In 2016, the Village Board approved an ordinance (Village Ordinance No. 2058) to allow beekeeping within the Village limits. The ordinance allows residents to maintain up to four colonies of honeybees on private property.
A permit and inspection is required. All beekeeping applications must be submitted by April 1st annually. In addition to the application, applicants must include a scaled dimensional map showing all adjoining structures and property lines together with the proposed apiary. Applicants must notify all residents of adjoining or diagonally abutting properties as well as those across an alley of their intentions to maintain honeybees. Verification of certified mailings to neighbors or a completed petition/waiver form must be submitted at the time the application is submitted. The form verifies neighbors are aware and approve AND approve a waiver if the location of the hives does not meet the code requirements. Beekeepers must also demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge and supportive resources in beekeeping.
Contact the Planning & Development Department if you have questions, 414.847.2640 or PAD@villageofshorewood.org.
Facts about Honeybees
Hives hold 5,000 to 50,000 honeybees
Honeybees have no interest in human food - your watermelon is safe!
Honeybees go 2.5 miles from their hive or up to 9 miles in a dry season
Queen bee lives for several years and worker bees only 30 days.
If hives get too big, the queen allows for a new queen and the current queen leaves with two-thirds of the hive to find a new home. When this happens, the bees travel in a swarm.
Swarms are highly sought after from beekeepers. If you see a swarm, first call Beevangelists at 414.617.7773 or the Waukesha Beekeeping Association and then celebrate, as it symbolizes growth and new beginnings. Swarms are celebrated throughout the world.
Swarms will rest less than 30 yards from the hive as the queen has not flown for years and she needs to rest.
Honeybees do not sting unless they feel threatened- which would be someone actively trying to swat them. If stung, be sure to remove the stinger, as it pumps poison for up to 10 minutes and a scent is sent to the hive. Removing the stinger stops the scent.