Louisburg woman ordered to give up backyard bees
Posted February 14, 2012 5:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 14, 2012 8:15 p.m. EST
Louisburg, N.C. — A Franklin County judge on Tuesday ordered a Louisburg woman to give up her backyard beehives.
Pat Walker was keeping hundreds of honey bees behind her home to help pollinate her garden and produce honey for use and sale. But she was in violation of a town ordinance stating beehives have to be at least 75 feet from a neighbor's property line. The ordinance passed in May after town staff received several complaints about the bees.
Assistant Town Manager Tony King testified on Tuesday that before the ordinance it was illegal to keep bees at all. He said the town decided to develop an ordinance when they found out that several residents had hives. Officials reviewed several ordinances from around the state before coming up with their own.
Walker was ordered to pay a $50 fine and remove the beehives from her property if she could not meet the ordinance's distance requirement within two weeks.
If she does not, she will be held in contempt of court and possibly go to jail.