Public Hearing to Legalize Beekeeping Will Take Place This Wednesday

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Monica R./flickr
Will the Board of Health take the sting out of the urban beekeeping ban?

Last December, the campaign to legalize beekeeping in New York scored a victory when the Board of Health proposed an amendment to the Health Code's section 161.01, which outlaws beekeeping in the city. On Wednesday, the campaign will take another step toward legalization with a public hearing on the issue.

According to the notice of the hearing (which can be accessed via Just Food), the Department, "[i]n response to a petition to commence rule making...examined reports of bee stings and found that such incidents are minimal. As a result the Department is proposing to amend paragraph (12) to allow New Yorkers to keep hives of non-aggressive honey bees. No permit would be required, only notification to the Department, and appropriate practices to avoid creating a nuisance would have to be used."

Following the hearing, the Department will present its final code revision at the Board of Health meeting next month, where it will receive the Board's final review. If all goes well, beekeeping in New York could be legal by April.

The hearing will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 125 Worth Street, in the third-floor boardroom.


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