Last night the City of Alamogordo voted to allow beekeeping within the city limits. Beekeeping has been illegal there for the last 35 years. Beekeepers throughout the state took the time to call and write the Commissioners and the Mayor and voice their support of future beekeepers there.

You did it, you took the time to change the world in a small way, a little bit of our natural world will be coming back to the city.

Congratulations to the future beekeepers of Alamogordo! And many congratulations to you all, I just don’t know any finer folks than beekeepers.

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Comment by Rob Shepler on September 27, 2013 at 6:49pm

Hi Julene!

Below are what we think is the final wording as it passed the other night. It must survive two more meetings on the "Consent Agenda", the next meeting is October 8th.





WHEREAS, honeybees benefit mankind by providing agriculture, fruit, and

garden pollination services and by furnishing honey, wax, and other useful products;


WHEREAS, domestic strains of honeybees have been selectively bred for

desirable traits, including gentleness, honey production, reduced swarming, pollination

attributes, and other characteristics which are desirable to foster and maintain; and

WHEREAS, gentle strains of honeybees can be maintained within populated

areas in without causing a nuisance if properly located, managed, and maintained, and

WHEREAS, the City Commission of Alamogordo, New Mexico, desires to amend

Chapter 7 of the Code of Ordinances to authorize beekeeping subject to certain

regulations as set forth below, and finds such action reasonably furthers the health,

safety, and general welfare of the citizens of Alamogordo.

Now, therefore be it ordained that the following sections of Chapter 7, Animal

Control, of the Alamogordo Code of Ordinances, are hereby amended as identified.

Article 1.

Section 7-01-010. – Definitions are hereby added to as follows:

Adjoining lot or parcel of land means any lot or parcel of land which in any way and

at any point abuts, adjoins or otherwise meets the property line of another lot or

parcel of land and includes a lot or parcel of land which is divided by a dedicated

street, alley or other public right-of-way, and which but for the street, alley or publicright-

of-way would be abutting, adjoining or otherwise meeting the property line of

another lot or parcel of land.

Africanized Honey Bee” means any hybrid bee that is a cross between Apus

mellifera and Apis mellifera scutellata.

Animal is any living creature (other than a human being).

Apiary” means the assembly of one or more colonies of bees at a single location.

Beekeeper” means a person who owns or has charge of one or more colonies of


Beekeeping equipment” means anything used in the operation of an apiary, such as

hive bodies, supers, frames, top and bottom boards and extractors.

Colony” or “hive” means an aggregate of bees consisting principally of workers, but

having, when perfect, one queen and at times many drones, including brood, combs,

honey and the receptacle inhabited by the bees.

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Exotic animal is any:

(1) Carnivore weighing over fifteen (15) pounds other than a domestic dog or

domestic cat;

(2) Venomous reptile;

(3) Hoofed mammal not defined as livestock; or

(4) Other animal, the keeping of which may pose a danger to the animal, other

animals, or humans.

Honeybee” means all life stages of the common domestic honey bee, Apis mellifera


Household is one (1) or more persons occupying the premises and living as a single

housekeeping unit as distinguished from a group occupying a boarding house,

lodging house or hotel.

Keeper is a person in charge or control of an animal, regardless of ownership.

Kennel, commercial is any commercial establishment or commercial premises where

five (5) or more animals, over four (4) months of age are boarded, kept or

maintained for any purpose whatsoever, with the exception of state inspected

veterinary hospitals, seeing eye dog sites, pet shops, grooming parlors, or the city

animal control shelter.

Livestock is any horse, donkey, cow, sheep, goat, pig (except for Vietnamese

miniature potbelly pigs or pygmy goats weighing fifty (50) pounds or less) or any

similar animal.

Non-residential District – Any zoning district in which residences cannot be

established by right, except for accommodations for bona fide shift workers in

conjunction with a legally established industrial use

Owner is any person who acknowledges ownership of an animal or who harbors or

keeps, or knowingly causes or knowingly permits any animal to be harbored or kept,

or has care of an animal or who permits an animal to remain on or about that

person's premises for five (5) or more consecutive days.

Pet shop is any person, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of

breeding, buying, selling or exchanging animals of any species.

Poultry is any chicken, duck, goose, turkey or similar bird.

Residential District – Any zoning district in which residences can be established by


Service animal means an animal trained to lead partially blind, blind, hearing

impaired or mobility impaired persons.

Tract” means a contiguous parcel of land under common ownership.

Vicious animal is any animal that attacks, bites or physically injures human beings or

domestic animals without adequate provocation, or which, because of temperament

or training, has a known propensity to attack, bite, or physically injure human beings

or domestic animals. Any animal that without provocation has bitten or attacked a

human being or other animal shall be prima facie presumed vicious.

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7-01-020. - Keeping restrictions, is hereby amended to read as follows:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful to keep any livestock,

poultry, or exotic animals in the city.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(1) The keeping of Vietnamese miniature potbelly pigs or pygmy goats weighing fifty

(50) pounds or less or poultry, or the operation of pet stores, veterinary offices or

hospitals, or commercial kennels, in areas specifically zoned for such use.

(2) Public zoos, or carnivals and circuses licensed as such.

(3) Fairs, petting zoos or other special events lasting less than two (2) weeks.

(4) The keeping of any animal at an approved research institution.

(5) It is unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any vicious animal. Any person

attacked by a vicious animal may use reasonable force to repel the attack. After a

judicial determination that an animal is vicious, the owner or keeper of such vicious

animal shall destroy it humanely or release such animal to the animal control center

for destruction.

(c) Restrictions on the Keeping of Bees. Except as otherwise provided in this article,

it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep

bees on any lot or parcel of land keep within the City. The authorized keeping of bees,

and associated beehives, shall be governed by the following regulations.

(1) General Regulations.

A. Apiary Registration. No person may own or maintain an apiary within the

City without first registering all apiaries with the City. Registration shall be made

in writing and upon such form or in such format as established by the City, and

shall be accompanied by the prescribed registration fee in the amount

established from time to time by resolution of the City Commission. Non-property

owners that wish to own or maintain an apiary on property that the non-property

owner is renting, or otherwise occupying with the permission of the property

owner, must include written permission from the property owner or landlord that

explicitly indicates that the non-property owner has permission to own or

maintain an apiary on the subject property. Such written permission shall be

supplied to the City as part of the apiary registration.

B. Hive Type. No Beekeeper shall keep or maintain bees in any hive other than

a modern movable frame hive which permits thorough examination of every


C. Fencing of Flyways. In each instance in which any colony is situated within

25 feet of a public or private property line of the tract upon which the apiary is

situated, as measured from the nearest point on the hive to the property line, the

beekeeper shall establish and maintain a flyway barrier at least 6 feet in height

consisting of a solid wall, fence, dense vegetation or combination thereof that is

- 4 -

parallel to the property line and extends 10 feet beyond the colony in each

direction so that all bees are forced to fly at an elevation of at least 6 feet above

ground level over the property lines in the vicinity of the apiary.

D. Water. Each beekeeper shall ensure that a convenient source of water is

available to the bees at all times during the year so that the bees will not

congregate at swimming pools, bibcocks, pet watering bowls, bird baths or other

water sources where they may cause human, bird or domestic pet contact.

E. General Maintenance. Each beekeeper shall ensure that no bee comb or

other materials that might encourage robbing are left upon the grounds of the

apiary site. Upon their removal from the hive, all such materials shall promptly be

disposed of in a sealed container or placed within a building or other bee-proof


F. Queens. All colonies shall be maintained with marked queens. In any instance

in which a colony exhibits unusual aggressive characteristics by stinging or

attempting to sting without due provocation or exhibits an unusual disposition

toward swarming, it shall be the duty of the beekeeper to promptly re-queen the

colony with another marked queen. Queens shall be selected from European

stock bred for gentleness and nonswarming characteristics.

G. Prohibitions. No Africanized bees may be kept on a property under the

regulations of this Section.

H. Marking Hives. The beekeeper shall conspicuously post a sign setting forth

his name and telephone number.

I. Application to Code Enforcement. Anyone proposing to keep bees on a

property in the City of Alamogordo or to expand such use shall apply for approval

from the Code Enforcement Department, which shall determine if the application

is in compliance with regulations regarding permitted placement of beehives,

flyway barriers, and other structures used in the keeping of bees and whether the

property is occupied by a condemned building.

 (2) In Residential Districts. In Residential Districts, the following regulations shall apply.

A. Notification Required. Any person proposing to keep an apiary on any

property located in the City of Alamogordo, or to expand any such use, shall

first provide, by mail or personal delivery, written notice to the owner of all

adjoining lots or parcels of land prior to registering the apiary as required by

section 7-01-020(c)(1)A of this Ordinance and shall certify the same to the

City at the time of registration.

- 5 -

B. Colony Densities. It shall be unlawful to keep more than the following

number of colonies on any tract within the city, based upon the size or

configuration of the tract on which the apiary is situated:

1. Less than 2,400 square feet in area - no colonies.

2. One-quarter acre or less tract size – two colonies.

3. More than one-quarter acre but less than one-half acre tract size – four


4. More than one-half acre but less than 1 acre tract size – six colonies.

5. One acre or larger tract size – eight colonies.

5. Regardless of tract size, where all hives are situated at least 200 feet in

any direction from all property lines of the tract on which the apiary is

situated, there shall be no limit to the number of colonies.

For each two colonies authorized under this section, Colony Densities there

may be maintained upon the same tract one nucleus colony in a hive

structure not exceeding one10-frame hive body with no supers attached as

required from time to time for management of swarms. Each such nucleus

colony shall be disposed of or combined with an authorized colony within 30

days after the date is acquired.

C. Location and Setbacks. No beehive shall be kept closer than five (5) feet

to any lot line and ten (10) feet to a dwelling or the permitted placement of a

dwelling on another parcel, and no beehive shall be kept in a required front

yard or side street yard. The front of any beehive shall face away from the

property line of the Residential property closest to the beehive.

D. Lots Without a Primary Residence. Notwithstanding the provisions of

Chapter 29 of the Alamogordo Code of Ordinance regarding accessory uses,

bee keeping is a permitted accessory use and may be kept on a lot that is

vacant or has no occupied residence.

E. Written permission; revocation.

1. Written permission required by section 7-01-020(c)(1)A is revoked

under any of the following circumstances:

i. The occupant who has given written permission gives up legal

possession of the residence or property.

ii. The owner of property who has given written permission transfers or

is otherwise divested of all interest in the property.

iii. The owner or occupant of property who has given written

permission files a signed revocation of written permission with the

Code Enforcement Department.

- 6 -

(3) In Non-Residential Districts. In zoning districts other than Residential Districts,

all regulations applicable in Residential Districts shall apply except that the number

of beehives shall be limited to one (1) for each 1,000 square feet of lot area unless

the non-residentially zoned lot is located within 200 feet from any residentially zoned

lot in which case the density restrictions for Residential Districts shall apply.

(e) Variances. The Board of Appeals may vary the regulations of this section as they

apply to a particular property if it determines that such variance will be consistent with

the stated purpose of this Section.

Done this _______ day of ________________, 2013.


a New   Mexico municipal corporation


Susie Galea, Mayor



Renee L. Cantin, City Clerk



Stephen Thies, City Attorney

Comment by Julene Thomas on September 26, 2013 at 7:30am

I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the meeting on the 24th. What were the final regulations for keeping a hive? (size of lot, number of hives, informing neighbors, registering)


The New Mexico Beekeepers Association is a non-profit organization of private beekeepers, commercial beekeepers, persons interested in promoting the importance of the honey bee in the environment, and businesses related to the honey industry. Representing all regions of New Mexico, the Association maintains a close affiliation with the State of New Mexico's Department of Agriculture. Membership in the Association is open to all interested persons.


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