Re: [beekeeping] It's official! Aurora Colorado's beekeeping ordinance passes final reading!
- REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST
Cara &Tom Patterson <tomandcara@...> wrote:
Last night, August 11, 2003 the City Council Of Aurora Colorado
unanimously passed the final reading of the beekeeping ordinance! It
will become law in 30 days! I am thrilled with the passing of this
ordinance. I hope and pray that beekeepers in other municipalities
will pursue steps to assure they will be able to legally keep beehives
in their town or city. Aurora is Colorado's third largest city with
a population of 286,028. I wish to publicly acknowledge and thank the
many people who have supported this effort in their own ways. The
below ordinance is what will be on the books. I love the intro of the
bill when I think of how close the city came to passing an ordinance
that would have banned beekeeping in residential Aurora.
ORDINANCE NO. 2003-51
FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14 OF THE CITY CODE OF THE CITY OF
AURORA, COLORADO, BY ADDING A NEW SECTION 14-15 RELATING TO BEEKEEPING
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Aurora, Colorado has found
that honeybees can be maintained within populated areas in reasonable
densities without causing a nuisance if the bees are properly located
and carefully managed; and
WHEREAS, honeybees are of benefit to mankind by providing agriculture,
fruit and garden pollination services and by furnishing honey, wax,
and other useful products; and
WHEREAS, passage of this ordinance is in the interests of the health,
safety and welfare of the citizens.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
Section 1. That Chapter 14 of the City Code of the City of
Aurora, Colorado, is hereby amended by adding a new section, to be
numbered 14-15, which section reads as follows:
SEC. 14-15 BEEKEEPING.
(A) DEFINITIONS. THE FOLLOWING WORDS, TERMS AND PHRASES, WHEN USED
IN THIS SECTION, SHALL HAVE MEANINGS ASCRIBED TO THEM IN THIS SECTION:
(1) APIARY SHALL MEAN A PLACE WHERE BEE COLONIES ARE KEPT.
(2) BEE SHALL MEAN ANY STAGE OF THE COMMON DOMESTIC HONEY
BEE, APIS MELLIFERA SPECIES.
(3) COLONY SHALL MEAN A HIVE AND ITS EQUIPMENT AND
APPURTENANCES, INCLUDING BEES, COMB, HONEY, POLLEN, AND BROOD.
(4) HIVE SHALL MEAN A STRUCTURE INTENDED FOR THE HOUSING OF A
(5) TRACT SHALL MEAN A CONTIGUOUS PARCEL OF LAND UNDER COMMON
(B) HIVES. ALL BEE COLONIES SHALL BE KEPT IN INSPECTABLE TYPE HIVES
WITH REMOVABLE COMBS, WHICH SHALL BE KEPT IN SOUND AND USABLE
(C) SETBACK. ALL HIVES SHALL BE LOCATED AT LEAST FIVE FEET FROM ANY
ADJOINING PROPERTY WITH THE BACK OF THE HIVE FACING THE NEAREST
(D) FENCING OF FLYWAYS. IN EACH INSTANCE IN WHICH ANY COLONY IS
SITUATED WITHIN TWENTY-FIVE (25) FEET OF A DEVELOPED PUBLIC OR PRIVATE
PROPERTY LINE OF THE TRACT UPON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED, AS
MEASURED FROM THE NEAREST POINT ON THE HIVE TO THE PROPERTY LINE, THE
BEEKEEPER SHALL ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A FLYWAY BARRIER AT LEAST SIX
(6) FEET IN HEIGHT CONSISTING OF A SOLID WALL OR FENCE PARALLEL TO THE
PROPERTY LINE AND EXTENDING TEN (10) FEET BEYOND THE COLONY IN EACH
DIRECTION SO THAT ALL BEES ARE FORCED TO FLY AT AN ELEVATION OF AT
LEAST SIX (6) FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL OVER THE PROPERTY LINES IN THE
VICINITY OF THE APIARY.
(E) WATER. EACH BEEKEEPER SHALL ENSURE THAT A CONVENIENT SOURCE OF
WATER IS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES TO THE BEES SO THAT THE BEES WILL NOT
CONGREGATE AT SWIMMING POOLS, BIBCOCKS, PET WATER BOWLS, BIRDBATHS OR
OTHER WATER SOURCES WHERE THEY MAY CAUSE HUMAN, BIRD OR DOMESTIC PET
CONTACT. THE WATER SHALL BE MAINTAINED SO AS NOT TO BECOME STAGNANT.
(F) MAINTENANCE. EACH BEEKEEPER SHALL ENSURE THAT NO BEE COMB OR
OTHER MATERIALS THAT MIGHT ENCOURAGE ROBBING ARE LEFT UPON THE GROUNDS
OF THE APIARY SITE. UPON THEIR REMOVAL FROM THE HIVE, ALL SUCH
MATERIALS SHALL PROMPTLY BE DISPOSED OF IN A SEALED CONTAINER OR
PLACED WITHIN A BUILDING OR OTHER BEE-PROOF ENCLOSURE.
(G) QUEENS. IN ANY INSTANCE IN WHICH A COLONY EXHIBITS UNUSUALLY
AGGRESSIVE CHARACTERISTICS BY STINGING OR ATTEMPTING TO STING WITHOUT
DUE PROVOCATION OR EXHIBITS AN UNUSUAL DISPOSITION TOWARDS SWARMING,
IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE BEEKEEPER TO RE-QUEEN THE COLONY. QUEENS
SHALL BE SELECTED FROM STOCK BRED FOR GENTLENESS AND NONSWARMING
(H) COLONY DENSITIES.
(1) IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL TO KEEP MORE THAN THE FOLLOWING NUMBER OF
COLONIES ON ANY TRACT WITHIN THE CITY, BASED UPON THE SIZE OR
CONFIGURATION OF THE TRACT ON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED:
(A) ONE-QUARTER (1/4) ACRE OR LESS TRACT SIZE - TWO (2) COLONIES;
(B) MORE THAN ONE-QUARTER (1/4) ACRE BUT LESS THAN ONE-HALF (1/2)
ACRE TRACT SIZE - FOUR (4) COLONIES;
(C) ONE-HALF (1/2) ACRE OR MORE BUT LESS THAN ONE (1) ACRE TRACT
SIZE - SIX (6) COLONIES;
(D) ONE (1) ACRE OR LARGER TRACT SIZE - EIGHT (8) COLONIES;
(E) REGARDLESS OF TRACT SIZE, WHERE ALL HIVES ARE SITUATED AT
LEAST TWO HUNDRED (200) FEET IN ANY DIRECTION FROM ALL PROPERTY LINES
OF THE TRACT ON WHICH THE APIARY IS SITUATED, THERE SHALL BE NO LIMIT
TO THE NUMBER OF COLONIES.
(2) FOR EACH TWO (2) COLONIES AUTHORIZED UNDER COLONY DENSITIES,
SUBSECTION (H)(1) ABOVE, THERE MAY BE MAINTAINED UPON THE SAME TRACT
ONE NUCLEUS COLONY IN A HIVE STRUCTURE NOT EXCEEDING ONE (1) STANDARD
NINE AND FIVE-EIGHTHS (9 5/8) INCH DEPTH TEN (10) FRAME HIVE BODY WITH
NO SUPERS ATTACHED AS REQUIRED FROM TIME TO TIME FOR MANAGEMENT OF
SWARMS. EACH SUCH NUCLEUS COLONY SHALL BE DISPOSED OF OR COMBINED
WITH AN AUTHORIZED COLONY WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE DATE IT IS
(I) PROHIBITED. THE KEEPING BY ANY PERSON OF BEE COLONIES IN THE CITY
NOT IN STRICT COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION IS PROHIBITED. ANY BEE
COLONY NOT RESIDING IN A HIVE STRUCTURE INTENDED FOR BEEKEEPING, OR
ANY SWARM OF BEES, OR ANY COLONY RESIDING IN A STANDARD OR HOMEMADE
HIVE WHICH, BY VIRTUE OF ITS CONDITION, HAS OBVIOUSLY BEEN ABANDONED
BY THE BEEKEEPER, IS UNLAWFUL AND MAY BE SUMMARILY DESTROYED OR
REMOVED FROM THE CITY BY THE CITY MANAGER OR DESIGNEE.
Section 2. That all ordinances or parts of ordinances of the City
Code of the City of Aurora, Colorado in conflict herewith are
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- On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:12:18 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:
>My only comment before everyone goes out and pushesHi Ken
>for ordinances that could stir up opposition is that
>if it is not mentioned at all it is not unlawful. It
>is only unlawful if there is an ordinance prohibiting
>the keeping of bees. Also if there are no ordinances
>there are no restrictions such as are set up in this
The only problem with not doing anything is that someone else may
decide to do something that else. In Aurora, the City attorney
decided that no-one had addressed beekeeping in the animal control
ordinance. The attorney then wrote a one line sentence in the
multipage ordinance that would have restricted beekeeping to
agricultural zones. I had heard many times the philosophy that you
are supporting and actually if you are watching your municipalities
ordinance procedures you could initiate an attempt to block an
unfavorable ordinance if one were in the making. I was just blessed
by a number of factors in being able to aid in stopping the ban. I am
urging beekeepers to be pro-active rather than reactive and work on
getting something that clearly defines the legality of having beehives
in a municipal area. Golden Colorado has a nice simple law. It was
one that I suggested to the city council as a model but the city staff
wanted more control than it offered. They increased the control but I
still get to have my hives and an irate neighbor cannot cause me to
loose my hives by complaining (which happened to a friend last year
when there was no ordinance).
By the way here is Golden's ordinance in it's entirety:
Municipal Code 18.28.085(6) Beehives for domesticated honeybees,
provided, however, that all hives shall be located at least five feet
from any adjoining property with the back of the hive facing the
nearest adjoining property.
This code change was added to the city in 1999 after a beekeeper (Dick
Sargent) had neighbors complaining and he took the steps to educate
his city council and make sure it was legal for him to keep his bees.
Each beekeeper who lives in a municipal area should look at what the
city, town, village, etc allows and consider what they wish to do.