Greenfield looks to adopt new beekeeping ordinance

GREENFIELD, Ind. — A proposed beekeeping ordinance is up for debate in Greenfield. In July, the state made it illegal for local government to ban beekeeping.

Now the city is figuring out a way to regulate it instead.

“You’ve gotta get your hands right in the bees,” said Ron Myers. He is a beekeeper just outside Greenfield city limits, so his bees wouldn’t be impacted by an ordinance.

However, Myers said he worries what will happen to his friends in Greenfield if local government doesn’t let beekeepers be.

“An ordinance could keep a good potential beekeeper from getting into the beekeeping hobby,” said Myers.

That’s the main reason Greenfield City Council Member Keely Butrum voted against the proposal. She calls herself an amateur beekeeper.

“As it’s been presented, the ordinance would require filing, registering, reporting, tracking, all of those things I believe are totally unnecessary,” said Butrum.

Part of the proposed ordinance requires beekeepers to keep a warning sign in their front yard. Myers already has one but he doesn’t think these should be mandatory.

“It’s overstepping,” said Myers.

City Council President Daniel Riley said he is part of a committee assigned to refine the proposal.

“We need to regulate to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with public safety but also, we spray for mosquitoes and we want to make sure that we are not killing the beekeepers bees,” said Riley.

That’s why he said the city considered registration, so they can warn beekeepers before they spray.

“I think voluntary registration would be a good compromise,” said Riley.

Myers hopes the proposal is thrown out entirely. He doesn’t understand how keeping bees in a backyard could impact the public.

“There’s bees all over the city anyway, in the trees, in the parks and so forth,” said Riley.

Though Myers said an ordinance isn’t necessary he is happy that the city is talking about beekeeping. He said he hopes more people learn about this hobby.

There is no set date for when this ordinance will come to a vote. Riley said it could be sometime in October.

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