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Author Topic: Town says I can't keep bees  (Read 4253 times)
CVBees
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« on: July 13, 2008, 06:48:42 PM »

Good Day all,


  I have emailed a semi local expert on ways to address this issue with my borough (small town) but I though I might poll the masses for more info.  I own half an acre across the road from 10+ acres of agricultural preserve my back property line is on the edge of a very suburban set of expensive houses and the town says that beekeeping is a "farming practice" and there fore not allowed in my residential community.  The ordinances listed on the Carroll Valley, PA website say nothing about it.   

The borough manager said and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed"  I am active duty Navy and just because that's what the last guy said is not good enough.  Honestly I do not know if my property is suitable for keeping due to nectar availability I mean there are apply orchards by the 100's about 6-7 miles away but no large scale sources nearby.  The preserve in front of my house grows hay, soy, and corn.  Anywhoo if you can think of an angle I can approach from shoot me a post.  thanks  <--the aspiring bee keeper.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 06:56:12 PM »

I would want to see it in writing, get it straight from the horse's mouth. Good luck!


...JP
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 07:01:21 PM »

Take it to court.  They have to have a law somewhere or they lose.  I think you can show that lots of people keep a small garden or a few tomato plants on the patio.  Is that farming?  What about a apple tree in the yard?  Where is the line between a hobby and a job?  Anybody work on their own cars?  That's a garage.  Anybody got a table saw?  Oops, that's a carpentry shop.  Not allowed in a residential area.  By the way, why did you ask?
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2008, 07:14:53 PM »

Ross has a good point there, Challenge the town and post the results.  grin
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2008, 07:45:17 PM »

 Challenge them just to make the point. They will probably write an ordinance just to stop you. Makes my blood boil.
 Small, used to be country/farming town where I live just outside of the city limits now.
 Newcomers and developers took over. They passed an ordinance where you could not keep chickens any more because they were too noisy. No grandfathering. A hog or a cow was defiantly out cause they were agriculture and that was no longer allowed. A lot of people in town had kept chickens and raised a hog all their lives.
 I have fought and lost at city hall several times. I will again if I see the need to be heard.
 Sorry for venting, but as Davy Crockett said "Be sure you're right, then go ahead".
 
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sarafina
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2008, 08:18:56 PM »

How many hives do you have or want to have?
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 08:31:54 PM »

 

and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed" 

  The way I read that, beekeeping is REQUIRED.

Seriously though, what is the ag preserve across the street?  Sounds like farming practices to me.  If so, could your place the hives there?  If the nearby fruit growers view bees like I did back when I was an orchardist, they would be more than happy to point you to a spot where you could set a few hives.  Definitely research the mystery ruling your borough manager spoke of and see if there is anything to it.
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Dane Bramage
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 08:55:13 PM »

  By the way, why did you ask?

+1!!  Never ask permission for a God-given right.  My personal philosophy at any rate.  cool  That being said, zoning & land-use laws, etc., are truly thru-the-looking glass!  So much for Constitutional Due-Process! (no jury of your peers to decide the guilt/innocence of, or nullify the issue). 

Best of luck!
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 09:25:48 PM »

A jury of your peers? Maybe or maybe not;it depends on the issue.  The action of the town is not, however, in any case an absolute statement. The town must interpret and enforce its laws in a way that is reasonable.  The government's executive branch (i.e. the zoning official) cannot act in an arbitrary or capricious manner when enforcing the law.  Doing so gives you a right of review with the courts.  While we have the right to challenge our government, not all of us have the will or the means to do so.  In situations such as this I would encourage you to question the answers as you are doing. To me, beekeeping can be farming, but it is not necessarily so.  After all growing apples may be farming, or you might have an apple tree in your back yard.  Why should bees be any different?
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2008, 09:39:35 PM »

It's better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

Why expend all that energy trying to force the issue?  Don't you just want some bees?  If you want to change legislation, then that's a different discussion.  If I were you I'd get back below the radar, start some hives and enjoy them.  If the hives could be seen fence in the area if you have to.  Out of sight...worst is you may have to move them so maybe have a contingency.

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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 11:16:03 PM »

Some thoughts--I do have some from time to time.

In order to prohibit bees there must be an ordinance of some type that restricts certain types agricultural pursuits or as an attractiive neusance.  If Apis M. is not specifically listed it is not prohibited, to prohibit beekeeping they must address the creature by name, not just as beekeeping since other types of bees such as masonm bees, bumblebees, and others are also beekeeping.

If your area is zoned residencial/agricultural they are out of luck, they can't prohibit an activity pertinent to what an area is zoned for without extensive requirements on their part.
Call them on it and use the opportunity to educate the entire community.
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 11:49:09 PM »

Sorry for the correction but I dislike when people do this. It's Apis mellifera.
Genus name is always capital, and the species name is always lower case. If you're going to abbreviate, it's A. mellifera but this is only appropriate after the full genus name has been spelled out once. This way people can talk about Apis whatever and Apis whoever and not be confused when they're abbreviate to Apis w. and Apis w. Sorry it just annoys me.

Anyhow Great advice from everyone! As for the apple blooms, they're just a bit out of range from your hives at 6 miles. Because you're around so many farms though I'd be concerned about when they spray insecticide a few times a year. Not that they do it when they're in flower, but they do occasionally drift over. I'd ask some of your local farmers if they spray by misting crops or if they use methods that don't drift so much.
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2008, 07:21:51 AM »

Good Day all,


  I have emailed a semi local expert on ways to address this issue with my borough (small town) but I though I might poll the masses for more info.  I own half an acre across the road from 10+ acres of agricultural preserve my back property line is on the edge of a very suburban set of expensive houses and the town says that beekeeping is a "farming practice" and there fore not allowed in my residential community.  The ordinances listed on the Carroll Valley, PA website say nothing about it.   

The borough manager said and I quote " the guy I took over for had this question posed to him and that was the ruling, so no beekeeping is not allowed"  I am active duty Navy and just because that's what the last guy said is not good enough.  Honestly I do not know if my property is suitable for keeping due to nectar availability I mean there are apply orchards by the 100's about 6-7 miles away but no large scale sources nearby.  The preserve in front of my house grows hay, soy, and corn.  Anywhoo if you can think of an angle I can approach from shoot me a post.  thanks  <--the aspiring bee keeper.

 simple solution, the bees moved into your house because they needed a place to live, they didn't know it was illegal for them to live in that part of the town because they hadn't looked over the zoning laws. you didn't really like the bees in you walls and you didn't want to gas them so you provided them a house. even some bird brain on a zoning board should beable to grasp that.
 I would challenge them. don't they realize the benifits of having bees around,wonder how many illegals are living in that town?

 had a neighbor up the rd a half mile where the town-village line is, they lived in the village where pigs aren't allowed, they went to court to keep a pot bellied pig and somehow proved to the board that the pig was a pet and not a porkchop on leggs.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2008, 07:42:34 AM »


 so no beekeeping is not allowed" 

it sounds like beekeeping is mandatory.
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2008, 09:02:58 AM »

Great environment to get started pushing the issue.  Spell out how honeybees are going extinct and there are only a few left and you want to save the environment by getting some bees.

Save the bees, save the planet!  Make your town a green town!

Even if you may think it is all bunk...the ends justifies the means, right?

Nectar sources...the bees can find plentiful sources around!  Trees, bushes, whatever.  May not be enough for 100's of hives, but there is more than enough for 5+ hives!!!

Rick
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2008, 12:01:23 PM »

They mjst provide you w/ a citation of vuiolation spelling out your violatuion. you will get a court date. If they are using a genral nuisance statute, you should win. If they are using a zoning statute, you will likely lose. If there is no statute in place, you should be granfathered in.

1. Contact your local bee club.
2. ask for statute cite and post the statute here.
3. who complained?
4. whats there complaint
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2008, 01:24:08 PM »

I went to the zoning board here in Colorado first and they told me it depends. I could not set up a business with bees because I am not zoned for commercial. I was able to keep bees because I am just doing it as a hobby. It does not matter how many hives I have I just say Im having a business. Goverment can not say anything about a hobby but they do have nuisance laws, people would have to say "your bes" are being a nuisance, guess they would have to prove they are your bees.
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 03:24:33 PM »

I never asked the city people I just asked the neighbor's they said good on ya. If they city Say's any thing I will get letter's from all the neighbor's in support of my bees.  If you ask they will say no that is the way they are!
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« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 03:33:39 PM »

I never asked the city people I just asked the neighbor's they said good on ya. If they city Say's any thing I will get letter's from all the neighbor's in support of my bees.  If you ask they will say no that is the way they are!

TOO TRUE

Keith
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Moonshae
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2008, 07:15:46 PM »

I had a very positive experience with my municipality. First I sent an e-mail to the public works director, and he didn't reply. I sent an e-mail to the mayor about a different issue (gypsy moth spraying) and mentioned I was concerend because I was a beekeeper, and there was no reaction. My town has a pretty solid, "Do what you want, it's your business" kind of feeling, and it's really rare in this part of the country, i think.
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« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2008, 07:53:15 PM »

I like the Tlynn post about begging and stuff! Smiley
Just "Do it if you want to do it"...I mean Its probably not a felony, and its not a big deal unless someone gets stung and gets sick or Gripes about it. I think this crime would be in the category of something like checking your mailbox in your underwear. I do it all the time! grin
your friend,
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CVBees
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2008, 09:41:36 PM »

Ok so much to reply about... first I asked because I was hoping but not really hoping someone else might of run across a similar situation and I did get a few ideas about how to handle it so far thanks to this post.  Yeah for us! 

- I wanted to start with 2 hives and of course expand to possibly 6 as a max I don't think I would have time for much more than that.  Then again we (mother nature and I) will have to see about that its all up to the girls if they want to expand for me. 

- I am trying to find the owner/operator of the ag-preserve across the street so I can do just that.. set up there, but I am not sure of any shades what-so-ever for the hives and the wind whips wicked down the mountain often.

-  I will find out what statute/ordinance they are discussing whether its a zoning issue or other and then choose my angle of approach.  I had not thought of that.  Wink

- I am going to make a call tomorrow and get some answers .. will post asap.  Thanks again all for the  assist and the haggling.. Cool
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 12:38:46 AM »

Interesting discussion. Challenge them in court if there is no ordinance or the law is blurry or unclear. 

I lived in my town for 20 years and through it all, experience have taught me a single rule: Almost every municipal employee is an enemy unless they prove otherwise.  Don’t get me wrong, some of them are honest and try hard to serve with honor and uphold the law. I know about 5 of them and I greatly respect and admire them! The rest…Lord have mercy  Lips Sealed! They do anything in their power to disrupt your project, hurt your business, and just make life miserable.  I long to the days when we lived poor but happy farmers in the country and cuss the sad day when mum and pop's moved us into the Godless suburbs.


be a beek or die tryin!

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marliah
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 02:53:53 PM »

  By the way, why did you ask?

+1!!  Never ask permission for a God-given right.  My personal philosophy at any rate.  cool  That being said, zoning & land-use laws, etc., are truly thru-the-looking glass!  So much for Constitutional Due-Process! (no jury of your peers to decide the guilt/innocence of, or nullify the issue). 

Best of luck!

I'm gonna have to go ahead and agree on that one.

I asked my town about having chickens on my 1/3 acre lot (FAR more than enough space) and they said no, now I am fighting the city for the right to have fresh eggs. Utter BS. I didn't ask about bees, I just got them, and if anyone gives me a hard time I'll let them know how fast the world would starve if everyone was a close minded as them :p

Oh and btw, I have chickens anyway they are just "indoor" birds. They live in my barn, err garage. Wink

Couldn't you just get them and hide them behind your house or something? how would they even know they are there? A person walking/driving by would have no way of telling they aren't just wild bees if they can't see the hives. Wink
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 04:41:46 PM by marliah » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2008, 04:40:25 PM »

Contact your local beeks pabeekeepers  Then I would check out your city ordinance carrollvalley.  I did a little of my own investigating and didn't see anything in there prohibiting the keeping of honey bees.  Only intensive agriculture. 

I would get them (bees that is).  Then look into getting legislation allowing them (if you need want to).  No need to get permission for something that isn't prohibited.  This is not your livelihood, just a hobby.  Also, check with your state.  There may be a state law that prohibits any city/county from prohibiting beekeeping.

Best of luck!
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2008, 05:25:09 PM »

  By the way, why did you ask?

+1!!  Never ask permission for a God-given right.  My personal philosophy at any rate.  cool  That being said, zoning & land-use laws, etc., are truly thru-the-looking glass!  So much for Constitutional Due-Process! (no jury of your peers to decide the guilt/innocence of, or nullify the issue). 

Best of luck!

I'm gonna have to go ahead and agree on that one.

I asked my town about having chickens on my 1/3 acre lot (FAR more than enough space) and they said no, now I am fighting the city for the right to have fresh eggs. Utter BS. I didn't ask about bees, I just got them, and if anyone gives me a hard time I'll let them know how fast the world would starve if everyone was a close minded as them :p

Oh and btw, I have chickens anyway they are just "indoor" birds. They live in my barn, err garage. Wink

Couldn't you just get them and hide them behind your house or something? how would they even know they are there? A person walking/driving by would have no way of telling they aren't just wild bees if they can't see the hives. Wink

Yes, precisely my point.  Unless changing the ordinance/statute is a battle I want to fight, I don't have any reason to inform the government of my upcoming personal activities.  Nothing good can come of it. 

Libertarians believe anybody should be able to do what they want as long as they don't infringe on anybody else's rights or hurt anybody else.  I think a few colonies of bees in your back yard easily passes that test!
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2008, 06:23:18 PM »

I live in a great community.  This area is partly lots of farmers.  I heard a story told by a worker at one of the windows at the court houses annex.  She was telling about some city dwellers moving up to this area of the lake you know the ritzy typers and they started complaining about the pigs and the chickens and about they wanted them gone cause it braught there property values down.  Well needless to say the county told them tough they were here first and if you don't like it sell and move out, so I continued to ask my question and she said what ever you want to do is fine there is no zoning in the county and I said but and she said as she walked off doesn't matter we don't care.  My neighbors are great guess why,  oooohhhhh thats right they just about all have gardens LOL.
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« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2008, 09:42:41 PM »

Great environment to get started pushing the issue.  Spell out how honeybees are going extinct and there are only a few left and you want to save the environment by getting some bees.

Save the bees, save the planet!  Make your town a green town!

Even if you may think it is all bunk...the ends justifies the means, right?

Nectar sources...the bees can find plentiful sources around!  Trees, bushes, whatever.  May not be enough for 100's of hives, but there is more than enough for 5+ hives!!!

Rick

Shouldn't that read, "Save the Chearleader, save the world?"  Beekeepers are ecological Heros.  Cry the CCD blues and get an exemption, waver, or variance.



Quote
Sorry for the correction but I dislike when people do this. It's Apis mellifera.
Genus name is always capital, and the species name is always lower case. If you're going to abbreviate, it's A. mellifera but this is only appropriate after the full genus name has been spelled out once. This way people can talk about Apis whatever and Apis whoever and not be confused when they're abbreviate to Apis w. and Apis w. Sorry it just annoys me.

And what chaps my hide is someone who gets annoyed over insignificant matters.  Come on, none of us on this forum are perfect, let's not worry about the inconsequental and focus on the help and sharing that this forum is all about.
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« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2008, 12:10:37 AM »

I asked my city as well - because my neighbors are very close in distance. I contacted the city who put me in touch with Animal Control. I asked the secretary to fax over the laws on beekeeping. I am able to keep up to 10 hives - as long as they are 150 yards or further away from all structures. I got the neighbors permission (signed and dated), and then requested the permit. The guy in charge was trying to discourage me - but by then I knew my rights!

My advise would be to get any written codes applying to beekeeping and persue permits afterwards. In a last ditch effort - contact the local media - and let them know how you are trying to help the declining bee population, and your city enforcement is not helping. Sounds like a great feel good story to me! Good Luck - Mike
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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2008, 01:10:10 AM »

The owner of the preserve will be listed either at the tax assessors office and/or where the deed is filed - mortgages and conveyances at the county clerk of court or there abouts. 
   The mayor is on my 'honey route' and the city calls me to remove the bees from the water meters and other places - but my bees are country dwellers. 
    Good luck, Gena
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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2008, 09:12:11 PM »

Well God Save the Queen,


  All it took was a little face time with the Borough manager, and pouring over the ordinances.  Like I said before he heard from the previous person in his position they were not allowed.  So I said "show me"  and he could not prove or even show me what he said on the phone about "farming practices not allowed in residentially zoned areas"   I told him I will starting my hives as soon as possible although that isn't true will wait till next spring I want to do it right.  Plus start up costs. 

  I followed up with the fact that PA requires all apiaries to be inspected and registered and that they could check up on me that way and gave them the address phone number of the state inspector.  I will send off my permits asap.  Thanks for the advice and support all!

  Very Very excited to be a bee-keeper soon
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« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2008, 01:22:46 AM »

Well God Save the Queen,


  All it took was a little face time with the Borough manager, and pouring over the ordinances.  Like I said before he heard from the previous person in his position they were not allowed.  So I said "show me"  and he could not prove or even show me what he said on the phone about "farming practices not allowed in residentially zoned areas"   I told him I will starting my hives as soon as possible although that isn't true will wait till next spring I want to do it right.  Plus start up costs. 

  I followed up with the fact that PA requires all apiaries to be inspected and registered and that they could check up on me that way and gave them the address phone number of the state inspector.  I will send off my permits asap.  Thanks for the advice and support all!

  Very Very excited to be a bee-keeper soon

I'm glad you had the chance to varify your position on keeping them, you will have lots of enjoyment from your bees, good luck!!!


...JP
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« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2008, 04:49:59 AM »

That is great news, you win, we win, everybody wins, lets hope the town has no hard feelings  grin grin grin
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« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2008, 06:03:59 AM »

Sorry for the correction but I dislike when people do this. It's Apis mellifera.
Genus name is always capital, and the species name is always lower case. If you're going to abbreviate, it's A. mellifera but this is only appropriate after the full genus name has been spelled out once. This way people can talk about Apis whatever and Apis whoever and not be confused when they're abbreviate to Apis w. and Apis w. Sorry it just annoys me.

If memory serves me (and it often doesn't), the species should also be in italics... so it should be Apis mellifera, or A. mellifera if abreviated.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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Location: Crown Point, Indiana (30mi SE of Chicago)


« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2008, 04:19:49 AM »

There is something to be said about verifying before doing.

Everyone can exclaim that they have a right to beekeep.
And you do, as long as it doesn't violate the law.

If you have a problem with a law, then work to get it changed.
Remember it is US and our represenatives that make the laws.
And it is US and our petition that makes the changes to those laws.

By just doing, you don't assert a right by violating a law.
You assert a right by making sure the law preserves your liberty.
And sometimes the absence of a law provides the liberty.

If you just do, you raise the strong potential to cause a conflict.
And if the law is on the books and its opposing you, you will loose.
It is much better to research and preserve first.

The outcome of this could have become much worse.
The beekeeper could have made noise that would have motivated someone to outlaw residential bees.
Beekeeping could have become a ag-zone only practice.
I think eventually it could become that way nation-wide if we don't mind ourselves properly.
Right-to-farm legislation and other means only protect so much.
We need to be better educated to prevent unreasonible legislation.
Shotguns in hand and "you ain't gonna keep me from doing it" isn't demonstrating much of an education.

-Jeff
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« Reply #35 on: July 19, 2008, 06:49:34 PM »

No one can prevent you from doing anything if there is no law specifying that you cannot.  Of course you have to ask what the fight is worth.  I'd force them to make the move, myself.
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« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2008, 08:00:23 PM »

There is something to be said about verifying before doing.

Everyone can exclaim that they have a right to beekeep.
And you do, as long as it doesn't violate the law.

If you have a problem with a law, then work to get it changed.
Remember it is US and our represenatives that make the laws.
And it is US and our petition that makes the changes to those laws.

By just doing, you don't assert a right by violating a law.
You assert a right by making sure the law preserves your liberty.
And sometimes the absence of a law provides the liberty.

If you just do, you raise the strong potential to cause a conflict.
And if the law is on the books and its opposing you, you will loose.
It is much better to research and preserve first.

The outcome of this could have become much worse.
The beekeeper could have made noise that would have motivated someone to outlaw residential bees.
Beekeeping could have become a ag-zone only practice.
I think eventually it could become that way nation-wide if we don't mind ourselves properly.
Right-to-farm legislation and other means only protect so much.
We need to be better educated to prevent unreasonible legislation.
Shotguns in hand and "you ain't gonna keep me from doing it" isn't demonstrating much of an education.

-Jeff


I agree, and I think he did just that.
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