Chapter 9.15


9.15.010    Policy and purpose.

9.15.020    Definitions.

9.15.030    Beekeeping – Maintenance of colonies.

9.15.040    Hive placement requirements.

9.15.050    Nuisance declared.

9.15.060    Prohibited conduct.

9.15.070    Enforcement – Abatement of nuisance.

9.15.080    Violation – Penalty.

9.15.010 Policy and purpose.

(1) Where beekeeping and nonagricultural uses exist side by side, beekeeping occasionally becomes the subject of nuisance complaints. It is the intent of this chapter to clarify the circumstances under which beekeeping shall be considered a nuisance.

(2) This chapter is intended to address beekeeping complaints on individual properties, by either the withdrawal of beekeeping privileges or abatement through statutory nuisance procedures.

(3) This chapter is intended to be supplemental to the procedures in Chapter 15.60 RCW, and in case of any conflict, Chapter 15.60 RCW shall govern. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Abandoned hive(s)” means any hive, with or without bees, that evidences a lack of being properly managed, or is otherwise not managed and/or left without authorization on the property of another, or is on public land.

(2) “Apiary” means a site where hives of bees are kept or found.

(3) “Colony” means a natural group of bees having a queen(s).

(4) “Fence” means any obstruction through which bees will not readily fly.

(5) “Hive(s)” means a manufactured receptacle or container prepared for the use of bees, including movable frames, combs, and substances deposited into the hive by bees.

(6) “Honey bee(s)” means any life stages of the species Apis mellifera. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.030 Beekeeping – Maintenance of colonies.

Honey bee colonies shall be maintained in the following condition:

(1) All honey bee hives shall be registered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture and comply with Chapter 15.60 RCW and rules adopted thereunder.

(2) Colonies shall be maintained in movable-frame hives, unless exempted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture as an educational exhibit.

(3) Adequate handling techniques, such as requeening, should be employed, and adequate space in the hive should be maintained in order to minimize swarming.

(4) Apiaries shall be managed and kept in a clean and orderly condition. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.040 Hive placement requirements.

Hives located in permitted areas of the city of Buckley shall adhere to the following:

(1) Bee hives shall only be permitted within those areas and zoning classifications specified for such use in BMC 19.20.130.

(2) Hives shall be at least 30 feet away from a property line, with the hive(s) entrance(s) facing away from or parallel to the nearest property line.

(3) A consistent source of water shall be provided as appropriate at the apiary. This requirement is intended to discourage bee visitation at swimming pools, hose bibs, animal watering sources, bird baths, or where people congregate. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.050 Nuisance declared.

It shall be the duty of all persons keeping hives of honey bees or having other stinging insects as described below, in or upon their property or premises, to prevent the following:

(1) Colonies of bees which are aggressive or exhibit objectionable behavior that disturbs or annoys any person or neighborhood to an unreasonable degree, or which interfere with the normal use of property or the enjoyment of persons, animals or adjacent property.

(2) All nests, hives, or colonies which jeopardize, endanger or otherwise constitute an actual or potential menace to public health or safety.

(3) Hives of bees which do not conform to BMC 9.15.040.

(4) An abandoned hive(s).

(5) All other nests (colonies) of stinging insects such as yellow jackets, hornets, bumblebees and wasps which exhibit objectionable behavior or interfere with normal use of property or the enjoyment of persons, animals or adjacent property.

(6) All nests, hives, or colonies of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera scuttellata) except those which are permitted in RCW 15.60.140.

Each of the above-described conditions, unless otherwise permitted by law, is declared to constitute a public nuisance. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.060 Prohibited conduct.

It is unlawful for any person to create, permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.070 Enforcement – Abatement of nuisance.

In addition to any other remedy provided for in this chapter, the city may seek abatement of the violation in accordance with Chapter 1.12 BMC. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).

9.15.080 Violation – Penalty.

Any violation of any provision of this title shall be an infraction punishable in accordance with Chapter 1.12 BMC. and the laws of the state of Washington. (Ord. 20-08 § 8, 2008).