Beekeeping now easier in Minneapolis

The City Council has approved ordinance changes making it easier to have beehives in Minneapolis. Now, once the original permit fee is paid, there is no fee for the annual permit renewal. Also, beehives on a rooftop of two stories or higher no longer require nearby building users’ written approval or a fence around them. The changes will reduce significant hurdles for Minneapolis beekeepers and improve the environment while ensuring public safety.

Currently the City has no bee permits for rooftops. Bees on rooftops are common in other cities and provide critical, protected habitat – especially in commercial areas such as downtowns. Bees have a three-mile forage distance. Foraging distance from Downtown is about 28 square miles and has ample resources for a flourishing hive, including Lake of the Isles; parts of Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake and Brownie Lake; about six miles of Mississippi shoreline, extensive parkland including Loring Park; and portions of the University of Minnesota.

According to the University of Minnesota:

Bees play a keystone role in the productivity of agriculture and the beauty of our world through the pollination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers. The disruption of natural habitats leading to lack of “bee flowers,” the widespread overuse of pesticides, and numerous bee diseases and parasites have pushed honey bees to the tipping point … Our native bees are also in decline due to unprecedented habitat loss, pesticide contamination, and their own diseases.

These ordinance changes further the City’s eco-focused goal of locally grown food available and chosen.

Click here for more information on beekeeping regulations in Minneapolis.

Published Apr. 17, 2013