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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.
Find more information on safe and healthy urban beekeeping:
San Francisco Beekeepers Association has monthly meetings and education events.
SF BeeCause has educational events and volunteer workdays.
Photo: Jordan Schwartz
San Francisco is habitat for 800,000 people – meeting needs for space to work, play, and learn; for food, water, and air; for community with local flora and fauna. SF Environment provides support for urban agriculture and forestry and green buildings, helping residents and businesses harness environmental opportunities.