Oshkosh Council unanimously approves urban bee keeping

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The Oshkosh Common Council approved a measure to permit urban bee keeping 7-0 at Tuesday’s council meeting.  The measure was brought forth by the Oshkosh Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB).

The ordinance permits up to two 24 X 24 X 36 (height) inch hives on lots smaller than 1/2 acre, with set back and fencing requirements.  Similar to the urban chicken ordinance, applicants must submit a site plan along with a $15 annual fee.

The SAB began work on the subject in 2015, developing both public education information and ordinance provisions that would together help address fears stated by common council members.

The honeybee is the Wisconsin State insect

According to documents submitted by the SAB, this measure will help to support sustainability efforts while improving both the safety neighbors and the health of local bee populations.

“Honeybees are critical pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables.  Managed colonies of bees help to increase yields and quality of a large variety of plants commonly found in backyard gardens, parks, and natural areas.  A growing interest in renewable resources has prompted more people to take up urban beekeeping as a way to produce their own honey, beeswax, pollen, and other hive products that are high in nutritional value.  Domestic strains of honeybees have been selectively bred for desirable trails so that they can be kept within populated areas and in reasonable densities.”

Those interested in more information can contact Elizabeth Williams, city planner, at 920.236.5123.

More information on local beekeeping can be found at the East Central Wisconsin Beekeepers Association page.

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Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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