Howard beekeepers get new rules after council vote

County Council vote unanimous

February 07, 2011|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

Beekeepers in Howard County will have new, more lenient rules to operate under following a unanimous County Council vote Monday night that's been nearly three years coming.

Instead of treating bees in the same zoning category as farm animals and requiring them to be at least 200 feet from a neighbor's property, the new law allows beehives within 25 feet, or as close as 10 feet if a six-foot fence or hedge is in place. Several amendments sought to add protections for any fearful neighbors.

"I'm glad it's done after almost three years," said Dan Hemerlein, a Columbia resident who with his wife, Jeri, maintains several hives. Their bees provoked the original complaint that brought the issue to light. Sam Peperone, the complaining neighbor, said the new bill "is very much a disappointment."

The bill is expected to be signed by county executive Ken Ulman.

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