7 Arizona Cities That Permit Backyard Beekeeping

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a beehive

Arizona's Apiary Law does not impose restrictions on the placement of beehives at the state level. However, cities or townships have the authority to regulate colonies or even prohibit beekeeping through local ordinances. Fortunately, many cities in Arizona have revised their ordinances to permit backyard beekeeping.

Prior to setting up a beehive in your residential backyard in The Grand Canyon State, it is recommended to review your local zoning laws or consult with the health department. To provide some insight, I have compiled a list of a few Arizona municipalities that have embraced backyard beekeeping and outlined their specific regulations on the matter.

Phoenix

According to the Phoenix City Code, which was passed on December 13, 2023, backyard beekeeping is allowed within the city limits. However, beekeeping on a lot or parcel of land that is less than six thousand square feet in area requires written permission from all lawful occupants and owners of adjoining lots or parcels of land in the immediate vicinity. Additionally, only one hive or colony of bees is permitted for every one thousand seven hundred square feet of land. Hives must be kept at least five feet away from any boundary line.

Furthermore, all Phoenix beekeepers must provide a constant and easily accessible supply of water that is sufficient to meet the needs of all bees being maintained.

Tucson

According to the Tucson, AZ Apiary Code, residents are allowed to have one beehive in any zoning district, with the exception of properties zoned SR or UR, for every 2500 square feet of lot area. It is mandatory for all Tucson beekeepers to register with the Arizona Commission of Agriculture and Horticulture. If your bees are kept within 30 feet of any exterior lot boundary line, you must construct a barrier to prevent the bees from flying through it. This barrier must be a minimum of 5 feet in height and can be made of plant, hedge, or any other suitable material. It should extend at least 30 feet beyond the apiary in both directions. Additionally, it is required to provide fresh and clean watering facilities for the bees on the premises.

Glendale

In order to keep bees in your backyard in Glendale, AZ, you must own a lot or parcel of land that is a minimum of 6,000 square feet in size. According to the Glendale City Code, one hive or colony of bees is allowed for every 1,700 square feet of land. Additionally, no apiary, hive, or colony of bees can be kept within 200 feet of a neighboring dwelling. Furthermore, it is required that you obtain a $25 certificate from the city before keeping bees on your property. Once certified, the city will notify adjacent property owners of your beekeeping status.

Tempe

If you live in the City of Tempe, AZ, you are permitted to keep bees in your backyard, subject to specific regulations. As outlined on the city's official website, bee hives must be situated at a minimum distance of two hundred feet from any neighboring dwelling, fifty feet from property lines, and one hundred fifty feet from streets or bridle paths. Additionally, individuals looking to establish an apiary must obtain a use permit.

Flagstaff

The City of Flagstaff allows residents to maintain up to two beehives on properties less than 20,000 square feet without a permit in all zoning districts. However, if you reside within a Homeowners Association (HOA), it is your responsibility to verify with the HOA management that beekeeping is permitted in your neighborhood.

Sedona

In order to keep bees as an accessory use in the City of Sedona, a permit must be obtained in accordance with City Code regulations. Prior to issuing a permit for beekeeping, public notification will be sent to properties within 100 feet of the designated property at least 15 days in advance. In residential districts, backyard beekeeping is permitted only on lots with an occupied dwelling unit. The keeping of bees is prohibited in shared outdoor spaces for single-family attached or multifamily dwellings. Additionally, a maximum of two bee hives are allowed on each lot.

Eloy

In order to keep bees in your backyard in the City of Eloy, you must reside on a lot or parcel of land that is at least 8,000 square feet in size. Additionally, you must obtain written permission from all lawful occupants and owners of any adjoining lot or parcel of land in order to keep bees on your property.

As per the City Code, one hive or colony of bees is permitted for every 2,000 square feet of land. Furthermore, no hive or colony of bees can be kept within five feet of any boundary line of the lot or parcel on which the bees are being kept.

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