Yesterday, I wrote about the buzz in St. Louis Park (sorry, bee puns are just too much fun) surrounding .
City code currently says nothing on the matter one way or the other, but City Council wants to change that. Naturally, a good question to ask first is: What do our neighbors do?
I did some research on how the cities of Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Plymouth address (or don't address) residential beekeeping. Here's what I found:
Edina: Not allowed
Golden Valley: Generally not allowed
Hopkins: Not specifically addressed
Minneapolis: Allowed, but permits required
Minnetonka: Not specifically addressed
Plymouth: Generally not allowed
This information can be interpreted several different ways. I think it is pretty clear that having some kind of definition regarding beekeeping makes sense, and I'd imagine St. Louis Park, along with Hopkins and Minnetonka, will soon adopt something (if I happened to miss language in Hopkins or Minnetonka city code, I apologize—please direct me to the proper ordinance).
Beyond that, I don't think there is a clear-cut answer. Personally, I'd be OK with my neighbor having bees, so long as I'm notified—and get a chance to approve of the beekeeping—in advance. This is how Minneapolis operates, and I think it makes sense, because it keeps everyone involved. In fact, Minneapolis requires a potential beekeeper to get approval from everyone who lives immediately adjacent to his or her property. If one person is allergic, or simply doesn't want the bees around, the request is denied. And I think this is perfectly fair.
Where will St. Louis Park City Council go with this? It's hard to say. Members seemed open to discussing the issue more—and weren't comfortable enacting an outright ban on Monday—but concerns over neighbor disputes were also raised. If I had to guess, I'd imagine we see something similar to what Minneapolis has on the books. But a ban wouldn't surprise me either.