IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) -- An eastern Idaho resident's request to revoke a 51-year-old beekeeping ban that comes with a 30-days-in-jail stinger has started a buzz in Idaho Falls.
Retired teacher Janeil Kunz said she's been fascinated with bees since she was a little girl and would like to keep a hive or two in her backyard.
"I'm following the rules, but it's something I disagree with," Kunz said. "I'm working to make (the rules) comfortable for people who do disagree with the ordinance."
Kunz contends that city bees will help pollinate gardens while producing honey and ridding neighborhoods of wasps and yellow jackets.
City councilors say it sounds like a sweet idea to them. Councilor Karen Cornwell at a recent meeting said she wasn't even aware of the ordinance existed. But she said some requirement needed to be met before the ordinance was removed.
"I think we need to have three public hearings to gather information and recognize people who may not want it," Cornwell said. "But, at this point, I see no reason why we wouldn't do it."
Todd Greenhalgh, a first-year beekeeper who lives in Jefferson County, told councilors bee keeping should be allowed in the city.
"I don't really see a problem with it if they want to limit it to a couple of hives in the backyard," Greenhalgh said, the Post Register reported. "It's actually fairly simple to get started, and most of (the bees) are fairly docile."
Council President Ida Hardcastle said dozens of pages of research provided by Kunz allayed her concerns about the potential for angry swarms of bees. She compared the issue to one concerning allowing chickens in the city for egg laying.
"It was like the (passage of the) chickens ordinance last year -- there wasn't a single member of the council who wanted it at first but we gave the people their voice," Hardcastle said.
Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com
Copyright 2011 The AP.