Blue Earth buzzes about bees

BLUE EARTH — The Blue Earth City Council spent most of their meeting last night going over several topics which had been discussed at previous meetings.

One of those was the issue of allowing bee hives to be kept inside the city limits.

Blue Earth resident Jacqui Drew was at the meeting to ask what the current status was concerning a possible ordinance allowing bees.

“We have made no decision about the bees because the city sprays for mosquitoes,” deputy mayor Glenn Gaylord, who was running the meeting in the absence of mayor Rick Scholtes, said. “And the mosquito spray we use kills bees.”

Drew responded with a lengthy explanation about bees and pesticides.

“I am not fond of mosquitoes and so I agree the city should spray for them,” Drew said. “But I have learned about bees and there are many more harmful things to them than the spray for mosquitoes.”

She added that if the only reason the city objected to allowing bees was the fact the city sprays for mosquitoes, they should reconsider it.

“Weather is the biggest threat to bees,” Drew said. “And there are many other issues with how bees die, other than pesticide.”

After much discussion back and forth, the council decided to go ahead with a committee to look into the possibility of enacting a bee ordinance. On the committee would be city staff and council members Gaylord and John Huisman.

In other business at the meeting, the council:

q Had the first reading of a proposed ordinance which would allow chickens to be kept in the city limits under certain conditions and a fee paid.

The second reading of the ordinance will be at the next meeting before it would be voted on.

q Heard an update from the police department on the city-wide deer hunt currently underway. During the work session before the regular meeting, police officer Tharen Haugh reported that it is going well.

They also discussed building permits and inspections with city building inspector Steve Anderson during the work session.

q Voted to issue just over $2 million in bonds to cover the costs of the street improvement projects for this past summer.

q Voted to authorize a payment to the Faribault County Historical Society in the amount of $5,500 which is intended to help cover the utility costs of their buildings in Blue Earth. City administrator Tim Ibisch said this was the amount in the budget for 2019.