Beekeeping could be allowed within Hoquiam; public hearing scheduled

The Hoquiam City Council will have a public hearing in April to consider allowing hobby beekeeping within the city and what that might look like.

At their Monday meeting, Councilwoman Shannon Patterson, Chair of the Hoquiam Public Safety and Law Committee, reported that her committee recommended setting up the hearing to ask residents what they feel about the change.

In 2019, House Bill 1133 passed the House by a vote of 96-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 47-1 and signed into law that granted liability protection to beekeepers. 

That new law brought protection from civil liability to beekeepers as long as they registered with the state Department of Agriculture and followed all local laws as far as where hives could be placed within local municipalities. 

The law states that an apiarist is not liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions in connection with the keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment, queen breeding equipment, apiaries, and appliances, unless these acts constitute gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The hearing would be placed on the April 13 city council agenda for the public to comment.