Do-It-Yourself beekeeping may not be as dangerous as it sounds. Rachel Lagodka keeps two vertical honeybee hives on the second-floor porch of her home, just about 400 feet from the village hall.
She told Spectrum News on Wednesday, she has not received any complaints from village government nor her neighbors since she got the bees in May. She does not believe her neighbors would have ever known about her hives if she had not been sharing fresh honey with them.
"These are really safe," Lagodka said, "because they're way up off the ground."
While amateur beekeeping might be therapeutic for those like Lagodka who like to "keep them as pets," it can also be beneficial to the environment when done properly.
Some New Paltz village trustees have introduced a law that would officially legalize recreational beekeeping in the village, as well as set basic rules and limits for beekeepers.
Trustee William Murray — who is also a beekeeper — said promoting beekeeping as a hobby would make for a better community overall, because those bees would pollinate more plants and crops.
Murray said there are many bee enthusiasts in the area, like his neighbor and beekeeping partner Mark Eisenhandler, to help one another safely keep the animals.
"I was fortunate enough to have Mark, who had the experience, to guide the process of keeping bees," Murray said, just as the two were finishing a quick inspection of their two hives, with about 50,000 bees in each.
Murray said he has not received any official complaints about beekeeping in the village, and almost all feedback has been informed and positive.
Still, though, he might have some convincing to do, depending on what questions and concerns come up during the next two board meetings, when the beekeeping law will be discussed.
"We might have to do public education on what honey bees are, how they live, what little danger they pose to people," Murray said, "and what great benefit they have for our environment."
The law would limit each property to just four hives, require hives to be registered with the village, and limit honey sales to just 40 pounds per season.
The board is holding hearings on the proposed law at its next two meetings.