Across metro, news buzzes about honey bees
Bee keeping and bee habitats were the talk of the town for the Eagan City Council, the Brooklyn Park Planning Commission, the Edina City Council and the Lake Elmo City Council this month. Check out these stories.
Eagan has joined a handful of metro cities that allow beekeeping on residential property. The City Council on March 17 unanimously approved an ordinance amendment that allows residents to keep honey bees on single-family residential property.
The Brooklyn Park Planning Commission has tabled action on changing city code to allow beekeeping in all city zoning districts.
After a lengthy discussion March 11 on how city officials would address neighbor’s concerns about bee colonies, the possibility of bee stings and whether bee hives should be allowed in all areas of the city, Planning Commissioner Steve Schmidt made the motion to table the measure, and the motion was approved unanimously.
The commission will take up the issue at its March work session, according to Cindy Sherman, city planning director.
Currently, the city allows citizens to keep bees only in the R1 zoning area, which is urban reserve land that is undeveloped, Sherman said. As business and residential development continues, there is less such area in the city.
St. Patrick’s Day brought the culmination of a long-discussed, sober approval of a beekeeping ordinance in Edina.
Before permitting the honey-harvesting, the city sought the counsel of a commission, beekeeping experts and bee-friendly cities before the Edina City Council took a couple of months to consider the details to allow honeybee colonies.
The city of Lake Elmo has become a safe haven for honey bees and other pollinators, thanks to a resolution passed March 3 that would stop the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in bee habitats. The resolution states that the city will designate and develop bee-safe areas that include plantings that are favorable to bees, such as city parks.
Alyssa MacLeod, Lake Elmo communication coordinator, said the park commission has been discussing the resolution and how it would affect how city parks are cared for, and how future city parks would be designed and maintained.
The honey bee population is currently going through a population collapse as its habitat and the plants bees need to survive are disappearing.