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

Lawmakers vote to cut state funding from cities using traffic cameras
Lawmakers vote to cut state funding from cities using traffic cameras

Ohio lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday to put up more hurdles for cities that want to use automated cameras to enforce traffic laws House Bill 410 is the latest effort by state Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, to staunch use of the cameras that supporters say help make roads safer and opponents call modern-day speed traps designed to rake in revenue...
U.S. Senate passes Portman bill to crack down on sex trafficking
U.S. Senate passes Portman bill to crack down on sex trafficking

The U.S. Senate Wednesday passed a bill that would give victims and prosecutors the right to sue websites that allow posts selling women and young girls – the culmination of a three-year effort by Portman to stop online sex trafficking The bill, which passed the House at the end of February, now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature...
Portman: Firing Mueller would be ‘big mistake’
Portman: Firing Mueller would be ‘big mistake’

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said today that it “would be a big mistake” for President Donald Trump to fire Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian officials trying to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign had any ties to those officials. “I’ve said all along it would be a mistake to...
States take lead in passing gun laws
States take lead in passing gun laws

Despite the pleas from students across the country for Washington to do something about gun violence, the states seem to be ones listening. In the aftermath of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took the lives of 17 students, at least two states have moved to pass more stringent gun regulations. A handful of Republican governors — including...
Russia investigation: Special counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization
Russia investigation: Special counsel Mueller subpoenas Trump Organization

  Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump and his associates, according to multiple reports. The subpoena is the first directly connected to one of Trump’s businesses...
More Stories