this. Jason may not be there just yet. Especially listen to the council members comments after the speakers.

This is about the public hearing in Cary,NC about the proposed beekeeping ordinance. You can watch it by the link below.



> Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 11:10:35 -0500
> From: d805[email protected]
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: [NCSBA-Chapters] Cary Beekeeping Hearing
>
> A public hearing on a proposed beekeeping restrictive ordinance in Cary,
> NC was conducted on Thursday, February 23 at 6:30 PM.
>
> Congratulations to the beekeepers, who spoke professionally and
> passionately against the ordinance. Each council member commended the
> beekeepers, and unanimously tabled the ordinance.
>
> This is an exemplary demonstration of how to bring "city hall" to the
> side of beekeepers. The council members were attentive, open minded,
> and reasonable.
>
> Watch the public hearing here. Move the slider about 1/4 of the way to
> the right, to the 35:45 minute mark, where the beekeeping hearing begins.
>
> http://media.townofcary.org/council022312.htm
>
> Be sure to listen to the council members' reactions after the hearing.
>
> It will do you proud. Enjoy!
>
> David Martin
> Wake
 

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i'm highly impressed by the beekeepers' presentations, by the council's discussion and by the decision reached.
This link you gave us, Dave, shows how important a public forum like this is for the general benefit of beekeepers.
:goodpost:
 

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Jason- you hit the Mother Lode of good advice. They only thing I might add is to suggest surveying your neighbors to see if they have any objections to bee hives. This might work against the sage advice of "out of sight, out of mind". But if the neighbors have no objections the city council will probably never get a complaint, about your bees, in the future.
If all goes well with your plans and your hives, a token gift of honey to the neighbors would seal the deal. ;)
Good Luck!
 

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With an acre and a half, I would place my live hives out of site in the back yard. I would place a couple of empty hives in plain view in the front or side yard. Then wait for any complaints about what turns out to be empty boxes. Any further complaints from said neighbors would be ignored.
 

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And when the swarms move in......."what then?"
[Reminds me of the grandfather from peter and the wolf---"and what if a wolf SHOULD come out of the forest---What Then?"]
 
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