Salt Lake City has made changes to city ordinances to relax restrictions and allow residential beekeeping. Residential bees benefit our community in a variety of ways while providing a sustainable, healthy and fun source of food.
Over the past 50 years domesticated bee populations have decreased by 50%. These animals are critical in our food production because of the pollination services they provide. Pollination by bees alone is responsible for 15-30% of the food eaten in the United States. Concerns about “killer” bees led to a ban on beekeeping in Salt Lake City in the 1980s, however, domestic strains of honeybees have been selectively bred for their gentleness and can be safely kept in populated areas with proper maintenance.
Finally, raising bees at home can help reconnect the divide that has been created between the American diet and food production. Playing a larger role in the production of the food on your table will help foster a greater understanding of and appreciation for what you eat.
Conditions for Residential Beekeeping
- Beekeeper must be registered with the Utah Department of Agriculture.
- Hives must be in side or rear yard.
- Bees permitted: common Honeybee (Apis mellifera) at any stage of its life, excluding the African Honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) and any hybrids.
- Hives must have removable frames.
- Hives must be five (5) feet from property line.
- Bees must have easy access to water on owner’s property.
- Hives must be placed so that general flight patterns avoid contact with humans and domestic animals.
- Hive must be maintained according to Utah Bee Inspection Act.
Review the Beekeeping Ordinance (PDF).
Apply for a Permit
All those interested in keeping bees must apply for a license through the Utah Department of Agriculture. Download the permit application (PDF) here.
Report a Swarm
Report a swarm to the Utah Beekeepers Association.