Real Estate & Property Law

Towns Abuzz Over Backyard Bees

Add honeybees to the list of pets with a purpose that a growing number of residents are now keeping in urban areas.

But, as with backyard chickens, not everyone is happy about the trend. In South Portland, Maine, for instance, the town adopted an ordinance in May requiring beekeepers to register and setting standards for their activities, after neighbors of Omid Ghayebi tired of living next door to the 24,000 bees that the 31-year-old engineer had been keeping in his small backyard, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) in a page-one article today.

Such municipal ordinances commonly set limits on the number of bees a resident may have based on the size of the property.

Erin Forbes, who edits the Maine State Beekeepers Association newsletter, says keeping a low profile may be the best option for many beekeepers. “She advises them to paint their hives to look like compost bins,” the newspaper notes.

Related coverage: “Urbanites Crow About Maybe-Legal Pets” “Girl Teary Over Town Board’s Fowl Vote”

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