Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
Here is a message from Rob Shepler in Southern NM who is trying to make beekeeping legal in Alamogordo:
If you are able to keep bees in the city limits, count your blessings, the citizens of Alamogordo, New Mexico are not. Ordinance #7-01-020. - Keeping restrictions, established in the 70’s will be getting a hearing soon and we need your help.
We have a group of folks that want to keep bees within the city and I would like to ask you to write a letter in support of the ordinance change. Even if you don’t live there, your experience with urban beekeeping is applicable. We need your thoughts.
Below is the contact info for the Commission, and a sample letter. I would love for it to be in your own words rather than mine.
I hope that this is not an inappropriate use of this forum, my passion gets in the way sometimes and if so, I do apologize. Again, many thanks from us Southies.
The City of Alamogordo
7-01-020. - Keeping restrictions.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful to keep any livestock, poultry, bees or exotic animals in the city.
(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to:
(1) The keeping of livestock (other than swine) or poultry or the operation of pet stores, veterinary offices or hospitals, or commercial kennels, in areas specifically zoned for such use.
If you wish to keep bees in the city or Alamogordo it is currently illegal per the above city ordinance.
Alamogordo is the only city in New Mexico that has an ordinance against beekeeping. Please write to your Mayor and Commissioner if you would like to see it changed. Their addresses are as follows.
Mayor Susie Galea DISTRICT SEVEN
252 Burnage Ln., Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/: 575-518-9308 email@example.com
Commissioner Jason Baldwin DISTRICT ONE
3028 Del Cerro, Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/Cell: 921-8533 firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Nadia Sikes DISTRICT TWO
400 Cottonwood Dr., Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/cell 575-491-7910 email@example.com
Commissioner Robert Rentschler DISTRICT THREE
1418 Juniper, Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/Cell: 446-9140 firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Josh Rardin DISTRICT FOUR
1100 Dexter Lane, Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/ home 575-434-0720 email@example.com
Commissioner Al Hernandez DISTRICT FIVE
509 Virginia Ave. Alamogordo, NM 88310
Commissioner James Talbert DISTRICT SIX
506 Sunshine Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone/Home: 437-5065 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cities with Bees.
San Diego, CA (changed their ordinance in 2012) - San Francisco, CA - Boston, MA - San Antonio, TX - New York City, NY(changed their ordinance in 2010) – Philadelphia, PA – Washington D.C. – Phoenix, AZ – Seattle, WA – Salt Lake City, UT (changed their ordinance in 2010) – Santa Fe, NM – Denver, CO (changed their ordinance in 2008) – Sacramento, CA – Austin, TX – Tucson, AZ – Detroit, MI – Green Bay, WI (changed their ordinance in 2010)– Dallas, TX – London, England – Paris, France – Sydney, AU – Berlin, Germany, just a partial list. Many cities have changed or are changing their ordinances, as bee populations have fallen by as much as 50%. Urban areas offer sanctuary, and the domestic honey bee is also good defense against Africanized bees, as they interbreed and dilute the bloodline.
Honey bees are in trouble.
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 30% of the food eaten in the United States. Domestic strains of honeybees have been selectively bred for their gentleness and can be safely kept in populated areas with proper maintenance.
Many cities across the US are changing their ordinances to allow for domestic beekeeping, here is just a partial list. Salt Lake City (2010) San Diego (2012) New York City (2012) Denver (2008)
One of the stated reasons of San Diego’s change of heart was to dilute the influx of African bees by encouraging the breeding of calm domestic honey bees.
I would like to encourage you to readdress city ordinance 7-01-020 to allow small scale beekeeping within the city limits.
Very truly yours
Rob Shepler spoke to the Renee Cantin, Alamogordo City Clerk yesterday. There is a hearing at 7:00 pm on April 9th. Renee suggested that we submit our comments or presentations by Tuesday the 2nd of April.
Please send your comments to her at email@example.com and PLEASE COME