NEW APPROACH NEEDED?
I'm new here - and so new to beekeeping that I'm still awaiting my 1st nuc of bees. But that doesn't prevent me from reading, thinking, and reacting to something I read on here yesterday.
While perusing the site to determine whether or not to join (limited time for unlimited hobbies and interests), I came across a post from 2009 by Wojtek. Now I can see that it was a long time ago, but the issue he raised then is still valid today.
And I quote:
"Sad news and warning for backyard beekeepers.
I am sharing this with you so you could avoid similar unpleasant experience.
I received a note from village official (Norridge IL, near Chicago) to remove my bees from my back yard property, “code violation”, 4 bee families. Initially 6 days to comply, extended later to 2 weeks."
Yesterday was grass cutting day and while riding around on the mower, there's little else to do except think. And whenever I think, I tend to focus on the injustices that our officials at every level of our society and government foist upon us. Usually this is just because they can... not because it's right. So Wojtek's plight, and other similar issues that crop up on my favorite site - Earthineer - make me want to react to the stupidity of my fellow man. Those of you who were raised during the fabulous 60's understand, I'm sure.
But how to react? Individuals tend to get worn down or beaten down before meaningful change can occur and lawyers representing individuals and groups tend to stick to formulas as they fight the system. That's not how my mind works.
Here's how it went while cutting grass:
Every state has laws pertaining to livestock - including the definition of "livestock".
There are places that don't want bees in the neighborhood.
Someone gets bees labeled as "livestock".
Now laws can restrict where you can have bees. After all, who wants to live next to a stockyard?
You have bees... ergo you have livestock... get rid of them.
Everyone fights this by trying to be logical and explaining to the courts that bees are necessary, bees are declining in population, and bees are only concerned with survival - not harassing the neighbors. The vast amount of the time the courts rule in favor of the restrictive laws. That's the way the system (doesn't) works.
INSTEAD of this tired old approach. How about suing everyone in the neighborhood, county, state, whatever because they are breaking all kinds of animal cruelty and livestock protection laws by using pesticides. After all, I can't poison your cows because I don't like the way they smell or sound. Why should you be able to poison my "livestock" (bees) because you are afraid of them, don't like the sound they make, don't like honey - just how weird are you - or whatever.
A few cases like that and I would believe that a workable compromise could be reached.
This is the kind of thing that happens when I cut grass. Maybe someone younger out there will have the inclination to polish the argument, enact it, and be a hero to everyone who has to fight stupidity in their "pursuit of happiness".
((Also, I'm having trouble understanding the whole forum, category, board posing hierarchy thing. I'm sure it will come with experience. But in the meantime if this should be posted elsewhere, please feel free to move it.))