Springfield considers lifting ban on beekeepers in city

Springfield city commissioners are considering an amendment that would allow beehives on smaller residential properties.

City code currently bans beehives on properties less than three acres. But the proposed amendment would allow people to have up to two beehives on their property as long as they have a 6-foot barrier wall around the hives, according to Shannon Meadows, Springfield community development director.

RELATED: Homeowner told to remove honeybees, wants Springfield rule changed

City staff began to draft the amendment after a complaint was received about a local beekeeper, Steve Chirico, and he was ordered to remove his beehives from his South Fountain Avenue home. He was given 30 days to remove them but Chirico said the bees could have died if they were moved in the summer heat.

He was given an extension by the city until Oct. 31 but city staff wanted to take into account the changing condition of bees, Meadows said.

“Our environment is constantly changing,” she said, “and the bee population, the positive pollinators and honeybees, have really struggled.”

Beginning in 2014, honeybee colonies across the country have died in large numbers, she said. And with agriculture being half of Ohio’s economy, she said some city residents want to do what they can to help the bee population. But city staff members wants to make sure a change would be safe, including those with allergies.

MORE SPRINGFIELD NEWS: Medical marijuana ban ends in Springfield, area to get 2 dispensaries

“We do have a populated area and we are recommending that residential parcels can have bees,” Meadows said. “So we need to limit the number but still allow the actual activity.”

That’s why only two hives would be allowed per property, she said, and the 6-foot barrier wall will force bees to leave the hive above most people.

City staff members sought out best practices for beehives from the Ohio Beekeeper’s Association and the Department of Agriculture, she said.

Chirico is hopeful the commission will pass the amendment before he’s required to move his bees.

“I’m confident that it will be approved,” he said. “I think there’s enough support for this in the city.”

He would have to update his fencing around his bees but he said he’s OK with that.

“As far as I’m concerned that’s a pretty small price to pay to be able to keep them and I’m happy to do that,” he said.

The amendment will be discussed at a City Planning Board meeting on Oct. 9 and Springfield City Commissioners likely will vote on it on Oct. 10. Anyone with questions about the amendment can call City Hall at 937-324-7380.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

New Carlisle Council to vote on tax increase for fire department
New Carlisle Council to vote on tax increase for fire department

New Carlisle’s City Council members will vote Wednesday on a proposed property tax increase to support the city’s fire and EMS department. Council members will discuss the details of the levy and vote at a special meeting at 7 p.m. in the Smith Park Shelter House. The meeting is open to the public. READ MORE: New Carlisle gets new mayor...
Trump physical results: 6 things to know
Trump physical results: 6 things to know

President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam. “The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday. Here are six...
Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe
Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Worker who sent mistaken missile message reassigned
Worker who sent mistaken missile message reassigned

The person who hit the button that sent an emergency alert warning people living in or visiting Hawaii that a ballistic missile was heading to the island state has been reassigned. USAToday reported that the person responsible for the mistaken alert has been reassigned. That individual, who has not been named, has worked for the agency for a decade...
Jordan: Clinton, not Trump, sought Russia help to influence election
Jordan: Clinton, not Trump, sought Russia help to influence election

Rep. Jim Jordan has emerged as a top defender of President Donald Trump as the Justice Department’s Russia investigation continues, leading some to wonder if the GOP insurgent known for causing heartburn to the party establishment has become a surrogate for the president. For Jordan, it’s very straightforward: He says it was the Hillary...
More Stories