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Waco City Council denies change to bee ordinance

Posted at 11:01 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 00:01:45-04

WACO, TX.  — A complaint made about backyard bees several months ago caused the City of Waco to consider changing an ordinance regarding bees.

The Waco City Council reviewed the proposal on Tuesday and section 5-97 was disapproved and sent back to Animal Welfare Board for further consideration.

"My husband and I, we had honeybees for about six years," said Kimberly Barrett, who recently had to get rid of her bees.

For the Barrett family, having bee hives was a hobby. "Before we got them, my husband looked up to make sure there weren't any restrictions," said Barrett.

The ordinance that states "no person shall construct, place or maintain any beehive within 300 feet of any residence other than that of the owner except with the consent of the occupants of all such residences."

The Barrett family says they contacted their neighbors before getting the bees. At that time, the Barrett family says their neighbors gave consent. However, a few months ago, a neighbor filed a complaint, and the Barrett's had no choice but to get rid of their bees and the equipment they had purchased.

Randy Childers with Inspection Services says Waco is the only city in the state that has a consent requirement for bees. The Barrett family brought up the issue to the city's Animal Welfare Advisory Board. With the board's support, a recommendation was presented Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the city denied the request meaning the "consent" part of the ordinance will remain unless the city reconsiders a new proposal.