Benicia Community Bees

Bee

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)

Local Beekeepers

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: info@beniciacommunitygardens.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:

Upcoming Events

Jul
25
Tue
5:30 pm Mini Orchard Workday @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Mini Orchard Workday @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Jul 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Workdays are mandatory for Orchard members, but the public is welcome to come lend a hand at our monthly orchard workday, learn about orchard care taking and ask questions. Make sure to stay for a potluck and social[...]
5:30 pm Mini-Orchard Workdays @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Mini-Orchard Workdays @ Community Orchard, Heritage Presbyterian Church
Jul 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Sustainable Solano established a hillside community orchard in Benicia in 2014 that serves as an educational lab for the entire community on ecological small-scale orchard planting and management. The public is welcome to lend a hand at[...]
Jul
29
Sat
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
9:00 am Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Community Share Plot Workday @ Avant Garden
Jul 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
BCG maintains a Benicia Community Share Plot where we grow food for donation to the community members in need. It’s cared for by volunteers and you are welcome to join in at any of our workdays. Chris[...]
2:00 pm What’s For Dinner? Vallejo @ John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo
What’s For Dinner? Vallejo @ John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo
Jul 29 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The next seasonal cooking workshop for Summer will be July 29th. In that workshop Chef Lisa will be teaching the group how to make fresh pesto sauce(s). In addition to the traditional basil and pine[...]