Proposed Sioux Falls city ordinance would allow schools to keep bees

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The current city ordinance regarding bees requires any beekeepers in Sioux Falls to clear their activities with the city and have the correct zoning for their property.

Well now one city councilor is prepared to amend the ordinance allowing schools and universities here in Sioux Falls to implement bee keeping on their campuses.

Sioux Falls city councilor Greg Neitzert is the driving force behind the amendment.

He said he had to act when he became aware of the issue.

“So, I learned that Augustana University was doing bee keeping and then they were notified that they were not allowed to do it by city ordinance, so they had to move the hives. And it seems like a natural thing as far as environmentalism and sustainability to be able to do that on a school campus,” said Greg Neitzert, Sioux Falls City Councilor.

The current ordinance allows those with a permit to keep bees in their back yard, Neitzert says allowing schools to do the same is the logical next step.

“It only makes sense that if we’re going to allow someone to do it in their backyard then a university ought to be allowed to do it as part of an education enterprise,” said Neitzert.

Kelvin Adee, Owner of Adee Honey Farms in Bruce, says it would be a great opportunity for students to learn about one of the earth’s most important insects.

“I just think the exposure to them, and you can actually see the lifecycle of bees and what goes through to keep them alive and what they do, and they’ll probably be able to see some increase in the flowers around the campuses,” said Kelvin Adee, Owner of Adee Honey Farms.

The idea has already gained a lot of buzz in the community.

“People are very excited about it, the kids on campus are really excited, they’re really excited about being able to continue this,” said Neitzert.

Both agree that early exposure to bees will help broaden students’ education.

“They’re very interested in doing this as part of their environmental program learning about sustainability and about the social habits of bees. Honeybees have a very fascinating social structure,” said Neitzert.

Neitzert says the ordinance is nearly ready to go and will be presented to the city council sometime in August with hopes of having it passed by the time school starts this fall.

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