Beekeeping and supporting pollinators

Honeybees and other pollinators are important to our ecosystem. You can keep bees on your property.

How Minneapolis supports pollinators

The City is taking steps to make city-owned land more pollinator friendly by planting more pollinator-friendly plants and reducing pesticide use on public property. The City also encourages residents and businesses to adopt pollinator-friendly practices, providing education and advocacy to help residents avoid pesticides that poison bees and butterflies through direct application or through plants pre-treated with pesticides. The City also supports landscaping or gardening with a mixture of flowering plants that can nourish pollinators all season long.

Read more about the City's commitment to protecting pollinators in the Minneapolis Pollinator Resolution.


Beekeeping in Minneapolis

In Minneapolis, keeping bees helps home gardens and the surrounding ecosystem thrive. Pollinator populations are in sharp decline because of an ongoing loss of habitat coupled with a large-scale expansion of pesticide use by homeowners, landscapers, property managers and farmers.

The City of Minneapolis has made it easier for residents to apply for a permit to keep bees on their property. Click the links below to learn more about applying to keep bees in Minneapolis. A complete list of regulations is located in the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances.


Application requirements

Take a Class: Provide a certificate of completion of a honeybee keeping course from one of the following:

Provide Details: Specify the location and number of hives, colonies and/or facilities where honeybees will be kept. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) is required to inspect the location.

Notify Neighbors: Show proof that you have notified all your immediate neighbors that you plan to keep bees on your property. Your notification method must be approved by MACC. If you are a renter, you will also need approval from your property owner.

Pay a Fee: The beekeeping permit application fee is $100 and annual renewals are free. All permits expire on January 31st of each year.


Beekeeping rules

  • Make sure to provide a water source while the colony is active outside the hive.
  • Maintain beekeeping equipment – keep hives painted and secure unused equipment from weather, potential theft, or occupancy by swarms.
  • Notify MACC immediately if you are no longer able or willing to maintain your beehives. MACC will make the hives available to an approved honeybee rescue entity or dispose of them if necessary. There is a fifty dollar ($50.00) hive disposal fee.
  • Colonies must be located at least 20 feet away from neighbors’ homes.
  • The apiary property must be enclosed by a latching fence.
  • If a colony is less than 25 feet from your property line, a flyway barrier (wall, fence, dense vegetation, or combination) must be installed. The flyway barrier must be at least six feet tall and must continue 10 feet along the lot line in each direction from the hive.
  • All other sides of the area around the colonies shall have a barrier (wall, fencing, dense vegetation, or a combination) at least four feet tall.
  • No barrier is required if adjoining property is undeveloped, zoned for agriculture/industry, or is a wildlife management area with no horse and foot trails within 25 feet of the apiary lot line. No barrier is needed on rooftop hives if they are at least 5 feet from the side of the structure and at least 15 feet from adjacent occupied structures.

For further information or to apply for a permit, please visit the Animal Care and Control permits page  Contact Teila Zoller at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control:
Phone: 612-673-6246

Other strategies for supporting bees and pollinators

Pollinator plants help pollinators by providing a diverse array of plants to support a variety of pollinators. Pollinators thrive when they have blooming flowers from April to September. Avoid using pesticides on yards and gardens and be wary of nurseries and garden centers that treat plants with pesticides before they are sold. They may also use pesticide treated seeds which imbeds the pesticide in the plant itself. 

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