Chapter 6.24


6.24.010    Purpose.

6.24.020    Definitions.

6.24.030    Location.

6.24.040    General requirements.

6.24.050    Remedies.

6.24.060    Penalty.

6.24.010 Purpose.

The intent of this chapter is to establish standards for beekeeping in a manner which will not endanger the health, peace, and safety of the citizens of the city and which will assure that beehives are appropriately placed, maintained and managed. This chapter is enacted for the welfare of the public as a whole and not for any specific individual, group or class. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]

6.24.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section unless the context of their usage clearly indicates another meaning:

“Apiary” means the assembly of one or more colonies of bees at a single location, or a site where hives of bees or hives are kept or found.

“Apiarist” or “beekeeper” means a person who owns or has charge of one or more colonies of bees.

“Beekeeping equipment” means anything used in the operation of an apiary, such as hive bodies, supers, frames, top and bottom boards.

“Bees” or “honeybee” means all life stages of the common domestic honeybee of the species Apis mellifera.

“Colony” means an aggregate of bees consisting principally of workers, but having, when perfect, one queen and at times many drones, including brood, combs, honey and the receptacle inhabited by the bees.

“Front yard” means a yard area between side lot lines, measured perpendicular to and extending a specific distance into the lot from the front lot line. The distance from the front lot line will be determined by the zoning designation of the subject property.

“Hive” means a manufactured receptacle or container prepared for the use of bees.

“Person” means a natural person, individual, firm, partnership, company, society, association, corporation or every officer, agent, or employee of one of these entities.

“Property” means a parcel of land under common ownership.

“Re-queening” means the replacement of an existing queen as a means to alter the behavior of the hive. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]

6.24.030 Location.

Apiaries are allowed in the following locations within the city:

(1) Residential zones with single-family dwellings only.

(2) Identified educational facilities in any zone where apiary training occurs.

In addition, the location shall meet the general requirements (CMC 6.24.040) of this chapter. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]

6.24.040 General requirements.

(1) Hives shall not be located in a front yard.

(2) Hives shall not be placed closer than 10 feet from a public alley right-of-way or 20 feet from a public roadway right-of-way or sidewalk, and no closer to a property line than 10 feet where no public rights-of-way are involved.

(3) Fencing/screening shall be installed six feet in height between hives and property lines when hives are located within 20 feet or less from a property line. The length of the fence shall protrude a minimum of five feet on either side of the hive.

(4) A constant adequate water supply shall be provided on the same property as the hive.

(5) Up to two hives are allowed on single-family dwelling lots.

(6) When a colony exhibits aggressive behavior, the beekeeper must re-queen the colony.

(7) Honeybee colonies shall be kept in hives with removable frames which shall be kept in sound and usable condition with adequate space and managed to prevent overcrowding.

(8)  Beekeepers must register hives with the Department of Agriculture in accordance with RCW 15.60.021 or as amended.

(a) Each person owning one or more hives with bees, brokers renting hives, and apiarists resident in other states who operate hives in Washington shall register with the Director by April 1st of each year.

(b) The registration application shall include:

(i) The name, address, and phone number of the apiarist or broker;

(ii) The number of colonies of bees to be owned, brokered, or operated in Washington that year;

(iii) A registration fee as prescribed in rule by the Director, with the advice of the apiary advisory committee; and

(iv) Any other information required by the Department by rule.

(c) The Director shall issue to each apiarist or broker registered with the Department an apiarist identification number. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]

6.24.050 Remedies.

Property used in violation of the provisions in this chapter shall constitute a nuisance, and the city may, in addition to or as an alternative to other remedies that are legally available for enforcing this title, institute injunction, abatement or other appropriate proceedings to prevent, enjoin temporarily or permanently, abate or remove the unlawful situation. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]

6.24.060 Penalty.

A violation of this chapter shall be considered a misdemeanor. Each day that the violation continues, the violation shall be considered a separate offense. Upon conviction of a violation in any provision of this chapter, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment. [Ord. 1563 § 2, 2016.]