NEW BRITAIN - The Common Council will discuss beekeeping Wednesday night and could authorize residents to create and take care of their own backyard bee colonies.
The ordinance would allow residents to keep colonies of the common domestic honeybee, Apis mellifera. Under the beekeeping ordinance, residents would be able to have:
n Two colonies including up to two nuclei (smaller colonies created from larger colonies) on a property a quarter-acre or smaller.
n Four colonies and up to three nuclei on properties larger than a quarter-acre.
n Six colonies and up to six nuclei on properties between a half-acre and 1 acre.
n Eight colonies and up to five nuclei on properties between 1 and 1½ acres.
n Ten colonies and up to five nuclei on properties larger than 1½ acres.
Properties with four colonies or less should have the colonies a minimum of 25 feet from all property lines, and properties with more than four colonies should have them a minimum of 50 feet from all property lines.
Under the ordinance, neither the keeping of bees or the production of honey can be commercial.
In addition to having to get a permit from the city, people interested in beekeeping need to be aware of state regulations.
Potential beekeepers must obtain all necessary permits before the installation of any colony and must annually, on or before Oct. 1, apply to the state entomologist for registration of bees.
Following the issuance of the initial permit, no application for a permit or renewal of a permit to keep bees will be considered until proof of registration with the State of Connecticut Entomologist is provided.
The ordinance amendment related to beekeeping was introduced to the Common Council in July after residents asked about the city’s rules related to the hobby. It turned out there was no ordinance regulating beekeeping, so the amendment was sent to the council’s Planning, Zoning and Housing Subcommittee. Now, with an ordinance amendment in hand, the council is ready to vote on the resolution.
The Common Council will meet at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers in City Hall.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.