INDIANAPOLIS (WISH-TV) – There’s a buzz about bees at the Indiana Statehouse.
Governor Eric Holcomb ceremonially signed a law that relaxes the rules on who can raise honeybees.
You might not realize this, but there are dozens of beehives in Downtown Indianapolis.
Five of those hives are right here on top of this roof. Inside those hives, are more than 100,000 bees.
Now, because of a state law change, it’s easier for you to raise honeybees. And this is the guy who knows how to help you.
“Without honeybees, we wouldn’t have a third of the food we eat.”
Jim Berndt is with the Beekeepers of Indiana Group.
“They’re absolutely essential to not only agriculture, but to a lot of what we do as far as urban horticulture.”
Monday, Governor Eric Holcomb ceremonially signed a new law, that already went into effect last week.
The law says a city, town or county cannot ban honeybee keeping on a property you own, rent or lease.
Berndt says the new law comes as some places in Indiana have beekeeping bans in place.
“They really are very quiet, very gentle, A lot of what people think of as bees that make them afraid are actually yellowjackets, hornets and wasps which are not kept by beekeepers.”
The law still lets cities and towns create rules like how many beehives you can have and the location of those hives on a property.
“It’s really beekeepers working with the local government to make sure beekeeping is done responsibly, but also to ensure pollinator are available for people’s gardens, for flowers, for agricultural crops.”
The Environmental Protection Agency reports bee colony loss remains a concern.
“Honeybee populations have been declining worldwide as a result of disease, loss of habitat and other factors. This is something we can do in Indiana to help reverse that trend.”
Berndt says he believes some cities and towns will have to change their ordinances to lift bans on raising honeybees.
(This story was originally published on July 9, 2019)