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At the April 26, 2022 Board of Trustees Meeting, Village of Niles officials approved a new beekeeping ordinance for the Village. The ordinance establishes a two-year pilot program, wherein interested residents who apply and are approved can establish an apiary – each containing up to five colonies of bees – at the Niles Community Rain Garden, located on Touhy Avenue next to the Niles Police parking structure. The Rain Garden is the only location where beekeeping is allowed in Niles at this time. According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), domestic honeybees are important in society because they play a significant role in the pollination of flowering plants. These plants produce the food that fuels humankind. Many wild honeybees have been eliminated due to disease and pests; therefore, there is an increased demand for the use of managed honeybees to pollinate plants. Niles joins numerous other communities in the area that already allow for beekeeping through local regulations. In order to ensure that honeybee colonies in these municipalities are healthy, the Illinois Department of Agriculture inspects colonies free of charge. Under the Illinois Bees and Apiaries Act, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) requires beekeepers to register their colony or colonies with the IDOA and provides online statistics and locations of statewide beekeeping locations. Residents who are interested in establishing an apiary at the rain garden must submit an application to the Village of Niles’ Community Development Department at Village Hall (1000 Civic Center Drive). Requirements with the submittal include a site plan of the proposed location, certificate or documentation of completion of a beekeeping course, and a copy of registration with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “We’re proud to take yet another step towards a greener planet and ensuring a healthy ecosystem for our children, grandchildren, and beyond,” said Niles Mayor George D. Alpogianis of the new ordinance. “This is a great example of the positive impact that local government can make on the world, starting right here in our community.” Nervous about bees in Niles? No need. Mayor Alpogianis reminds residents that honey bees are docile creatures, and only sting when they sense the utmost danger. “Wasps will sting you over and over again for no reason, they’re the aggressive ones. On the other hand, honey bees – such as the ones that would inhabit these hives – have no interest in picking a fight; they know they can’t survive if they sting you.” For more information about the beekeeping application in Niles, please contact the Niles Police Department’s Animal Control Officer at (847) 588-6508.
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