In 2010, the City of Milwaukee passed an ordinance allowing residents to keep up to two colonies of honeybees on private property within Milwaukee City limits.
An annual permit and inspection is required to keep bees. Permit applications may be obtained from the Department of Neighborhood Services, located at 4001 S. 6th St., 2nd Floor. For more details call (414) 286-3280.
Milwaukee Beekeeping Rules & Best Practices
- You must provide a simple map, with dimensions, of the apiary (the bee yard) and surrounding area.
- Neighbors within 200 feet must be notified of your intentions and given an opportunity to voice any concerns they may have. You also also be required to get written permission from your immediate neighbors if your hives would be within 50 feet of their dwellings or certain structures.
- You must provide proof of beekeeping competency.
- You must monitor your bees on a regular basis to ensure the hive is healthy and not creating nuisance to others. One way to do this is to take advantage of free hive inspection service in spring and fall provided by the state. Call the State Apiary Inspector, at 262-968-5391 for details.
- Limit your beekeeping activities to times when it will not interfere with your neighbors’ activities and enjoyment of their property.
Thinking about beekeeping? Weigh the pros and cons: Should you Keep Bees?
Ready to take the steps to become a beekeeper?: Beekeeping for Beginners