Brooklet City Council reaches agreement with local beehive owners

Brooklet City Council reaches agreement with local beehive owners

BROOKLET, Ga. (WTOC) - A Brooklet couple can keep their honey bee business at least for a few more months.

Earlier this week, we told you about their run-in with City Hall over spraying and zoning. WTOC talked with them again Friday about their new options.

Brooklet’s most famous insects will get a reprieve over the summer from the city’s spray trucks as both sides look for a compromise. Hannah-Joy DiNello and her husband can keep the hives of bees in their backyard, at least a little while longer. When the city notified them that they would no longer exempt their address from bug spraying, the couple voiced concerns. The city responded with a notice that their bee and honey business violated the neighborhood’s zoning. Both sides reached an agreement.

“Basically, we have to apply for a variance and they’re not going to spray until after September, which is basically past spraying season anyway,” DiNello said.

They also keep hives down the street in a vacant lot - with the owner’s permission. Neighbors say they don’t mind.

“We’ve been living right next door - within 100 feet - of these beehives for the past year. We’ve got kids running around and no kids have been stung,” said neighbor, Jimmy Collins.

The couple takes the honey elsewhere to process and sell it only in local stores and festivals - not from home. They’re thankful to the “swarm” of neighbors who showed up Thursday night to show support.

“It was nice for the city to say, 'you know what, we see what you’re talking about. You’re not a commercial business. We do appreciate what the bees are doing for the city,” DiNello said.

She says they’ll work with city leaders on how a beekeeping business fits in the community.

Hannah-Joy says she believes all this helps change the perception of home-based businesses that don’t impact their neighborhood, regardless of what the business might be.

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