TOWACO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some New Jersey beekeepers are pushing back against proposed regulations that could limit the number of hives they own.
As the temperature drops, some New Jersey beekeeper frustrations are starting to rise.
It’s all because of new proposed regulations that would limit the amount of hives someone can have on their property.
Anything less than a quarter acre and no hives would be allowed. Property between a quarter acre and five acres would be allowed to host two hives.
“Even Washington D.C., one of the most densely populated cities in the country allows four hives on a quarter acre,” Certified Master Beekeeper, Landi Simone said.
Simone gave CBS2’s Marc Liverman an up close look at her honeybees on Midvale Ave in Towaco in Morris County.
“Just a little worker bee. She’s Italian. See how golden she is?” she said.
One of her biggest concerns is that the restricted number of hives could mean that some swarms have nowhere to go.
“Those bees are going to swarm into the woods or into people’s houses. That’s going to be a problem,” she said.
She also said the abandoned swarms would not be managed or treated — creating yet another problem.
“They will become a reservoir for disease because they won’t be managed and treated. They’ll propagate viruses,” she said.
Joe Zoltowski with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture believes the new proposed regulations would actually do the opposite.
“We’re promoting beekeeping, yes, but we also take into account nuisance factor where you have too many bees collected on a particular property and those bees become a nuisance to neighbors or health issues. They have legitimate allergies,” he said.
Zoltowski said there would be a process in place where beekeepers could request to keep more hives.
“Especially in urban locations. We wanted new beekeepers to start with low numbers of colonies and slowly work their way up instead of going the other way,” he said.
Beekeepers have until January 19, to weigh in on the proposal which can still be changed.
Another part of the proposal would require a fence around the bees, and make new beekeepers take a course.