Councilors Voice Concerns Over Keeping Honeybees in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 9:21 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Duluth City Councilors swarmed beekeepers with concerns Thursday night, asking about safety related to keeping honeybee hives in the city.

The council is considering an ordinance to allow the practice.

The ordinance would allow up to five hives on a lot.

The hives must be 15 feet away from a sidewalk and 30 feet from a building on a surrounding property.

Even so, a couple councilors were concerned curious neighborhood kids may disturb the hives, and asked about those with allergies to bees.

Beekeepers said wasps are the culprits in most stings, and they've had no issues with hives in the city so far.

"Most beekeepers have good bee keeping practices and they are looking to protect their bees from everything from children to people walking through their yard, you know, bears. I mean it's all out there so I haven't heard of any issues, so I understand the thought they're out there now," said Ray Lopez, a beekeeper.

The beekeeper said he believes about 40 people in the city already had bees for years.

The council will be taking the matter to a vote later this month.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike