To bee, or not to bee?

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees directed Parks and Recreation Director Jeremy Olinger to find a location other than Pioneer Park for placement of honey bee hives, at its Tuesday meeting.

The direction came after hearing from five speakers, all of whom supported the idea of placing bee hivesin the park, near the community garden to aid the pollination of produce, and also to possibly secure some bee by-products such as beeswax and honey.

Beth Conrey, a Berthoud resident and president of the Colorado State Beekeepers Association, gave a PowerPoint presentation extolling the benefits of having bee hives in the park. In her presentation Conrey noted that bees are not only beneficial as pollinators, but they are relatively harmless when compared to other stinging insects such as yellow jackets and wasps. She pointed out the bees are interested in going about their business, oblivious to humans, unless threatened. They sting only as a defensive response.

Conrey stated there are no Africanized bees in Colorado, so people need not worry about being attacked by aggressive bee species.

After hearing the presentations the board discussed the issue and recommended Olinger find an alternate site to place bee hives. Conrey had stated that bees will travel up to three miles from their hives in search of nectar. Some on the board suggested Hillsdale Park as being a location more suited for bee hives.

The major reasons given for recommending the bee hives not be placed in Pioneer Park were liability issues should someone get stung and suffer an adverse reaction, people not using the park due to anxiety regarding bees, problems with vandalism at Pioneer Park, and this is a park that sees heavy activity in the summer time with many children in the playground area.

The education of young people about the docile nature of bees was also mentioned. Trustee Jennifer Baker suggested partnering with the school district as another way to handle educational aspects of the issue.

In other news: the trustees ratified the new comprehensive plan which had been adopted by the planning commission at a meeting on April 10. There was little discussion by the board before a motion to ratify was made, seconded and unanimously approved.

The trustees approved a pair of resolutions which declared the results of two petitions voted on by the citizens of Berthoud during the municipal election held April 1. The first resolution adopted the vote on the petition referred to the people of the town at the regular biennial election held on April 1, and voiding town ordinance 1170. The voiding of ordinance 1170 rescinds the annexation of the Haworth property.

The second resolution adopted a vote on the initiated ordinance. This second resolution requires any annexation outside of the town’s Growth Management Area (GMA) from the GMA boundary established Dec. 31, 2012, must first be approved by a public vote.

Motions to adopt each resolution were quickly made, seconded and dispatched with unanimous votes of approval.

During reports it was revealed the tenants currently residing just west of Larimer County Road on the southeastern corner of the Richardson property, which the town has owned for approximately one year, would be served with eviction paperwork if not off the premises by May 15. Town Administrator Mike Hart informed the board the tenants had been told nearly a year ago they would have to vacate the property, and they have asked for at least three extensions in order to remain on the property.

Trustee Chris Buckridge indicated he wished to be appointed liaison to the Historic Preservation Committee. The appointment was formalized by Mayor David Gregg. Baker, likewise, was appointed to serve as the town’s representative on the I-25 Coalition. Trustee Mike Henning was appointed as the alternate representative to both the I-25 Coalition and the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The board adjourned to executive session for the expressed purposes of getting legal advice and to discuss negotiation instructions.