State backs off plans to regulate backyard beekeeping

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

New Jersey lawmakers have backed off on a plan to regulate beekeeping in the state.

A bill would have limited the amount of hives allowed on properties smaller than 5 acres.

The lawmakers say that they were trying to avoid potential conflicts between beekeepers and their neighbors.

The proposed law brought on backlash from the Environmental Protection Agency and local bee enthusiasts like Cresskill resident Werner Mai.

The 84-year-old says that he has been backyard beekeeping ever since he was a child. He says that beekeeping relaxes him.

“My grandfather had bees…my father had bees,” he says.

Mai says that the law, which would have put a two-hive limit on smaller properties, was misguided.

“Whoever made the regulations, they were not reasonable,” he says.

Mai says that he also wants to encourage others to cultivate their own backyard hives.

The Northeast New Jersey Beekeepers Association is hosting its annual honey-tasting competition Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. at Ramapo College in Mahwah.

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