City to consider request for urban beekeeping

Other cities in state have bee ordinances

Now that chickens have been welcomed into Shawano through a change in the ordinance that previously forbid backyard poultry, enthusiasts of another agricultural pastime are hoping the city will make a similar accommodation for bees.

Cameron Oliver, who moved to the city two years ago, told the Common Council on Wednesday that his family had purchased beekeeping equipment, as well as bees, “only to find out that there’s an ordinance against bees in the city of Shawano.”

Oliver said beekeeping would fall under the same agricultural land use as backyard chickens and that the city had set a precedent by allowing that use within city limits.

The council didn’t discuss the proposal, which was not an agenda item.

Mayor Jeanne Cronce said it would first be taken up by the plan commission.

Oliver also made his case to the plan commission at a meeting last month where he was joined by three other supporters of urban beekeeping.

The hobby has been growing in popularity in recent years.

Wisconsin cities that have adopted ordinances allowing urban beekeeping include Milwaukee, Madison, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh and Eau Claire.

The ordinances limit the size of hives and set fencing and other requirements.

The council also got an update Wednesday on how things are going with the new chicken ordinance approved in May.

Only one backyard chicken permit has been issued.

However, City Clerk Karla Duchac said the city also received a complaint from a woman “who has a neighbor with chickens running all over the place, and they do not have a license.”

She said the city will be looking into the complaint.