Knowledgebase-Dispute Between Swimming Pool Owner and Bee Owner

Information Product

Title:Dispute Between Swimming Pool Owner and Bee Owner
Summary:MTAS was asked about a swimming pool owner and a bee owner who are in a dispute over bees stinging people at a residential swimming pool.
Original Author:Darden, Don
Product Create Date:07/31/2007
Last Reviewed on::04/05/2010
Subject:Animal control; Nuisances
Original Document: Dispute Between Pool Owner and Bee Owner.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: July 31, 2007

Re: bee hives

Mayor, I am not sure what the city can do about this. I have discussed it with Dennis Huffer, our Legal Consultant.

I have these questions:

1. How long have the bee hives been in existence at the present location?
2. How long has the swimming pool been in existence?
3. Are both the bee hives and swimming pool located on lots that are primarily used as residences?

Cities cannot regulate the agricultural use of land. Neither may they regulate commercial uses of agricultural land, like for example, the sale of honey. If the predominant use of the land where the bee hives are located is residential, then I do not believe that the city would be prohibited from regulating the use of the land. It would be better for the city not to get involved in this. I doubt if bees are at the swimming pool drinking chlorinated water. It is likely that cups with coca cola and other beverages are attracting the bees. The pool owner should be advised not to leave cups around with sweet liquids in them. It might also be helpful to spray around the pool areas. If the owner of the bee hives has a right to have the hives, he probably has less control over the situation than the pool owner. You don't herd bees like cattle, and you cannot fence them in. If the property where the bees are located is large enough, the owner might relocate them. This is a problem between the two owners, and if they cannot resolve the matter peacefully, then one of them may eventually file suit in court.

We could find very little information to help with this situation.

Don J. Darden
Municipal Management Consultant
1-615-532-2588 (or mobile--931-273-2718)