How to Help Your City Change Regulations about Bees

Do you want to keep bees, but your city doesn't allow beekeeping? This page will guide you through the most effective steps to help your city change regulations about bees.

Most cities that don't allow bees have outdated policy or they are in the process of changing their policy. The most important step in changing city policy is to have one point person who contacts city council, and puts it on their schedule. Have someone dedicated to pushing through bee friendly policy. 

It's also very useful to have access to a copy of other city policy in Michigan. Use other bee friendly policy as an example for city council to construct their own. Here are some examples of bee friendly policy in Michigan:

Remember to involve your beekeeping club and ensure that those policy examples make sense for your area and your club. 

One big hurdle is not the actual risk of honey bees, but the perceived risk of honey bees. City council will probably get phone calls from citizens that are nervous about bees. To minimize the concern about honey bees, try the following:

  1. Educate fellow citizens and your city council about the actual risk of bees. People get stung by yellow jackets more often than they get stung by bees. Yellow jackets are more aggressive than bees by nature, so they give bees a bad reputation. Rates of allergic reactions to bee stings are also much lower than people think.
  2. Invite an expert to a city council meeting if they are still worried after speaking with you. The expert can attend in person or can call into the meeting. If you would like assistance, contact Dr. Meghan Milbrath at mpi@msu.edu.