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posted: 2/12/2013 10:20 PM

Schaumburg to create area for private beekeepers

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Schaumburg has already won several awards for its efforts toward environmental sustainability but will now try to provide a safe haven for the ecologically important honey bee.

Trustees Tuesday gave the green light to start the review process for a "community bee yard" on a vacant piece of village-owned land just southwest of Our Saviour's United Methodist Church on Plum Grove Road.

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Though the village would provide and prepare the site for the bees, the hives themselves would be brought and maintained by private beekeepers in the community, Village Manager Ken Fritz said.

The proposal was first brought to the village's Health & Human Services Committee, which recently recommended its review by the village board.

Preparation of the site would require an estimated $3,125 for a 40-foot by 40-foot black vinyl-clad chain link fence with a locking 3-foot door and an estimated $1,280 for a crushed gravel walkway from the church parking lot to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The fencing, isolated location and warning signs that would be near the site are the result of recommendations from the village's insurance company to avoid any liability from allergic reactions to bee stings.

Also required, for the same reason, would be a hold harmless agreement with the village from every private beekeeper who would use the site.

Though the area of the bee yard would be relatively confined, there is no harm or difficulty caused by having multiple hives so near one another, Fritz said.

Neither would the bees negatively affect nor be affected by the launching site of the village's Septemberfest fireworks, which lies directly between the proposed yard and Plum Grove Road, according to the Illinois State Beekeepers Association.

Such a land use as this, on residentially zoned property, would require a special use permit. So the next step in the process would be a review and recommendation from the village's zoning board of appeals at one of its upcoming meetings. That recommendation would then have to come back to the village board for final approval.

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