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Minneapolis City Council Approves Honeybees

April 15, 2009

k4716-3_usda-ars-beeThis afternoon the Minneapolis City Council considered and approved an ordinance change to allow residents to keep up to two hives of honeybees on lots smaller than 1/2 acre. This is great news for a couple of reasons:

  1. Bees are important pollinators for fruits, vegetables and flowers. Insects pollinate about one third of our food supply, and honeybees do the majority of that. We need them in our fruit trees and gardens.
  2. Each hive can produce 50-100 pounds of honey annually. This is far more than one household can usually use, so beekeepers can share or sell honey, providing a great local food source and potentially a small income.
  3. Bee products such as beeswax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and honey itself all have tremendous health benefits and medicinal uses. Beeswax is another valuable and delightful product of beekeeping.
  4. Bees are in trouble. Honeybees have been facing problems from mites for years. More recently Colony Collapse has raise alarm about a variety of human-based stresses on bee populations. UMN is home to cutting-edge research on bee health, and beekeeping hobbyists can support and contribute to this important work.

Final language of the ordinance still must be tweaked, but it will be approved this spring. Residents who want bees will need to get signatures from their neighbors (100% of adjacent properties, 80% within 100 feet of the property), and apply for a permit ($100 initially, $50 annual renewal). Applicants will also need to attend an approved beekeeping class. Minneapolis Animal Care & Control is leading this process, and will have more details on their website in coming weeks.  Click here to see the ordinance as approved today >>

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