Let Georgia Homeowners Keep Honeybees!
  • Petitioned Tom Brown

This petition was delivered to:

Planning and Zoning Director, Forsyth County
Tom Brown
Secretary, Forsyth County Planning Commission
Pam Bowman
Forsyth County Planning Commission
Dr. Joe S. Moses
Vice Chairman, Forsyth County Zoning Board of Appeals
Fred Kerr
Secretary, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
R.J. (Pete) Amos
Chair, Forsyth County Planning Commission
Pam Livesay
Chairman, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Brian R. Tam
Forsyth County Planning Commission
Jim Kelleher
Forsyth County Zoning Board of Appeals
H. Craig Nolen
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Todd Levent
Vice Chairman, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Patrick B. Bell
Forsyth County Zoning Board of Appeals
Jim Kinsey
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
Jim Boff
Secretary, Forsyth County Zoning Board of Appeals
Debra Bradley
Forsyth County Planning Commission
Matt Murphy
Forsyth County Zoning Board of Appeals
Jack Shoemake

Let Georgia Homeowners Keep Honeybees!

    1. Suzanne Geddes
    2. Petition by

      Suzanne Geddes

      Cumming, GA

Nicholas Weaver has been raising honeybees at his Cumming, Georgia home since he was 13 years old. When he first started the hobby, he researched the legalities of beekeeping in the area and could not find any prohibitions regarding honeybees. Over time, Weaver’s beekeeping became so popular within the community, that neighbors began to ask him to move his honeybees to their yards on occassion to help with the pollination of their landscaping and gardens.

Despite the fact that Nicholas has been a thriving and popular backyard beekeeper for the past 13 years, Weaver recently had a complaint filed against him through the Code Enforcement Office.  He was told he would have to remove his bees from the property because they are a violation of the county zoning code. The Planning and Development Director of the Forsyth County Planning and Zoning Department now has the power to make a determination as to whether or not being a backyard beekeeper in a residential area will be permitted. His determination will affect most of the backyard beekeepers, and their honeybees, in Forsyth County.

The majority of honeybees in Forsyth County and throughout Georgia are kept in residential areas by backyard beekeepers. Backyard beekeeping is a sustainable way to help the honeybees, which are currently dying off from Colony Collapse Disorder. Because honeybees pollinate a full one-third of the food we eat, backyard beekeeping also boosts local food security. We believe having an ordinance that specifically allows backyard beekeepers to keep honeybees in areas zoned residential is critically important to the survival of the European honeybee.

Considering the plight of the honey bee, and the benefits they provide, it should not be made more difficult or even illegal to keep honeybees in your backyard. Please sign this petition urging Planning and Zoning Director Tom Brown to allow Weaver to keep his bees on his property and to change the Unified Development Code to allow for backyard beekeeping.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. Important Meeting on Tuesday, 1/24!

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      There is an important meeting occurring on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in Cumming, Georgia: the Board of Commissioners will be discussing the right to keep bees on residential property, despite the fact that they have not received any input from beekeepers. While public commentary is not expected to be "allowed" during this meeting, beekeepers and honeybee supporters are encouraged to attend the meeting (wearing yellow!) in support of residential beekeeping in Forsyth County. For more information, see our facebook page at www.facebook.com/LegalizeBeekeeping.

      Here are the time and location of the meeting:
      Tuesday, January 24, 2012
      2:00 p.m.
      110 East Main Street
      Cumming, GA 30040
      Suite 210

    3. Forsyth County Beekeeper's Club formed committee to draft change to UDC

      Meredith Slater
      Petition Organizer

      The Forsyth County Beekeeper's Club has formed a committee has come together to draft a change to the UDC. They're currently asking for help from other residential beekeepers--if they have either been through the same ordeal, or who know of ordinances in their areas, if they could email the Club at keepbeesinforsyth@gmail.com.

    4. Reached 1,000 signatures
    5. Progress but more work to do...

      Suzanne Geddes
      Petition Organizer

      Status Update: County Commissioner, Pete Amos, met with Forsyth Beekeepers at their monthly club meeting last night to discuss the issue. He is in favor of submitting changes to the UDC of Forsyth County, and encouraged the beekeepers to help draft the changes themselves. While this is NOT a final victory, it certainly marks a significant milestone in our fight to legalize beekeeping in residential areas! We still have a long road ahead of us.

    6. Local Zoning Regulations Threaten Georgia's Backyard Beekeepers

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      One backyard beekeeper is learning that when it comes to managing his hive, it's not the bees that are dangerous, so much as local regulations.
      Forsyth County, Georgia resident Nicholas Weaver has been raising bees for the past 12 years, starting the...

    7. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • L Plasket WOOLWICH TWP, NJ
      • about 2 years ago

      Oh God, raising bees in your own backyard. Yay to that. They pay taxes, it is their piece of space on this planet and they should be allowed to raise honey bees which pollinate the plants, fruits and vegetables. If it does no harm, it shouldn't be a problem.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • June Davis FORSYTH, GA
      • about 2 years ago

      We need to be able to have local honey for allergies,,etc.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • MATTHEW STRAZZZULA BOSTON, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      BEE KEEPING IS A HOBBY..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michael Jones SNELLVILLE, GA
      • about 2 years ago

      What beeter way to educate the public of the benefits beekeeping.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Henry Miller BRADENTON, FL
      • about 2 years ago

      There is no logical reason to prevent homeowners from raising honeybees. Under normal circumstances they pose little to no threat to people. As the petition states, honeybees are crucial for effective pollination of crops and fruit.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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