SG Village Board is bee-side itself

By on May 28, 2010

Village says no bee-keeping in residential areas
by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Village Board on May 18 chose to not move forward on a resident couple’s application to amend a zoning ordinance currently making it illegal to keep bees in a residentially zoned area.

The residents have been keeping several thousand bees at their home in the Mallard Point subdivision, drawing the ire of at least one neighbor who believes the bees have made it inconvenient to do anything outdoors in the subdivision.

“They started out with 8,000 bees. Now, my deck is 120 feet away from these bees. It’s not a good thing,” Sugar Grove resident John Novak said. “I can’t go out on my deck, eat dinner, put a pop down (or) put a beer down without bees. I’ve got flowers around my deck, (so) the bees come. And I am allergic.”

Novak also presented three pictures of an individual handling the bees while wearing a full rubber suit.

Bee-keeping is considered an agricultural practice, which means it cannot be done in a residentially zoned area.

The Village Board listened to statements from both Novak and a bee expert who is a close friend of the couple requesting the amendment. The board took both sides of the argument into consideration before ultimately deciding to enforce the current zoning ordinance.

“I (understand) how important bees are, but I would tend to go that 8,000 bees is more designated for an Ag property and not a residential property,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Trustee Melisa Taylor agreed with Michels, adding her concern about children in the subdivision being exposed to a nearby bee colony.

“It’s not justified necessarily in the bee world, but put a bunch of bees and put a bunch of little kids around, and that right there is chaos,” she said.