WEST LAFAYETTE -- Residents interested in apiculture (the keeping of live bee hives) can now obtain a permit from the village administrator. For several years, the village has had residents, those residing within the village corporation, that have had bee hives on their property and were the subject of code violation issues. Now residents can keep bee hives as long as they meet the ordinance specifications.
The ordinance #2017-38, which was passed by village council during their regular session on July 24, 2017 specifies that residents will be issued a permit per their request as long as the apiary (bee hive) does not constitute a nuisance, or disturb the tranquility of the neighborhood in which it is located. The apiary must also not constitute any endangerment to the public, and/or public's health. The apiary must be located, and maintained in a manner approved by the Director of Health, and following restrictions may also be inclusive:
■ The back of the bee hive may be no less than six feet from any adjoining residential property, public road, or public right of way.
■ The side of the bee hive may be no less than fifteen feet from any adjoining property, public road, or right of way.
■ The front of the bee hive may be no less than twenty-five feet from any adjoining residential property, public road, or right of way.
■ The front or entrance of the bee hive shall have a structure not more than ten feet from the hive, and not less than six feet in height to direct the normal bee flight pattern above pedestrian traffic.
■ The front or entrance of the bee hive shall not directly face residences of adjoining property owners.
■ No person shall place or keep an apiary, or cause/ allow an apiary to remain on property not owned/ or possessed by such person without first obtaining written permission to do so of the owner or person lawfully in possession of such property.
■ Every person owning, possessing, or controlling an apiary shall maintain within ten feet of each apiary a supply of water with a backflow prevention device which shall be equipped with a float valve or similar device which assures adequate accessible and usable supply of water for the bees.
The ordinance states that all hives must comply with Chapter 909 of the Ohio Revised Code P. The village will have proof of state registration. Hive inspection documents shall be provided to the village upon receipt.