Montgomery County officials take up issue of honeybees - WKRN News 2

Montgomery County officials take up issue of honeybees

Posted: Updated: Jun 25, 2014 05:53 PM
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The subject of residential bees continues to be an issue in Clarksville.

Wednesday, the Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission took up the issue of where bees can be kept in residential backyards.

Elizabeth Hood was cited in late May for several city ordinance violations.

The city's Director of Building and Codes, Mike Baker, did not know if keeping the bees violated ordinances since there was nothing on the books making them legal or illegal.

Baker asked the city for a definition, but there was nothing in the codes.

The issue made its way to the Montgomery County Planning Commission Wednesday as city council members consider changing zoning laws concerning how bees can be kept in residential areas relative to how far they are set from adjacent property.

"The city cannot prohibit bees from being kept within the city limits," said Planning Commission Director Dave Ripple.

"The state does not regulate the location of beehives, they have a voluntary best management practice, but that's not enforceable to compel an individual to do something," he said.

Planning Commissioners voted to recommend the city council defer to the best management practice and the State Apiary Act and to add no additional authority of Building and Codes.

The commission’s recommendation has no binding authority and the decision on how, or if regulating bees is left up to the city council, which meets July 1.

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