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Subject: Beekeeping and 'nuisance' clause?
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Author Messages
AdamL1
(Idaho)

Posts:120


06/24/2021 8:36 AM  
Has anyone dealt with beekeepers and their hives? I'm reading that they can't be classified as "nuisance" if they obey all the city codes and rules about setbacks?
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1466


06/24/2021 9:22 AM  
It depends on what your State, City or County ordnances say. From someone that's allelic to bee stings, my opinion is slighted. Bees can be more than a nuisance if the hives are close to other homes. i.e. 200 homes on 3000 sq ft lot, then beekeeping is a no, it can be deadly or hazardous. The if I were a lawyer guy in me would poke at the "it poses an imminent danger to others" clause in your governing documents..
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2601


06/24/2021 10:36 AM  
I don't know that bees are a "nuisance" - they're more of a hazard akin to a vicious dog, and many CC&Rs having things to say about keeping dangerous items on your property. Even if you're not allergic, being stung by multiple bees at once can kill you (depending on your size and how many stings).

Looking at local ordinances may help, but cities usually don't have to worry about being sued the way an HOA does - so I'd expect HOA rules to be more restrictive. And in a condo association, bees are likely a hard "no" since the hives would have to be on common elements.

Here's what Davis-Stirling has to say about it:
https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Beekeeping

This is California, but they often provide helpful guidance on how you should be thinking about things even if your state has different laws. And as always, what's appropriate is going to depend on the nature of your HOA. There are some that are more rural with lot sizes of a few acres, and others in the 'burbs with lots the size of postage stamps. Bees may be just fine in the former but a problem in the latter.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2601


06/24/2021 10:42 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/24/2021 10:36 AM
I don't know that bees are a "nuisance" - they're more of a hazard akin to a vicious dog, and many CC&Rs having things to say about keeping dangerous items on your property. Even if you're not allergic, being stung by multiple bees at once can kill you (depending on your size and how many stings).

Looking at local ordinances may help, but cities usually don't have to worry about being sued the way an HOA does - so I'd expect HOA rules to be more restrictive. And in a condo association, bees are likely a hard "no" since the hives would have to be on common elements.

Here's what Davis-Stirling has to say about it:
https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Beekeeping

This is California, but they often provide helpful guidance on how you should be thinking about things even if your state has different laws. And as always, what's appropriate is going to depend on the nature of your HOA. There are some that are more rural with lot sizes of a few acres, and others in the 'burbs with lots the size of postage stamps. Bees may be just fine in the former but a problem in the latter.



I read the Davis-Stirling article. It mentions insurance, and that may be the deciding factor - your insurance may become unaffordable if you allow bees or unavailable altogether. (It also makes a convenient thing to blame if you have an insistent homeowner.)

AdamL1
(Idaho)

Posts:120


06/24/2021 11:12 AM  
Just to note, this is a residential neighborhood HOA. all lots are ~2500-3500sf homes on ~1/3acre lots. Plenty of yard space between houses. I'm seeing that city code says that bees must just be setback a certain distance from fence and property lines.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/24/2021 3:57 PM  
My Ex Fiancé got into raising bees when his dad started too. Both of them kept them in the back yard not close to their houses or neighbors. His dad lived more in the city and he lived more in the "county". There were wood in backyard but in a subdivision. Both had maybe 2 hive boxes. So I learned a lot about bee raising.

Bees will generally stay close to their hives. They spread out pretty fast once leaving. So it's not like your going to have a lot more bees flying around than you normally have already. They are homebodies. Wanting stay around their queen. The ONLY time you have to worry is when they decide to "Swarm". Which is what you see when they are all group together you see in horror movies. Even then they are pretty safe as honey bees. They usually go and find a tree to hang out on. Beekeepers know how to go get them and put them back.

I did let his neighbors know he had bees in the backyard. Also insisted he keep an epi pen at all times. Otherwise would not know the bees were even there. I would even go out there without wearing a bee suit. He did because he was scared of bees! LOL!

So if your worried make sure to keep an epi pen or benadryl on hand. Otherwise they are really good for the environment to have.

Former HOA President
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:794


06/24/2021 4:00 PM  
I have no idea if this is an issue or not but if a kid went over there and did something to cause a swarm and got stung badly could the HOA be held liable?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10590


06/24/2021 4:12 PM  
Why would the HOA be responsible? Cause you want someone to sue? This would be covered under the homeowner's insurance. Plus the kid is trespassing. Oh and Bees just don't decide to "swarm" like that. It's usually temperature related. Not because you poke a stick at them. That would be a different type of bee. Killer bees are different than honey.

Former HOA President
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