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Urban Agriculture: What You Need To Know About Raising Honey Bees

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Urban agriculture is becoming more and more popular these days. For some, this may come in the form of rooftop gardens. For others, it may come in the form of a hipster hen house. For those who enjoy fresh and organic honey, beekeeping may come into play. Read on to learn more about hipster beekeeping and the effect local and state laws may have on your fun.

Are Bees Dangerous Animals?

As a property owner or even renter, you need to make sure that you are aware of any potential liability of the pets that you have. Animals can cause injuries, which could make you liable for the damages that occur as a result. Owners of animals that are deemed "inherently dangerous" will often face very strict liability for animal-inflicted injuries. In some areas, this refers to pit bulls. However, it could also include any animal, including a horse that bites.

In San Francisco, the law exempts honey bees from being considered potentially dangerous or wild. However, not all cities and states offer this type of protection, so it is crucial that you check with the city and county to see what protection, if any, they offer for domesticated bees. This is important even if you are extremely careful with your beekeeping, as mistakes happen and your bees could get loose.

Are Bees Considered a Nuisance to the Public?

Depending on its location and character, your bees could be considered a public nuisance. In New York, the state tries to make things easier for city beekeepers and the public by requiring registration of the location where hives are being kept. They also outline a few nuisance situations, which include abandoned hives, overcrowded hives, bees that interfere with people in or around the premises of the hives and objectionable or aggressive behaviors of the bees.

Even if your local law doesn't have a specific stipulation for beekeeping, it would be in your best interest to simply avoid these practices to hopefully keep yourself from being named in a public nuisance lawsuit.

Speak to Your Landlord

Sometimes, the easiest thing you can do is consult with your landlord if you are renting your property. They can let you know hands-down whether or not they expect bees on their property. In fact, having bees in your home or anywhere near your home for personal gain and on purpose may actually be a clear violation of your lease.

If you're concerned whether or not beekeeping is something that you can do within city limits, or you would like to find out how to go about getting into this particular type of urban agriculture the legal way, get in touch with a real estate lawyer like one from Iannello Anderson who can help point you in the right direction.