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Housing zones and bees

Home Forums HoneyLove Forum Housing zones and bees

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  dezon andrei 4 years ago.

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    Steve Hanna

    I have been interested in keeping bees for years and completely fascinated with honey. I can’t go to a farmers market or fruit stand without buying honey. I live in the Sunland/shadow hills area, I know it’s not legal in the R1 housing zones, but what about R4 ? R4 is residential and light agriculture area( horse country ). Part 2 of my question is location. The only viable location for a hive on my property would be on the roof of my patio cover. The rest of the yard is either too shaded or too close to the back door. My concern is that there is a small fountain on the patio. I plan on running a small drip system type water tube to a pan close to the hive so I can fill it from the ground. Is this a viable plan or will I have upset and stung wife and kids. My patio cover is 40ft long by 14ft wide. Thank you for any help


    Rob McFarland

    Hey Steve,

    Really great questions. With respect to the legality of beekeeping in R4 in Sunland, I can’t advise with any certainty. Our focus has been primarily for R1 zones. I suspect that it’s probably the same legal gray area – no language either permitting nor prohibiting keeping bees. R4 does permit “light agriculture” but doesn’t specifically address bees. Worst case scenario, you’ll be issued an abatement notice and you’ll have to move your bees. If you have a positive relationship with your neighbors, I don’t really see why that would happen.

    Keeping bees on a roof is a great option, but I always advise people that they consider their exit strategy. For whatever reason, you may want/need to move the hive and after it’s had the chance to build up it can weigh hundreds of pounds. It’s not impossible to get them down off the roof, but it’s considerably harder than moving it from ground level.



    Tyson Kaiser

    I have a hive in Sunland/Shadow Hills and I can assure you it’s possible to keep bees there without much concern for zoning, but flaunting the law isn’t in everyone’s interest. My hive can be seen from a public street but they are really nice bees and there isn’t much foot traffic. The home owners have a young boy and constantly work in the years and there haven’t been issues.

    One thing to consider is it gets damn hot in the East Valley and full sun might be a lot to ask of your bees. Mine are in dappled shade and survive well. If you put them on a roof consider providing them some relief from sun like a garden screen or some kind of shade.



    Steve Hanna

    Thanks guys for the info. My lot is small and irregular in shape so it’s either on the patio roof or off site. I have a lot more research before I start this up, but I believe I will find a way to make it happen.


    dezon andrei

    Just seems you have bee farm in your backdoor… anyway, have you tried using transparent PVC type roofing? I wish you can check, and if you can possibly got to their office directly, you will see different type of roofing you need.

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