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[personal profile] greenwapiti posting in [community profile] casaravenbees
When [personal profile] rubibees first discussed beekeeping with me back around 2009, I called the city we live in (Miami Springs, FL) to see if we could do it. They defaulted to Miami-Dade County zoning for it, which required (I believe) agriculturally zoned land of at least 5 acres to establish an apiary of any size.

A few years later in 2012, the Florida Legislature passed the bill designated as 2012-83, Laws of Florida. It pertained to a few different things, but it included preemption of local beekeeping regulations, effectively opening many properties to beekeeping that could not do so before due to local zoning ordinances. The statute itself didn't provide for how many colonies could be kept on non-agricultural private lands, but did delegate authority to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop regulations.

FDACS amended Rule 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code, in 2014 and provided for apiaries to be located on non-agricultural private lands and developed the Beekeeper Compliance Agreement. Pursuant that Agreement, beekeepers can have up to 3 colonies on lots up to ¼ acre, up to 6 colonies on lots between ¼ and ½ an acre, up to 10 colonies on lots between ½ and 1 acre, etc. Those limits can double for up to 60 days to help with swarm management. There are some requirements for keeping water accessible to the bees and inspecting hives at least monthly, as well as fencing if colonies are kept near a property line to help ensure that the bee's flight paths aren't going off the property at a low height that might be a nuisance to neighbors.

Those are the basic legal requirements for backyard beekeeping in Florida!

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