Beekeeping Information and Resources

Beekeeping Ordinance

In 2023 the City of Glendale Common Council approved and ordinance allowing beekeeping within the city limits. This ordinance allows residents to maintain up to two colonies of honeybees on private property within single family residential zoning districts. 

Permit and General Information

  • A permit and inspection are required for all beekeeping aviaries. Beekeepers are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge and supportive resources for bee keeping.
  • New applications require a scaled drawing, showing the adjoining structures, and property lines together with the proposed apiary. The site plan shall show all required setbacks as required by the ordinance.   
  • Applicants must notify all residents of adjoining and diagonally abutting properties, and those across alleys of their intentions to maintain honeybees. Verification of certified mailing to neighbors or a completed petition / waiver form must be submitted at the time of application. The intent of the form verifies that neighbors are aware and approve the maintenance of bees.
  • All renewal applications must be submitted by the 1st Monday of April the year following the original permit.  


Permit Fees

  • Permit fees are $25.00 for the initial permit and the annual renewal is $10.00.

Honeybee Behavior

  • Honeybees are naturally gentle and non-aggressive.
  • They may sting if they perceive a threat to the colony.
  • While foraging honeybees are docile and only concerned about the task of collecting honey and foraging.
  • Swarms are when a queen bee leaves a colony with a larger group of works bees to form a new honeybee colony. Swarming is natural. Beekeepers may add a third hive to the apiary to allow transfer to a new colony, thus minimizing the potential for a swarm to move through a neighborhood. 
  • If you see a swarm, please contact the City or one of the organization below to assist with gathering the swarm and assisting them to a hive.

Facts about Honeybees

  • The honeybee is the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. 
  • A bee colony can contain anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 honeybees
  • Honeybees regularly travel 2.5 miles from their hive, and up to 9 miles in a dry season
  • The queen bee lives about 2-3 years. She is the busiest in the summer months. When the colony needs to be at its maximum strength, she lays up to 2500 eggs a day.
  • Worker honeybees live for about 6 weeks in the spring and summer but up to 6 months during winter.
  • The average honeybee will actual make only one twelfth a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • A honeybee will visit 50 to 100 blooming plants/trees during a collection trip
  • Honeybees are environmentally friendly and vital as pollinators
  • If a colony gets too big the worker bees will create a new queen and the current queen will leave with 2/3 of the colony to create a new home. When the bees leave a hive for a new home this is called a swarm.
  • Honeybees do not sting unless they feel threatened - which would be some activity like trying to swat them.

Beekeeping Resources

There are several local beekeeping associations and classes available to provide the training, mentoring and resources necessary to be a new beekeeper.


Milwaukee Waukesha Beekeeping Association

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension services