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To bee or not to bee is question for Hamilton lawmakers

City considers whether to allow beehives in yards
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 19:22:41-05

HAMILTON, Ohio - It's the buzz of Butler County.

The city of Hamilton is considering a proposal to relax its insect and rodent rules and allow people to have beehives at their homes.

As Butler County's bee inspector, Don Popps knows where every legally registered bee hive is in Hamilton and he says there aren't enough.

“I wouldn't care if every person in the county had a beehive,” Popps said.

At Don Popps Honey Farm, they sell their honey…and now whole hives.

A complete hive costs $325.

Popps is hoping the proposal passes as part of the push to replenish the very important bee population.  

“A third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees,” Popps said.

The Second Lady, Karen Pence, is on board. She installed a hive at the vice president's address in Washington.

RELATED: Urban beekeeping on the rise as honey bee population dwindles.

The shrinking of the bee population is blamed in part on the Varroa mite and the chemicals we use.

“People like to have pretty yards so they're going to spray for dandelions and the weeds, but what they don't know is the dandelion is the first food of the year for the bees,” said Popps' daughter, Tracy.

“If you spray your yard, you take away their food supply.”

Tracy Popps got her love of bees from her dad and hopes those thinking of keeping a hive will keep this in mind.

“People can be in this business to make money, but it won't be successful if you don't have that passion for them,” she said.

The city zoning and health departments are reviewing the proposal and could have something in front of city council within the next month.

To answer your burning question, yes, I got stung in the process of working on this story.