by David Koon
If you've ever been interested in having thousands of buzzing little minions (or are a certain yellow bear with a speech impediment who may, in fact, have a problem with addiction) you're in luck!
The Pulaski County Cooperative Extension Service is holding a three-night class to give you the basics of beginning beekeeping. Urban farming is hot right now, and a big part of citified agriculture in many places is the keeping of bees. If you live in Little Rock, though, hit the jump for the section of the Little Rock Municipal Code dealing with beekeeping in the city. Some restrictions apply.
The class runs on three Tuesday evenings in October — Oct. 8, 15 and 22 — and will meet at the UA Cooperative Extension Service Auditorium at 2301 S. University from 6 to 9 p.m.. As seen in the PDF sent out by the CES, classes will include beekeeping equipment and bee biology, seasonal management of hives, and pest and disease control.
There's no fee to register, and no prior beekeeping knowledge is required, but participants are asked to register by calling the Cooperative Extension Service at (501)340-6650 so there will be enough course materials to go around.
Sec. 18-4. - Keeping of bees
(a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section the following definitions shall apply.
(1) Colony means the bees in any hive, including queens, workers and drones.
(2) Hive means a frame hive, box hive, barrel, logs, gum skep or any other receptacle or container, natural or artificial, or any part thereof which may be used as a domicile for bees.
(3) Super means a removable upper story of a beehive.
(b) Regulation. It shall be unlawful for any person to establish or maintain any hive where bee colonies are kept, or keep any bees in or upon any premises within the corporate limits of the city unless the bees are kept in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) The keeping of bees for commercial purposes shall be permitted only in areas zoned AF Agriculture and Forestry District. There are no limitations on the number of hives that may be kept in an AF District.
(2) The keeping of bees for hobby purposes shall be restricted to R-1, R-2, and R-3 single-family districts with lots of at least fifty by one hundred (50 × 100) feet dimension. The number of hives and supers shall be limited to two (2) hives per residence and four (4) supers per hive, provided, however, that those residences situated on lots larger than five thousand (5,000) square feet may have one (1) additional hive per additional five thousand (5,000) square feet of land.
(3) Fresh, clean watering facilities for the bees shall be provided on the premises where the hives are located.
(4) All hives and supers in which bees are kept shall be located at least twenty-five (25) feet from any dwelling, business, sidewalk, alley or roadway.
(5) If bees are kept within fifty (50) feet of any exterior boundary of the property, a barrier that will prevent bees from flying through it, no less than six (6) feet high, shall be installed and maintained along said exterior boundary. Said barrier may be either plant or artificial.
(6) The bees and equipment shall be kept in accordance with the provisions of the state statutes regulating beekeeping.
(7) Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to prohibit the keeping of bees within a school or university building for the purpose of study or observation.
(c) Enforcement. Any person violating any part of this section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), plus costs, for each violation. Each hive in excess of the number permitted in paragraph (b)(2) shall constitute a separate violation. Any person convicted of violating any part of this section shall be also subject to an additional penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day for each day he remains out of compliance with this section after the date of conviction.
(d) Public hazard. Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to permit the keeping of any bees which by their actions constitute a public hazard by repeatedly attacking and stinging animals or persons without provocation. In such instances, notices shall be given to the owner of the property where the bees are located of the nature of the attacks. The owner shall abate the hazard within five (5) days or be subject to the penalties set forth in subsection (c), above.