Strict rules for harvesting bee hives in the valley

PHOENIX - If you spot a bee hive in your neighbor's backyard, is it allowed? It varies from city to city and there are a number of rules you need to follow to avoid being slapped with a hefty fine.

The city of Phoenix has an ordinance specifically for bee-keeping. In order to have just one hive or colony in Phoenix, you need to have more than 1,700 square feet of land. The ordinance also states the hive cannot be kept within 5 feet of the property line.

Although strict guidelines are set for Phoenix and other valley cities, attacks have still taken place.

Last August, a swarm of bees attacked a four-year old and her grandmother in Glendale. Glendale fire believes it was a neighbor harvesting Africanized bees for commercial purposes who was responsible.

This week a Mesa dog was killed by a swarm of bees.

Ordinances are put in place by individual cities regarding bee-keeping. If bee-keeping rules are not followed, fines can amount to $2,000 in some valley cities.

If you see a bee attack you are urged call 911. If you encounter a swarm or colony on your property, you should call your local pest control company to remove the bees.

If you see or know about a bee-keeping situation you feel is unsafe, you can contact Vector Control with the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code at Phone: (602) 506-0700. They enforce and ensure compliance with bee-keeping.

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