POLO – The buzz at Monday’s City Council meeting was about, well, bees.
By a 4-2 vote, the council approved a proposed change to its ordinances allowing beekeeping operations for the next 6 months.
It was done at the request of resident Mike Scholl, who wants to have some small bee colonies at his house on Barber Street. He wants to put them next to a brick wall to keep them warm.
“That will keep them warm through the winter,” Scholl said. “Last year, I lost 70 percent of my bees.”
That reflects a trend at beekeeping operations across the country.
Scholl has been keeping his bees at Castle Rock State Park near Oregon, where he plans to return them after winter.
The ordinance allows beekeeping operations until March 15. The permit fee is $5 per small bee colony, known as a nuc. Scholl plans five colonies, which would cost $25.
Scholl disagreed with the $5 fee, saying that unlike dogs, which require licenses, bees help the environment.
Mayor Doug Knapp said he understood Scholl’s position but that the fees were included to deter those who weren’t serious with their beekeeping operations. But because it’s such a low cost, he said, no one would be deterred.
Alderman Randy Schoon said dogs may not contribute to society, but many people are happy to see them when they come home, joking that his dog is sometimes the only one happy to see him.
“I’m glad to see we’re this far. If this goes off without a hitch, we’ll go from there,” Schoon said.
Members Louise Hall and Cheryl Galor voted against changing the ordinance.
“I’m concerned for people with allergies,” Hall said.