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Dee Bonner | Shelbyville, IN
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January 23, 2019

Critter Control
Is this honeybee breaking a city law?
Is this honeybee breaking a city law?
Earlier this month, Shelbyville's Common Council voted to amend the city's Code of Ordinances in order to establish standards and clarify restrictions governing the keeping of bees within the city limits.

The current code states: "It is a nuisance and shall be unlawful for any person to keep bees within 200 feet of the dwelling house of any person other than the keeper or owner of the bees."

I didn't attend the city council meeting but I was curious to learn what new standards and restrictions were amended into the code, so I went to the City of Shelbyville website to view the minutes of the August 3, 2009 city council meeting.

However, the minutes of that meeting had not been posted. In fact, no minutes from any city meetings have been posted on the city's website since May.

There are no June meeting minutes posted. No July meeting minutes posted. No August meeting minutes posted. See for yourself Here

I wonder why the meeting minutes aren't posted? Maybe the person responsible for posting meeting minutes is on summer vacation. Or, maybe City Hall is so overcrowded and cramped for space that there's not enough elbow room to post the meeting minutes.

Nevertheless, I couldn't find any information about the meeting, so now I'm even more curious about the reasons behind the city's legislative crackdown on beekeeping.

My only clue is a comment from a city councilman who said city ordinances on beekeeping were generated because of the current green movement sweeping the country. He also said "(beekeeping)...has become more and more attractive in many communities. We just want to be proactive by making certain we have laws on the books dealing with it."

I recently saw a news report that said a beehive has been installed on the south lawn of the White House, do you suppose Shelbyville's Republican-dominated city council is afraid President Obama will mandate all United States citizens to become beekeepers?

Or maybe someone on the city council is simply afraid of bees. If so, the ordinance needs to include control of yellow jackets, wasps and hornets too, because they are far more dangerous than honeybees.

Local government probably has a responsibility to protect citizens from danger, yet the odds of death from a bee sting are about 1 in 6,000,000. But death from falling out of your bed is about 1 in 600,000. Furthermore, death from getting hit by a car while using a crosswalk in Shelbyville is about 1 in 600. It seems as if there should be a far more urgent need for the city to clearly designate crosswalks and regularly enforce pedestrian safety downtown than to regulate bees.

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned the bed and crosswalk dangers, because a proactive city councilman might pass an ordinance that bans city residents from sleeping in their beds and maybe another one that prohibits citizens from walking on downtown sidewalks. You know, proactive solutions.

Meanwhile, the city continues to be overrun with skunks. Honest! Shelbyville is infested with the critters.

Will some proactive soul please ban them from the city limits?

Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, August 17, 2009
Article comment by: Mortimer Snerd, Jr.

"Meanwhile, the city continues to be overrun with skunks."

This is true Dee. They are the mayor and city council members!

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