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Letter to the editor
Bee ordinance should be swatted down
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Forsyth County News


A government’s job is to protect its citizens, perhaps even from a neighbor’s good intentions. Suppose a neighbor’s hobby included deadly critters.  That is his business, right?  Now suppose they were roaming your property in droves. Suddenly you’re concerned.  You naturally call the authorities, expecting the neighbor to be made responsible.  If you live here, you’re more than disappointed.

You see, the planning commission recently voted to recommend exempting bees from their statewide agricultural status, thus allowing anyone, anywhere in the county an unlimited number of bees with no lawful regard to their care. Yup. That means your neighbor can have a quarter-million bees next to your property line and never feed them, making your pool or puddles very appealing to those flying stingers.

Have small children? Too bad. Elderly parents can’t come visit without a real and present danger of stings that could send them to the hospital? That’s your tough luck in Forsyth County. And you better hope that no one near your property has diabetes because a bee sting will raise the sugar level almost immediately, again risking hospitalization.

OK, so you don’t have neighbors who raise bees. This isn’t your problem, I guess. That is, until someone decides to do it. Now, in addition to these insults, you get the injury of lowered property values. Or the county gets sued because they were made aware of the danger and refused to protect life and property, as they are charged. You may be on the hook as a taxpayer. 

Oh, I know that Forsyth beekeepers wouldn’t do something so awful as to place their bees far away from their homes, but right up next to yours and then abandon them without water. All except, at least, that one.  And I know that respectable keepers are embarrassed; I get that. But, can they really police their own, as planning commissioners want? Clearly not. They have no authority. That is why we elect people to local government. Please urge your commissioner to reject the recommendation of the planning commission on this issue. They are the real authority.

Patricia Wykoff