Beekeeping illegal in Nampa; Beekeepers push to change city code

Beekeeping illegal in Nampa; Beekeepers push to change city code »Play Video
FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2013 file photo, honeybees cluster on top of the frames of an opened hive in an almond orchard near Turlock, Calif. Commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations plan to file a lawsuit on Thursday March 21, 2013 against federal regulators for failing to suspend use of two pesticides they say harms honeybees. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka, File)

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) -- Beekeeping is buzzing with popularity around the Treasure Valley, but in Nampa, it's illegal.

Nampa has an old ordinance that says beekeeping is only allowed in agricultural areas of town. Now that most of those spots have been turned into neighborhoods, hives within city limits are technically illegal.

That's not stopping some, however. Dozens of bee colonies are set up in numerous Nampa back yards. Now some of the city's beekeepers are asking the city to pass a new ordinance that would allow the popular hobby.

Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club Vice President Doug Cleveland says bee colonies are good for the community, because the insects help pollinate local trees and gardens. He also says that if unwanted bees pop up at someone's home, that person can call the Beekeepers Club to have one of its members come and pick the insects up safely.

"Then they have a colony of bees, and you don't have any problems," Cleveland laughed.

Cleveland says he's pushing for the new city ordinance because beekeeping has surged in popularity in Nampa within the past few years.

"The city is a wonderful place to raise bees," Cleveland told KBOI. "We have fruit trees that flower, we have vegetable gardens and flower gardens, and they coexist very, very well."