Not all cities outlaw beekeeping! Apparently, “some bees are even kept on city rooftops” and “relatively few communities in the US outlaw beekeeping”. (see these links: http://food.change.org/blog/view/legal_beekeeping_in_the_big_apple and http://southeastportland.katu.com/content/neighbors-turn-backyard-beekeeping-hobby-small-business) However, most places have nuisance laws that can affect beekeepers and many have constraints on beekeeping for the sake of practicality. These rules are in place for an important reason: safety.
First, it would be unfortunate for one’s bees to go swarming in a city with a dense population. Second, cities don’t want their residents to be needlessly stung by an excess of bees. In the same vein, some people are fatally allergic to beestings, and rules have been established in many communities geared towards such people’s protection. It is far more difficult to prevent oneself from being stung by a bee than it is to keep from eating something one is allergic to!
If you want to begin keeping bees, contact your local government authorities and ask them about rules and regulations regarding apiculture. If they say you cannot keep bees within the city due to an ordinance, please obey them. There is a possibility you could set up some hives on property outside of the city limits.
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