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Longmeadow To Decide Fate Of Beekeeping

Honey bees crawling on a man-made hive.
Courtney Collison
Creative Commons
Honey bees.

Longmeadow, Massachusetts, voters will determine the fate of beekeeping on day two of the annual Town Meeting. One citizens' petition would basically ban beekeeping, by limiting it to agriculturally zoned land west of I-91.

Mark Lantzakis is one of about a half-dozen beekeepers in Longmeadow. He said the proposed restrictions aren't typical for this part of the state. 

"There is not, as far as I know, anything going on in other towns that would bar beekeeping," he said.

Issues between neighbors prompted the petition, said Lantzakis -- but not his neighbors, who he says have not been complaining about his two hives.

"And, in fact, the head of the planning board lives about four houses down from me and didn't even realize I had bees," he said. "So you understand how innocuous those are in my particular neighborhood."

Longmeadow's clerk says the town's lawyer will be available to weigh in on the legality of the zoning petition at Town Meeting.

There is also a second citizens' petition on the warrant. It would designate Longmeadow as a "pollinator friendly" community.

Carrie Healy hosts the local broadcast of "Morning Edition" at NEPM. She also hosts the station’s weekly government and politics segment “Beacon Hill In 5” for broadcast radio and podcast syndication.