The city has received numerous requests from residents asking that the city reexamine its policy of classifying honey bees as farm animals and limiting them to parcels of at least 10 acres in size.
The city defines honey bees as farm animals and restricts them to parcels in the rural residential and agricultural estate districts with a minimum lot size of 10 acres. The recent interest in backyard beekeeping is due to increasing awareness of the ecological importance of pollinators, as well as interest in locally sourced foods.
Staff conducted a review of how other cities in the area regulate honey bees and found a roughly even split between cities that allow them on most single family lots and those that treat them as agricultural animals or ban them outright. Many cities that place heavy restrictions on bees do so due to the potential for bees to create nuisances; however, staff feels that setbacks, limits on the number of hives permitted, minimum lot sizes, and trained beekeepers, can significantly mitigate these concerns.
The following sections of the Chanhassen City Code are subject to changes:
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