Benicia Community Bees
We did it! At a July 7, 2015 meeting, the City Council members voted on a new ordinance that allows beekeeping in the city of Benicia!
Beekeeping was banned in Benicia in 2007. In the fall of 2014 Benicia Community Gardens collected more than 140 signatures – urging the City Council to allow beekeeping in Benicia and began working with the City Council and the Planning Commission to change the ordinance. Thanks to all the support we received from the community, we can now legally keep bees in our town!
If you have what we call the “pre-legal” hives, you have 180 days from the effective date of the Beekeeping Chapter of the Benicia Municipal Code (July 7, 2015) to register the hives with the City of Benicia or face a potential removal of the hives.
If you are considering a beehive, there are a few things you need to know:
- First, you do need a permit. It’s a simple over-the-counter process; the fee is $50.
- The number of allowed hives is determined by the size of your property.
- As a beekeeper, you must adhere to the best practices of beekeeping specified in the new Beekeeping Chapter of the Benicia Municipal Code (http://www.codepublishing.com/ca/benicia/, Title 6 Animal Control Regulations)
If you would like to support the struggling bees population, but have no skills or desire to do it on your own, you can partner with a local professional beekeeper that will install and manage a hive on your property and share the harvested honey with you. One of the professional beekeepers in our area is Rokas Armonas from the Bay Area Bee Company. Thank you, Rokas, for all your help with the new ordinance! We’d like to hear from other professional beekeepers as well!
Whether you are a seasoned beekeeper or a beginner, it’s always good to connect with other local beekeepers. Our neighbors in Contra Costa County from the Mt. Diablo Beekeepers Association extend their warm welcome to Benicia residents who would like to join the Association. Thank you to the MDBA Board members who came to the Benicia City Council meeting on July 7th to support our efforts and to speak to the City Council about professional aspects of beekeeping.
We would also like to help to connect all the beekeepers in Benicia. We do maintain a small, but growing list of Benicia beekeepers to update you on educational and social events in our Benicia Community Farm. If you are interested in joining this community, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lifting the Beekeeping Ban in your Area
If you are working with your local municipalities on lifting the ban on beekeeping in your area, here are the documents that might help you: