San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Regulations on Beekeeping by the San Francisco Department of Public Health

Bee pollination plays an important role in agriculture contributing to productive crop yields and diverse ecosystems. Bee activity is addressed in two areas of the San Francisco Public Health Code to state that honey bees are not considered a wild or potentially dangerous animal and that honey bees are not considered a public health nuisance just because they’re bees.

San Francisco allows urban beekeeping without any specific permit requirements; however, bees can pose significant health and safety risks and urban beekeeping is subject to the law of nuisance and regulation by the Department of Public Health. Beekeepers must manage their colonies in a way that’s sensitive to surrounding areas and neighbors. If bees do create a nuisance situation, the Department of Public Health can issue citations and require mitigation of any hazard, which can include reducing the size of the colonies, moving the hives to another parcel, or requiring that all beekeeping operations in an area cease altogether.

Additional Resources
San Francisco Beekeepers Association has monthly meetings and education events.
SF BeeCause
has educational events and volunteer workdays.

Photo: Jordan Schwartz

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