Beekeeping Laws

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Washington State

Click here for: Washington State Laws


King County

21A.30.020 of K.C.C. 11.04

Sections “a” through “f” are not applicable to beekeeping and have not been included for clarity sake.g. Beekeeping is limited as follows:

  1. Beehives are limited to 50 on sites less than five acres ;
  2. The number of beehives shall not be limited on sites of five acres or greater;
  3. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives at all times;
  4. Adequate space shall be provided in each hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming;
  5. Colonies shall be requeened following any swarming or aggressive behavior;
  6. All colonies shall be registered with the County Extension agent prior to April 1st of each year, on a state registration form acceptable to the county; and
  7. Abandoned colonies, diseased bees, or bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be abated as set forth in K.C.C. 21A.50.

Renton

4-2-060 B. ANIMALS AND RELATED USES

Beekeeping - Resource Conservation | Residential-1 DU/Acre | Residential-4 DU/Acre | Residential-8 DU/Acre - Permitted Use #35

  • #35 – Provided hives are established on lots a minimum of one acre in size. Setbacks and other limitations apply per RMC 4-4-010. Standards and Review Criteria for Keeping Animals.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RENTON, WASHINGTON, DOES
ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

4-4-010 ANIMAL KEEPING STANDARDS

from Section I:

K. ADDITIONAL STANDARDS FOR BEEKEEPING: Beekeeping must be allowed by RMC 4-2-
060, Zoning Use Table, and must also comply with the following standards:
1. Minimum Setback: Hives shall be located a minimum of twenty five feet (25′) from an
interior lot line, with the hive(s) entrance(s) facing away from the nearest property line. Hives
shall be located a minimum of one hundred feet (100′) from public and/or private rights-of-way
or access easements.
2. Maintenance Standards:
a. Hives shall be maintained to avoid overpopulation and minimize swarming, for
example by requeening regularly, so as not to become a nuisance.
b. Hives shall be marked or identified to notify visitors.


Des Moines

18.33.090 Bee requirements. Minimum requirements for the keeping of bees are as follows:

  1. Required procedure: City manager review;
  2. Application information: Show compliance with subsections (4), (5) and (6) of this section;
  3. Maximum number of adult animals per one dwelling unit: No maximum;
  4. Minimum lot size: 12,500 square feet per dwelling unit;
  5. Minimum setback: Hive must be at least 20 feet from a property line;
  6. Special regulations and requirements: (a) A hive must be enclosed by a fence, at least four feet high; (b) The applicant must install at least two signs, measuring two square feet each, which provide notice and warning of the hive;
  7. Screening: The city may require screening to mitigate financial, health, and aesthetic impacts on adjacent residential property when such residential property is used for residential purposes. The screening shall consist of a solid wall, a view-obscuring fence or hedge not less than five feet nor more than six feet in height, which will be erected and maintained on any exterior boundary that is common with property used for residential purposes, or shall consist of predominantly view-obscuring evergreen shrubs and trees of a type, number, location, height, and size approved by the city. [Ord. 1237 § 4, 1999; Ord. 532 § 5(D), 1981.]

Redmond

7.04.154 Beekeeping. Beekeeping, where permitted, is subject to the following requirements:

  1. No more than four hives per lot shall be allowed in areas zoned R-l, R-2, or R-3, and no more than two hives per lot shall be allowed in areas zoned R-4, R-5 or R-6, provided, that a beekeeper who picks up a swarm of bees may hold them for a period of no more than two weeks, notwithstanding the provisions of this section.
  2. Colonies shall be maintained in small movable frame hives.
  3. Adequate space shall be maintained in the hives to prevent overcrowding and swarming.
  4. Colonies shall be requeened with a young hybrid queen annually, or as often as necessary to prevent any swarming or aggressive behavior.
  5. All colonies shall be registered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture in accordance with apiary law, RCW 15.60.030.
  6. Hives shall not be located within twenty-five feet of any property line, except under the following conditions:
    1. When situated eight feet or more above adjacent ground level; or
    2. When there is a solid fence at least six feet high separating the hive from the property line, extending at least twenty feet from the hive along the property line in both directions.
  7. Bees living in trees, buildings or any other space (except in movable frame hives), abandoned colonies or diseased bees shall constitute a public nuisance and shall be abated, as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 1442 § 4, 1988).

Lake Forest Park

6.04.105 Beekeeping as a permitted accessory use. Beekeeping is permitted as an accessory use on lots of at least 10,000 square feet, when registered with the State Department of Agriculture, and provided that:

  1. No more than four hives, each with only one swarm, shall be kept. For each 2,500 square feet of lot area in excess of 10,000 square feet, one additional hive may be kept, up to a maximum of 10 hives.
  2. Hives shall not be located within 25 feet of any property line.
  3. It shall be the duty of any person, firm or corporation having honey bees, apis mellifera, on its property to maintain each colony in the following condition:
    1. Colonies shall be maintained in movable frame hives.
    2. Adequate space shall be maintained in the hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming.
    3. Colonies shall be re-queened following any swarming or aggressive behavior.
    4. Abandoned colonies, diseased bees, or bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be abated as set forth in Chapter 18.71 LFPMC, Code Enforcement.
  4. All colonies shall be registered with the Director of Agriculture pursuant to RCW 15.60.030 prior to April 1st of each year. (Ord. 820 § 2, 2000)

Newcastle

6.10.010 Animal regulations Small animals.

E.2.g. Beekeeping is limited as follows:

  1. Beehives are limited to 50 on sites less than five acres;
  2. The number of beehives shall not be limited on sites of five acres or greater;
  3. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives at all times;
  4. Adequate space shall be provided in each hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming;
  5. Colonies shall be requeened following any swarming or aggressive behavior;
  6. All colonies shall be registered with the county extension agent prior to April 1st of each year, on a state registration form acceptable to the county; and vii. Abandoned colonies, diseased bees, or bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be abated.

Woodinville

21.30.020 Animal regulations Small animals. The raising, keeping, breeding or fee boarding of small animals are subject to Chapter 11.04 KCC, Animal Control Regulations, and the following requirements:

. . .

(5) Small animals and household pets kept as an accessory use outside the dwelling shall be raised, kept or bred only as an accessory use on the premises of the owner or in a kennel or cattery approved through the conditional use permit process, subject to the following limitations:

. . .

(b) Small animals other than birds shall be kept according to the following standards:

. . .

(vii) Beekeeping is limited as follows:

  1. Beehives are limited to 50 on sites less than five acres;
  2. The number of beehives shall not be limited on sites of five acres or greater;
  3. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives at all times;
  4. Adequate space shall be provided in each hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming;
  5. Colonies shall be requeened following any swarming or aggressive behavior;
  6. All colonies shall be registered with the County Extension Agent prior to April 1st of each year, on a State registration form acceptable to the County; and
  7. Abandoned colonies, diseased bees, or bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives shall constitute a public nuisance, and shall be abated as set forth in Chapter 21.50 WMC, Enforcement.

Bellingham

Animal Nuisance Ordinance Provision

Bellingham Municipal Code 7.12.060 – Keeping Animals In The City – General Regulations – Penalty

General Regulations – Penalty

  1. Hives or colonies of bees shall be kept in a manner in which they are inaccessible to the general public and so that bee movements to and from the hive do not interfere with the ordinary movements of persons on adjacent properties or the public right-of-way. Hives shall be located at least 50′ from the nearest property line. All colonies must be registered with the Director of the Department of Agriculture of the State of Washington as provided in RCW 15.60.030. The terms “hive”, “colony”, “colonies of bees” and “bees” as used in this section shall have the meanings set forth in RCW 15.60.005.
  2. All stables and other buildings and all enclosures and premises upon which any such animals are kept and confined shall be kept in a clean, healthful, and sanitary condition by the person owning, possessing, or using any such premises for said purposes; and no persons owning, possessing, or using any such premises shall permit any nuisance to be formed or to accumulate thereon.
  3. It is the duty of the animal control authority to inspect all premises whereon any such animals are confined or kept, and to enforce the regulation of this chapter. If any such premises are notkept in the manner provided in this chapter, such officer of officers shall at once notify the persons owning, possession, or using the premises for such purpose to place the same in a safe, secure,clean, healthful, and sanitary condition, and such person shall forthwith comply with such order.
  • Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not to exceed $250. [Ord. 10468 §2, 1993.]

    Seattle

    Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 9.25.020

    1. “Dangerous animal” means any animal, other than the common household cat or dog, bees or other insects specifically provided for by ordinance, that is capable of killing or seriously injuring a human being.

    Title 23 – Land Use Code

    Subtitle IV – Land Use Regulations

    Division 2 – Authorized Uses and Development Standards

    Chapter 23.45 – Residential, Multi-Family Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 23.45.150 – Beekeeping.

    1. No more than four (4) hives, each with only one (1) swarm, shall be kept on lots of less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet. B. Hives shall not be located within twenty-five (25) feet of any property line except when located eight (8) feet or more above the grade immediately adjacent to the subject lot or when situated less than eight (8) feet above the adjacent existing grade and behind a solid fence or hedge six (6) feet high, parallel to any property line within twenty-five (25) feet of a hive and extending at least twenty-five (25) feet beyond the hive in both directions.

    (Ord. 110570 Section 3(part), 1982.)

    Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 10.36 – BEEKEEPING

    10.36.010 Maintenance and registration of colonies.

    1. It shall be the duty of any person, firm or corporation having honey bees, apis mellifera on its property to maintain each colony in the following condition:
      1. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives.
      2. Adequate space shall be maintained in the hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming.
      3. Colonies shall be re-queened following any swarming or aggressive behavior.
    2. All colonies shall be registered with the Director of Agriculture pursuant to RCW 15.60.030 prior to April 1st of each year.

     

    (Ord. 108150 Section 1, 1979: Ord. 101531 Section 1 (part), 1972.)

     

    SMC 10.36.020 Nuisances designated.

    Bees living in trees, buildings, or any other space except in movable-frame hives; abandoned colonies; or diseased bees shall constitute a public nuisance and subject the owner to the penal- ties imposed by Section 1 of Ordinance 1015311.

    (Ord. 101531 Section 2, 1972.)

    1. Editor’s Note: Penalties imposed by Section 1 of Ord. 101531, are set out in Section 10.36.030.

     

    SMC 10.36.030 Abatement of nuisance

    Activities or places not meeting these standards shall be deemed public nuisances. The Corporation Counsel shall maintain a civil action to abate and prevent such nuisances. Upon judgment and order of the court, such nuisance shall be condemned and destroyed in the manner directed by the court or released upon such condi- tions as the court in its discretion may impose to secure that the nuisance will be abated; the owner of such nuisance shall be liable for a fine not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

    (Ord. 101531 Section 1 (part), 1979.)

    Title 23 – Land Use Code

    Subtitle IV – Land Use Regulations

    Division 2 – Authorized Uses and Development Standards

    Chapter 23.44 – Residential, Single-Family Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 23.44.048 – Keeping of animals

    SMC 23.44.048 Keeping of animals.

    The keeping of small animals, farm animals, domestic fowl and bees is permitted outright as an accessory use to any principal use permitted out- right or to a permitted conditional use subject to the following standards: E. Beekeeping. Beekeeping is permitted outright as an accessory use, when registered with the State Department of Agriculture, provided that:

    1. No more than four (4) hives, each with only one (1) swarm, shall be kept on lots of less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet.
    2. Hives shall not be located within twenty-five (25) feet of any property line except when situated eight (8) feet or more above the grade immediately adjacent to the grade of the lot on which the hives are located or when situated less than eight (8) feet above the adjacent existing lot grade and behind a solid fence or hedge six (6) feet high parallel to any property line within twenty-five (25) feet of a hive and extending at least twenty (20) feet beyond the hive in both directions.

    (Ord. 116694 Section 1, 1993; Ord. 110669 Sections 13(part), 32(part), 1982; Ord. 110381 Section 1(part), 1982.)

    Title 23 – Land Use Code

    Subtitle IVLand Use Regulations

    Division 2 – Authorized Uses and Development Standards

    Chapter 23.47 – Commercial SMC 23.47.026 Standards for the keeping of animals.

    C. Beekeeping. Beekeeping is permitted when it is registered with the State Department of Agriculture. No more than four (4) hives shall be kept on lots of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or less. For each two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of lot area in excess of ten thousand (10,000) square feet, one (1) additional hive may be kept. Each hive shall have only one (1) swarm.

    Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 10.36.010 – Maintenance and registration of colonies.

    1. It shall be the duty of any person, firm or corporation having honey bees, apis mellifera on its property to maintain each colony in the following condition:
      1. Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives.
      2. Adequate space shall be maintained in the hive to prevent overcrowding and swarming.
      3. Colonies shall be re-queened following any swarming or aggressive behavior.
    2. All colonies shall be registered with the Director of Agriculture pursuant to RCW 15.60.030 prior to April 1st of each year.

    (Ord. 108150 Section 1, 1979: Ord. 101531 Section 1 (part), 1972.)

    Definition in the Seattle Municiple Code 5.44.026 – Definitions of “sale.”

    1. “Sale” includes the exchange of property as well as the sale thereof for money, and also includes conditional sale contracts, leases with option to purchase and any other contract under which possession of the property is given to the purchaser but title is retained by the vendor as security for the payment of the purchase price. It shall also be construed to include furnishing food, drink, or meals for compensation, whether consumed upon the premises or not.
    2. “Casual or isolated sale” means a sale by a person who is not engaged in the business of selling the type of property involved.
    3. “Sales at retail” or “retail sales.”
      1. “Sale at retail” or “retail sale” means every sale of tangible personal property (including articles produced, fabricated, or imprinted) to all persons irrespective of the nature of their business and including, among others, without limiting the scope hereof, persons who install, repair, clean, alter, improve, construct, or decorate real or personal property of or for consumers; provided that, “sale at retail” or “retail sale” does not include a sale to a person who presents a resale certificate pursuant to RCW 82.04.470 and who:
        1. Purchases for the purpose of resale as tangible personal property in the regular course of business without intervening use by such person; or
        2. Installs, repairs, cleans, alters, imprints, improves, constructs, or decorates real or personal property of or for consumers, if such tangible personal property becomes an ingredient or component of such real or personal property without intervening use by such person; or
        3. Purchases for the purpose of consuming the property purchased in producing for sale a new article of tangible personal property or substance, of which such property becomes an ingre- dient or component or is a chemical used in processing, when the primary purpose of such chemical is to create a chemical reaction directly through contact with an ingredient of a new article being produced for sale; or
        4. Purchases for the purpose of consuming the property purchased in producing ferrosilicon which is subsequently used in producing magnesium for sale, if the primary purpose of such property is to create a chemical reaction directly through contact with an ingredient of ferrosilicon; or
        5. Purchases for the purpose of providing the property to consumers as part of a competitive telephone service, as defined in RCW 82.04.065. A sale to a person who presents a resale certificate and purchases tangible personal property pursuant to paragraphs (i) through (v) of subsection 3a is a wholesale sale.
      2. The term “sale at retail” or “retail sale” shall include every sale of tangible personal property which is used or consumed or to be used or consumed in the performance of any activity classified as a “sale at retail” or “retail sale” even though such property is resold or utilized as provided in paragraphs (i) through (v) of subsection 3a following such use. The term also means every sale of tangible personal property to persons engaged in any business which is taxable under RCW 82.04.280 (2) and RCW 82.04.290.
      3. The term “sale at retail” or “retail sale” shall include the sale of or charge made for tangible personal property consumed and/or for labor and services rendered in respect to the following:
        1. The installing, repairing, cleaning, altering, imprinting, or improving of tangible personal property of or for consumers, including charges made for the mere use of facilities in respect thereto, but excluding sales of laundry service to members by nonprofit associations composed exclusively of nonprofit hospi- tals, and excluding services rendered in respect to live animals, birds and insects;
        2. The constructing, repairing, decorating, or improving of new or existing buildings or structures under, upon, or above real property of or for consumers, including the installing or attach- ing of any article of tangible personal property therein or thereto, whether or not such personal property becomes a part of the realty by virtue of installation, and shall also include the sale of services or charges made for the clearing of land and the moving of earth excepting the mere leveling of land used in commercial farming or agriculture;
        3. The charge for labor and services rendered in respect to constructing, repairing, or improving any structure upon, above, or under any real property owned by an owner who conveys the property by title, possession, or any other means to the person performing such construction, repair, or improvement for the purpose of performing such construction, repair, or improvement and the property is then reconveyed by title, possession, or any other means to the original owner;
        4. The sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to the cleaning, fumigating, razing or moving of exist- ing buildings or structures, but shall not include the charge made for janitorial services; and for purposes of this section the term “janitorial services” shall mean those cleaning and caretaking services ordinarily performed by commercial janitor service businesses including, but not limited to, wall and window washing, floor cleaning and waxing, and the cleaning in place of rugs, drapes and upholstery. The term “janitorial services” does not include painting, papering, repairing, furnace or septic tank cleaning, snow removal or sandblasting;
        5. The sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to automobile towing and similar automotive transportation services, but not in respect to those required to report and pay taxes under Chapter 82.16 RCW; or
        6. The sale of and charge made for the furnishing of lodging and all other services by a hotel, rooming house, tourist court, motel, trailer camp, bed and breakfast, and the granting of any similar license to use real property, as distinguished from the renting or leasing of real property, and it shall be presumed that the occupancy of real property for a continuous period of one (1) month or more constitutes a rental or lease of real property and not a mere license to use or enjoy the same.
      4. The term “sale at retail” or “retail sale” shall include the sale of or charge made for tangible real property, labor and services taxable under paragraphs (i) through (v) of subsection 3a when such sales or charges are for property, labor and services which are used or consumed in whole or in part by such persons in the performance of any activity defined as a “sale at retail” or “retail sale” even though such property, labor and services may be resold after such use or consumption. Nothing contained in subsec- tions 3c and 3d shall be construed to modify subsections 3a and 3b of this section and nothing contained in subsections 3a and 3b of this section shall be construed to modify subsections 3c and 3d.
      5. The term “sale at retail” or “retail sale” shall include the sale of or charge made for personal, business, or professional services, including amounts designated as interest, rents, fees, admission, and other service emoluments however designated, received by persons engaging in the following business activities:
        1. Amusement and recreation services including but not limited to golf, pool, billiards, skating, bowling, ski lifts, tows and others;
        2. Abstract, title insurance and escrow services;
        3. Credit bureau services;
        4. Automobile parking and storage garage services;
        5. Landscape maintenance and horticultural services but excluding horticultural services provided to farmers;
        6. Service charges associated with tickets to professional sporting events;
        7. Guided tours and guided charters; and
        8. The following personal services: physical fitness services, tanning salon services, tattoo parlor services, steam bath services, Turkish bath services, escort services, and dating services.
      6. The term “sale at retail” shall also include the renting or leasing of tangible personal property to consumers and the rental of equipment with an operator.
      7. The term “sale at retail” shall also include the providing of competitive telephone service, as defined in RCW 82.04.065, to consumers.
      8. The term “sale at retail” shall not include the sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to the building, repairing, or improving of any street, place, road, highway, easement, right-of-way, mass public transportation terminal or parking facility, bridge, tunnel, or trestle which is owned by a municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state or by the United States and which is used or to be used primarily for foot or vehicular traffic including mass trans- portation vehicles of any kind. (Public road classification.)
        1. The term “sale at retail” shall also not include sales of feed, seed, seedlings, fertilizer, agents for enhanced pollination, including insects such as bees, and spray materials to persons who participate in the federal conservation reserve program or its successor administered by the United States department of agriculture, or to farmers for the purpose of producing for sale any agricultural product, nor shall it include sales of chemical sprays or washes to persons for the purpose of post-harvest treatment of fruit for the prevention of scald, fungus, mold, or decay. (Wholesaling classification.)
      9. The term “sale at retail” shall also include the sale of or charge made for labor and services rendered in respect to the constructing, repairing, decorating, or improving of new or existing buildings or other structures under, upon, or above real property of or for the United States, any instrumentality thereof, or a county or city housing authority created pursuant to Chapter 35.82 RCW, including the installing or attaching of any article of tangible personal property therein or thereto, whether or not such personal property becomes a part of the realty by virtue of installation. The term shall include the sale of services or charges made for the clearing of land and the moving of earth of or for the United States, any instrumentality thereof, or a county or city housing authority.
    4. “Sale at wholesale” means any sale of tangible personal property, or any sale of competitive telephone service as defined in RCW 82.04.065, which is not a sale at retail and also means any charge made for labor and services rendered for persons who are not consumers, in respect to real or personal property, if such charge is expressly defined as a retail sale by RCW 82.04.050 when rendered to or for consumers.
    5. In construing the provisions of this chapter, “wholesale sale,” “sale at wholesale,” “retail sale,” and “sale at retail” do not include the sale of precious metal bullion or monetized bullion.
      1. In computing tax or fee under this chapter on the business of making sales of precious metal bullion or monetized bullion, the tax or fee shall be imposed on the amounts received as commissions upon transactions for the accounts of customers over and above the amount paid to other dealers associated in such transactions, but no deduction or offset is allowed on account of salaries or commissions paid to salespersons or other employees.
      2. For purposes of this subsection, “precious metal bullion” means any precious metal which has been put through a process of smelting or refining, including, but not limited to, gold, silver, platinum, rhodium, and palladium, and which is in such state or condition that its value depends upon its contents and not upon its form. For purposes of this section, “monetized bullion” means coins or other forms of money manufactured from gold, silver or other metals and theretofore, now, or hereafter used as a medium of exchange under the laws of this state, the United States, or any foreign nation, but does not include coins or money sold to be manufactured into jewelry or works of art.
    6. Notwithstanding any other definition of the term “sales at retail” or “retail sales” contained in this chapter, the term shall specifically not include any network telephone services, waste collecting, and other services taxed pursuant to Chapter 5.48 of the Seattle Municipal Code.

    (Ord. 118314 Section 5, 1996: Ord. 117801 Section 1, 1995; Ord. 116951 Section 1, 1993: Ord. 113690 Section 1(part), 1987: Ord. 112114 Section 1(part), 1985: Ord. 112029 Section 1(part), 1984: Ord. 112022 Section 1(part), 1984: Ord. 110878 Section 1(part), 1982: Ord. 110261 Section 1(part), 1981: Ord. 109523 Section 1(part), 1980: Ord. 102623 Section 1(part), 1973: Ord. 98817 Section 6(part), 1970; Ord. 88270 Section 1(part), 1959; Ord. 85388 Section 1(part), 1956; Ord. 73335 Section 1(part), 1944: Ord. 72630 Sections 2(part), 2.1(part), 2.2(part), 1943.)


    Issaquah

    18.07.160 Animals – Honey bees.

    1. Parcel and Apiary Size Requirements:1.0 to 5,999 square feet0 hives2.6,000 to 10,000 square> 2 hives3.10,001 to 20,000 square feet> 4 hives4.20,001 to 43,560 square feet (.46 ac to 1 ac)> 10 hives5.35,001 to 65,340 square feet (1 ac to 1.5 ac)> 20 hives6.1.5 to 5.0 acres> 25 hives in urban areas7.5.01 to 10.0 acres> 40 hives in urban areas8.10.01 >> 60 hives as a rural or mountainhoney foraging site, or60 or more hives as a 30-daycollection site for truck access inspring and fall
    2. Hive Placement Requirements:
      1. Hives shall be at least twenty-five (25) feet from a property line, with the hive(s) entrance(s) facing away from or parallel to the nearest property line.
      2. Hives may be less than twenty-five (25) feet from a property line if placed behind a six (6) foot high fence, which shall extend at least twenty-five (25) feet beyond the hive(s) in both directions. The fence shall direct bee flight into the air at least six (6) feet before the bees cross the property line. The fence or obstruction may occur on the adjoining property; provided, that bee flight is not directed in the vicinity of recreational decks or entrances to housing or buildings on adjoining properties. In lieu of a fence, the hive(s) may be placed at least eight (8) feet above adjacent ground level, and comply with the remaining placement requirements.
      3. A hive(s) adjacent to public roads shall comply with placement requirements in such a manner as to direct bee flight at least twenty (20) feet into the air over the road surface. In lieu of this requirement, a hive(s) shall be placed at least one hundred (100) feet from the road right(s)-of-way, with the entrance(s) parallel thereto.
    3. Hive, Apiary Management Requirements:
      1. Hive(s) shall be registered with the Department of Agriculture and comply with Chapter 15.60 RCW and rules adopted thereunder; and
      2. All hives shall consist of moveable frames and combs, unless exempted by the Department of Agriculture as an educational exhibit; and
      3. Hives shall be managed for swarm prevention and gentleness; and
      4. Hives shall be requeened at least bi-annually to prevent swarming. Annual requeening is strongly recommended; and
      5. Hives shall be requeened if bee behavior is likely to cause a nuisance; and
      6. A consistent source of water shall be provided at the apiary unless it occurs naturally within three hundred (300) yards. The water may be “sweetened” with mineral salt or chlorine to enhance its attractiveness. This requirement is intended to discourage bee visitation at swimming pools, hose bibs, animal watering sources, bird baths or where people congregate; and
      7. Apiaries shall be managed and kept in a clean and orderly manner and appearance to prevent a nuisance; and
      8. An apiary(s) shall be identified by placing a sign so it is visible to passersby. Sign lettering shall be a minimum of two (2) inches in height and shall include the name, state issued identification number, and telephone number of the owner. Signs shall be placed in a manner to make them conspicuous to anyone approaching the apiary. In lieu of signing, a hive may be identified by displaying the identification number and telephone number of the owner in at least two (2) inch characters on the sides and tops of some colonies in each apiary. The characters shall be in a color which contrasts with the color of the hive(s), and be conspicuous to anyone approaching the apiary. An apiary(s) located at the owner’s residence is exempt from marking requirements.
    4. Nuisance: Bees shall be considered a nuisance when any of the following occurs:
      1. Colonies of bees are defensive or exhibit objectionable behavior, or interfere with the normal use of property, or the enjoyment of persons, animals or property adjacent to an apiary(s); or
      2. Colonies of bees swarm; or
      3. Hives of bees do not conform to this Code; or
      4. The hive(s) becomes deceased, as defined by the Department of Agriculture; or
      5. The hive(s) becomes abandoned.
    5. Violations: Reported or visible violations may be corrected by order of the City within which they occur according to established procedures, or by the Department of Agriculture. The City may request the services of the Department of Agriculture to investigate violations or to determine and suggest appropriate corrective measures. Penalties may be levied by the City according to local ordinance or procedures, or by the Department of Agriculture. (Ord. 2108 § 7.2.11.3, 1996).

 

Federal Way

19.260.080 Bees.

Bees may be kept on the subject property subject to the following regulations:

(1) Minimum lot size. The subject property must be at least 15,000 square feet in area.

(2) Number of hives. Two hives are permitted if the subject property is less than 20,000 square feet in area. Five hives are permitted if the subject property is between 20,000 and 60,000 square feet in area. A maximum of 15 hives are permitted if the subject property is more than 60,000 square feet in area.

(3) Location of hives. The hives must be at least 25 feet from each property line unless one of the following circumstances applies, in which case the hives must be at least 10 feet from each property line:

(a) The hives are at least eight feet above the adjacent ground.

(b) The hives are less than six feet above the adjacent ground and are behind a solid fence or hedge which is at least six feet in height and parallel to any property within 25 feet of the hives and extending at least 20 feet beyond the hive in both directions.

(4) Registration. All colonies shall be registered with the state department of agriculture prior to April of each year in which they are kept.

(5) Housing and maintenance. All colonies must be kept in movable frame hives. Adequate space must be maintained around hives to prevent overcrowding and swarming. Hives must be requeened following any swarming or aggressive behavior.

(Ord. No. 90-43, § 2(115.20(8)), 2-27-90. Code 2001 § 22-988.) (updated 3/12/14)