Doing some research into how beekeeping works, I’ve learned that it is fairly easy to keep bees and care for them, and that more people around the nation are doing so in their own backyards. According to the editor of Bee Culture magazine, the number of beekeepers in the past three years has increased from 20 percent to 25 percent across the country. The trend has not gone without producing some worries, especially from neighbors and from municipalities with zoning laws.
Urban beekeeping differs from industrial beekeeping in that it utilizes small-scale colonies in ways mostly related to urban gardens. Before the 2000s, beekeeping was against the law in many cities in the United States and in New York it was even punishable by a $2000 fine.
I have learned that Delaware is not a “No-Buzz Zone” where beekeeping is illegal. I have yet to find specific ordinances describing urban beekeeping in the city. I am still perusing the legislature and have had no luck.
I am looking at the area around campus to find the most out-of-the way spot to possibly set up a hive or two so that the bees will not be a nuisance to people walking by or lining nearby. One of the promising aspects of starting this project is that although people may find them to be a nuisance, they types of bees most people keep, the European honeybee, is harmless and rarely stings.
I plan to speak with both Delaware officials in the Planning and Community Development department as well as OWU building and grounds to find out more information and problem I could face. But, as of right now, there is nothing I found that says urban apiculture in Delaware is illegal.