POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Beekeeping bill proposed in the Beehive State

Feb 2, 2024, 7:00 AM

A new bill aiming to stop cities and counties from regulating beekeeping practices is making its wa...

A new bill aims to stop cities and counties from regulating beekeeping practices. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill aiming to stop cities and counties in the Beehive State from regulating beekeeping practices is making its way onto Capitol Hill. The proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Rex Shipp, R-Cedar City, has raised both support and concern.

Rep. Shipp said his inspiration for the bill comes from a friend who keeps bees, and who told Shipp that some cities completely restrict people from having beehives.

Shipp argues that the change is necessary to prevent what he describes as “damaging and detrimental” regulations that hinder individuals from beekeeping.

However, the bill has raised eyebrows among experts and advocates who fear potential unforeseen consequences.

“I would be concerned if my neighbor had 30 hives on their property,” said Andree’ Bravo with the Utah State University Beekeeping Extension.

Bravo questions the impact on neighborhoods where multiple houses might have an abundance of beehives. He said possible issues may arise, such as safety concerns for children, if the issue isn’t properly addressed.

“If someone has a ton of hives and maybe they’re unhealthy, that could affect my bees even if they’re not on the same property,” he said.

The proposed legislation includes a provision allowing the state to intervene if problems emerge, Still, critics remain skeptical about the potential problems that could result from unregulated beekeeping.

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Beekeeping bill proposed in the Beehive State