In order to take a possible "sting" out of the urban agriculture discussions, the task force assigned to dealing with chickens, manure, crops, and all thing urban and agricultural, has decided to leave bees out of the discussion, at least for now.

The state agriculture department has regulations on bees, and in Sioux Falls, you can have bees if your land is zoned Agricultural. There are not many Sioux Falls homes on land zoned for agriculture.

The urban ag task force is referring the bee issue to the planning commission as they craft the Shape Sioux Falls 2035 zoning laws.

For now, the task force is holding one more public meeting in December. Their proposal will be sent to the City Council's Land Use Committee for discussion and vote in January. Assuming things go smoothly, the Council will have a vote during the winter and by spring we will have new rules about chickens, goats, sheep, and the stuff they leave behind. Gardens and crops will  be included.

I do understand the "fear" of bees. It is irrational in my opinion. Leave them alone, and they won't bother you. It's like dealing with any other animal, give it space. No harm, no bite, no attack, no sting.

In searching for a photo for this story, i discovered that many urban areas allow and even encourage bee keeping. The photo above was taken in New York City.

Bees are an integral part of the ecosystem. Without them, crops, flowers, and other plants, could not prosper. Aside from that, I like honey. Hope the thinkers at city hall can find a rational way to deal with irrational fear.