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OCA's Save the Bees Campaign

Minneapolis Beekeepers Abuzz about Eased Restrictions

For related articles and information, please visit OCA's Honey Bee Health page.

Keeping bees in Minneapolis might become a little less sticky.

Beekeepers no longer would need written approval from neighbors to start hives on their property and would be free of restrictions on hives located on the second or higher story of a building under an ordinance change approved Monday by the City Council's health and environment committee.

"Since we've started allowing beekeeping, I've gotten very few complaints," said Council Member Cam Gordon, committee chairman.

The loosening of restrictions comes at a time of growing concern about bee die-offs and a revival of interest in back-yard beekeeping.

"I think the whole popularity of bees has just increased enormously, and now we're hearing more and more concerns about how critical it is to have a healthy bee population if we expect to have a food supply," Gordon said.

The amended ordinance will be sent to the City Council for a vote in coming weeks.

Minneapolis Animal Care and Control has required honeybee permit applicants to receive signatures of consent from at least 80 percent of the residents within 100 feet of their property and full approval from neighbors immediately adjacent to the applicant's property. These restrictions took many applicants weeks to fulfill and prevented others from obtaining legal permission to keep bees.

The new regulations require beekeepers only to notify neighbors annually. Those who fail to provide evidence of yearly notification to Animal Control could face citations or have their permit revoked.