Longmeadow residents vote to not restrict bees to “agricultural” land

Article 41 did not pass Wednesday night

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Beekeeping was the subject of two articles at Wednesday night’s Longmeadow town meeting.

There are two opposing articles. Article 41 would restrict livestock and bees to property zoned “agricultural.” The other, Article 44, asked the town to affirm support for beekeeping.

Spring brings out the birds and the bees. However, amateur beekeeper Ronald Manseau said Article 41 on Longmeadow’s town meeting agenda would make him move his hives.

“It would eliminate beekeeping, backyard beekeeping for all of the people in town. It’s a great way to have our community be pollinated. It’s a very necessary thing that we need to have,” said Manseau.

Longmeadow town manager Stephen Crane told 22News Article 41 was amended during the town meeting discussions to remove bees, and only restrict livestock and poultry to agricultural land. Though the amendment was approved, article 41 failed to pass.

Manseau introduced Article 44 to support citizen beekeepers after he said the opposing article was introduced by his next door neighbor who didn’t like Manseau having the hives on his roof. Residents sympathetic to Manseau said they could see why the aesthetics could be an issue.

Sarah Morgan of Longmeadow told 22News, “Part of why people live in a place is because they like the way that it looks and feels, but I think that’s a separate issue from if people should keep bees.”

22News could not reach the neighbor who introduced the article to restrict beekeeping.

Article 44, which designated Longmeadow as a pollinator friendly community, passed Wednesday night. The article will now move to a town wide vote in the town election in June.