COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — A suburban Maryland county is considering easing regulations on beekeeping, a hobby that has become more popular as agriculturally important bee populations have been afflicted by disease.

The Howard County Council plans to vote Feb. 7 on whether to allow hives within 25 feet of an adjoining property, 10 feet if a six-foot fence or hedge is installed. Hives now must be 200 feet from nearby homes.

Baltimore City requires 2,500 square feet of space, but doesn’t have a buffer requirement, and Baltimore County requires four feet of space along with a four-foot high fence or hedge between beehives and adjoining properties.

The Howard County proposal follows a dispute between a couple that keeps six hives in their Columbia backyard and a neighbor.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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