Metzs Solo Applicants for Beekeeping License, So Far
The Port Washington couple who thought they might lose their honey bee hives last fall because of zoning and ordinance issues are now the first to apply for a license to continue practicing urban beekeeping under the city's recently passed law.
Bethel and Mike Metz, the Port Washington couple that brought about 25,000 honey bees to their home in July, are officially the first and so far only couple to apply for a license to continue beekeeping under the city's new ordinance.
"That’s what we were hoping for, to be the first," Bethel Metz told the Ozaukee Press. "After five months of work, we thought it would be appropriate."
Port Washington officially became a bee-friendly community in January, after the Common Council's approval of a beekeeping ordinance — a move that some say will make Port a star player in the urban beekeeping movement.
It was the Metzs' beehives that got this issue on the council's to-do list in the first place. The Metzs brought about 25,000 honey bees to their home in the 100 block of East Van Buren Street in July after taking beekeeping classes with Koenen. After a complaint surfaced with city officials, the couple was told to stop using their property for beekeeping by Oct. 24. A conversation about an ordinance to allow beekeeping has been ongoing since a mid-October council meeting.
The ordinance requires residents interested in taking up the hobby to alert their neighbors, acquire proper education and pay a $25 application fee and then a $5 annual renewal fee. The ordinance also includes regulations about placement of the hives, numbers of hives and inspections of the hives by a designated bee expert as well as requirements for public hearings should enough neighbors object to the person operating a hive on their property.
According to the Ozaukee Press, the Metzs should know by March 21 whether their application is approved.