LELAND, NC (WWAY) — After months of combing through information, and trying to honey coat a solution that could satisfy all residents, the Leland Town Council voted against a proposed ordinance on hobby beehives.
“You can call it a victory if you want, but it’s something that probably never should have been brought up in the first place since there was no problem to begin with,” said John Baum.
Mayor Brenda Bozeman says that the deciding factor in the vote was the fact that during the entire process only two residents spoke out against the hives.
“There are people that are allergic to bees, and there are people who are seriously allergic to bees, and my wife happens to be one of those people,” said one Leland resident.
Swarms of Leland residents, along with groups from New Hanover County, and a bee expert from North Carolina State University spoke in support of hobby hives.
“It’s good to see that people understand about the bees and that they do support them and they know that we need them,” said Baum. “Maybe they’re in certain area’s they shouldn’t be.”
The victory was bittersweet for Baum because he was forced to move his hives away from his Waterford home in December due to HOA rules.
“They were basically my pets, my hobby, and if somebody had a dog that died it would be the same thing,” said Baum. “They became a member of my family. It sounds strange to have bees as a member of my family but I basically adopted them.”
The town council also voted to update Leland’s definition of what constitutes a bar. Mayor Bozeman tells WWAY the move was strictly procedural and was an attempt to block strip clubs from trying to move into the town limits.