No Zoning Laws, No Problem? Think Again. Faced with no legal right to keep their bees, beekeepers in Cumming, Ga. are working to get a new law on the books.
“Nicholas Weaver, a resident of Cumming, Ga., did everything right before becoming a backyard beekeeper. The then-13-year-old spoke with his neighbors to make sure they wouldn’t mind some new, buzzing tenants on his family’s property. He went to town meetings and asked if the city had rules about beekeeping. Finally, he checked the local zoning laws himself, just to be sure he was in the clear — and when he discovered that his town and its county, Forsyth, had no zoning regulations for non-commercial beekeepers, he figured his bees wouldn’t be a problem.
For 11 years, Weaver was right… But one evening last August, he came home to find a note tacked to his door with a request to call the county government. That’s when he discovered that even if his community had no official city or county guidelines about backyard beekeeping, he could still be forced to give up his hives. Citing an anonymous complaint, the county gave him five days to relocate his bees…”