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Beekeeping causes buzz in Burgaw

READ MORE: Beekeeping causes buzz in Burgaw
BURGAW -- Beekeeping is a hobby that has recently been at the center of countless discussions due to a national and statewide honeybee shortage. It has especially been the buzz in Burgaw. When a Burgaw woman recently went to town hall to ask if there was anything restricting her from raising bees on her property, town officials realized there isn't an ordinanace against it, but it also isn't on a list of permitted land uses in the town. On Thursday the Planning Board recommended an ordinance be added to the list of permitted land uses. The Board of Commissioners will vote on the issue April 8th. Town Planner Chad McEwen said, "I've spoken with NC State and folks at the state bee lab at NC State and they've pretty much resolved any concerns or hesitations I had on safety concerns." Ray Benton is a Pender County beekeeper who lives outside of Burgaw town limits. He has five hives on his property and says bees are gentle creatures. He said, "They are not destructive, they don't create any problems, it's just that most people are scared to death of a bee sting, which is nothing." If the Burgaw bee ordinance is passed, people will have to pay a $30 zoning fee to have hives on their property. Benton said, "We wouldn't have anything to eat if there weren't any bees. But when a guy has to invest $200, $250 to start a hive, just to have a few bees, it's going to be upsetting to have to go buy a permit." McEwen received a letter from the president of the State Beekeepers Association commending the town's effort to work with beekeepers. "From what the state apiary expert told me, there's no additional danger or concern with having bee boxes that doesn't already exist with normal bees," he said. McEwen said it's unlikely a beekeeping ordinance would be passed for high density districts of Burgaw.

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I'd like a permit

I'd like a permit to walk my dog, pick my nose, but not pick anyone else's nose. Gee, where do they stop? "Permitted uses"? Very glad I don't live there. These people have lost the rights to their own piece of property and now Burgaw taxes them to keep it that way and the officials fat. Burgaw, the first place in the South to take our guns? Is that the next headline?

Why a permit?

I am curious to know how a citizen keeping a bee hive on their property is going to cost the town any money. Why a permit fee? I understand dogs and cats, as they are monitored by animal control - but couldn't bees be considered an agricultural item or livestock of some sort? Sure $30 isn't a lot of money, but this just sounds like a money grab. Let the bee population die out and you'll see Pender County begging you to start your hives.

The Buzz on Bees

First, by dying in large numbers, I think the bees are telling us something about our environment. Second, throw a tax or permit at it, seems to be the first response of government no matter what.

A Burgaw Woman

Went to town hall. Way to go. Now it will cost $30.00 for something you could've still been doing for free. Wait till Burgaw starts destroying bee hives on the private property of non-permit holders during a National honeybee shortage. Can't wait. Better than Comedy Central