Beekeeping Hobbyists Spark Swarm of Controversy

Towns across US limit the pastime
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 11, 2008 12:45 PM CDT
Beekeeping as a hobby has seen growth in the past year.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Beekeeping is causing an unwanted buzz in some American towns as amateurs raise colonies for the love of it. As honeybees disappear from commercial hives, the ranks of hobbyist beekeepers have risen to some 100,000, reports the Wall Street Journal. Amid concerns the bees could zoom amok, some communities have imposed limits on who can handle the creatures, while others have simply banned the practice.

One man in South Portland, Maine, was tickled by the sight of bees landing in his yard—until they began visiting in droves. Then one day he spotted his neighbor wearing beekeeping headgear and called the city council. “I was kind of trying to live a quiet life with the bees,” the hobbyist said. But despite widespread protest from beekeeping sympathizers, the call led to a new town ordinance.