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Nashville denies beehive ordinance

Nashville's Town Council decided not to allow residents to have beehives on their property during their regular meeting on Tuesday night.

The issue of beehives was brought to the board's attention last month by Charles Vester, a resident of the Birchwood Subdivision. Vester requested the board consider changing their ordinances to allow citizens the opportunity to have beehives at their residences.

At that meeting, council members requesting Planning Director Brian Hassell to get more information on such an ordinance as well as the impacts allowing beehives would have on the town.

In a memo to Town Manager Henry Raper, Hassell said towns and cities could adopt ordinances to regulate hives. He added that some municipalities in North Carolina had chosen to do so, allowing hives as an accessory use.

Hassell said if such an ordinance were adopted, it could regulate the number of hives per parcel, regulate where the hives could be located and include setback regulations as well as a removal provision.

In the memo Hassell also shared some information about beehives. Hassell said between 30,000 and 70,000 bees can live in one beehive depending on the season. In addition, bees can travel two to three miles in one direction, which equates to a radius of five miles.

Bees will swarm some throughout the year as the queen bee splits the population to create another hive. This swarm can continue for two to three days as they search for a new hive.

Beehives also must have a good source of water. If not, they will find a nearby water source which could lead to large quantities of bees drinking from neighboring pools or bird baths.

Hassell also shared that bee owners must be mindful of adjoining properties and install a security fence or screening to eliminate disturbing the bees.

Hassell presented the board with an ordinance amendment that would allow beehives in A-1 zones. The amendment also include a chart that allowed a certain number of beehives depending on the square footage of the parcel.

"What it will do, it will allow beekeeping in an A-1 area," Mayor Donald Street added.

Street asked for council comments and/or a motion on what the board wanted to do about the amendment. No motion was given and Mayor Street said the issue would be dismissed because of no motion being made.


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