Amendment to have bees in South Bend passes

South Bend, Ind. A proposal that has gotten a lot of "buzz" in South Bend is the amending of a city ordinance that would allow residents to keep bees in their backyards.

The council passed the amendment seven to one Monday night.

The previous ordinance hadn't been updated since the 1940’s and only allowed people with several acres of land to keep bees.

Under the change, residents will be able to keep bees in their backyards as long as the hive is four feet from any property edge and at least ten feet from sidewalks.

Some expressed concerns that allowing bee-keeping inside city limits will increase the number of stings. But proponents say that's just a myth.

“As a nurse I’m well-equipped to speak to the EpiPen and protecting yourself for your own allergies,” said Sara Stewart the executive director of Unity Gardens. “But, we're not asking to import bees here. We're asking to manage a natural resource. So it's not like we're getting a pet and brining it and keeping it in compliance. Bees are already here.”

Under the amended ordinance, residents who keep bees on their property must have equipment that's approved by the State of Indiana.

There are fines for people who don't meet all the requirements outlined in the new measure.

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