OAKLEY -- The city won the hearts of apiarists this week when it took the first step toward allowing beekeeping in residential neighborhoods.

The Oakley City Council approved the introduction of an ordinance that, when it takes effect next month, will permit bee fanciers to maintain up to two hives in their backyards.

The rules stipulate that hives can only be in neighborhoods with single-family homes -- not apartment complexes or mobile home parks -- and must be at least 25 feet from property lines or come with a 6-foot barrier so that the insects will fly high when leaving their home.

The hives must be 100 feet from any licensed day care facility with nine or more children.

In addition, owners' property must have a source of water for the bees so they won't make unwelcome visits to a neighbor's swimming pool or outdoor hose faucet.

-- Rowena Coetsee



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