Plymouth Studies Residential Beekeeping Policy
Plymouth residents may soon start seeing more beehives in their neighborhoods.
The Plymouth Planning Commission recommended approval of a residential beekeeping policy this week. The Plymouth City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance July 25.
This won’t be the first time the council has considered beekeeping. In 2021, the council rejected a beekeeping policy while approving a residential chicken-keeping policy.
Plymouth Draft Policy Allows Up to Two Bee Hives
To legally keep bees, Plymouth residents would have to apply for a city-issued beekeeping license.
Their neighbors would have the option to object to the license, triggering a public hearing.
Under the new policy, property owners or other beekeepers could install up to two bee hives at a residential property. With a 10-foot setback, they could be located in back or side yards.
The city would also require that beekeepers install warning signage near their bee hives.
As part of the application, prospective beekeepers would be required to take a college course on beekeeping.
“We don’t anticipate a huge demand for beekeeping permits coming in right away,” said Chole McGuire, Plymouth planning and development manager. “But we anticipate that those few passionate residents who really have the itch to do this are going to be the first to apply. Then I think we’ll probably see the interest trickle off.”
The commission was largely supportive of the plan.
In the original draft ordinance, the city required beekeepers to install a pollinator garden with their hives.
However, a University of Minnesota bee expert testified that honey bees typically look for the largest mass of pollen available in a given area, often skipping smaller residential gardens in the process.
As a result, the commission recommended stripping that requirement from the ordinance.
The commission also requested that the hives have a maximum height of 8 feet.
“I’m glad to see that this has resurfaced,” Plymouth Planning Commissioner Marc Anderson said. “I support bees and have actually raised bees in my life at some point.”