How legal is

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by vulcan, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. vulcan

    vulcan Well-Known Member

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    How legal is to keep bees in the city? Please let me know I am in a small town in Pennsylvania. I got my home with a small garden in the back but also I got an old house which I am fixing it, a friend in New York keep a bee hive in his appartment the bees are allowed to go out and in at will thru a window. and he has everything under glass so you can get a good idea when the honey is ready. Very neet but I think is not so legal but In New York everything goes. let me know your opinion.
     
  2. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No simple blanket answer. Some areas specifically make it illegal, some could regulate it under a nuisance clause, some would give you a pat on the back. Biggest problem is neighbors and liability should they decide to sue you for stings.
     

  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Best advice is to call city hall at your town and ask about any ord on keeping bees in the city limits. All cities are not the same. I have a friend in New york that keeps bees on a balcony of his fifth floor apartment. I also have a friend in LA who keeps bees in a city garden in the shadows of Dodger stadium.

    :D Al
     
  4. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't ask city hall, they'll just freak out.

    Put an empty hive where you want to keep them, see if anybody notices.
     
  5. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I live in PA and it varies from township to borough. My borough has no ordinances regarding beekeeping. A neighboring community defines bees as farm animals and won't permit a guy with slightly less than 2 acres to keep bees because no one with less than two acres can keep bees. He's fighting the issue with the help of the PA Department of Agriculture and through a pretty well written article in the local news. He's had 18 to 20 hives of bees on his property for 20 years or so before a neighbor researched the zoning regs and complained about it.

    If your town has a zoning office you might anonomyously ask the zoning or code enforcement officer about it. I wouldn't place a general call to City Hall though because the wrong person might give you an alarmist opinion
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Does your town have a website?

    Where I live, I found the regulations under animal control. We are allowed 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 beehives.
     
  7. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    See if you can find a local beekeeper association. They should be able to help you find out the regulations, etc. If you can't find an association look in the phone book under bees--there should be beekeepers, or maybe bee removal. (Bee removers are very often beekeepers collecting swarms for their own hives) Contact them and talk to them about your situation. Beekeepers typically love to talk about bees. A new law that just became enacted in OK says it is illegal for anyone to say you CAN'T have bees. Municipalities can limit the number of hives or give regulations on how far away from others they have to be, but they can't say you can't have them. (Or at least that was how it was explained to me)
    I don't know about city hall, you may end up with some alarmist as Ed K said, but the dept of Ag should be very bee friendly and you should be able to get good info from them.
     
  8. Russ_NEPA

    Russ_NEPA Well-Known Member

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    I recently began beekeeping in PA (in my 2nd season) and I registered with the PA Dept. of Agriculture. Anyone with bees is supposed to register, although i'm not sure how many actually do. I am in a suburban area, but zoned agricultural. I didn't want any problems down the road, so I registered all nice and legal.

    You might try contacting the Dept. of Ag. and see if they have any input.

    I personally would not go to local authorities unless absolutely necessary. They are not beekeepers, don't know bees from yellowjackets, and are very likely to say NO just as CYA.

    As an aside, along the same lines, I had a neighbor who showed me his yellowjacket nest and asked if I wanted to add them to my hives. People really need to be educated about beekeeping.
     
  9. vulcan

    vulcan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for you answer, I am following some of your advise.