Jack W. and I were interviewed along with Beth Elder, director of the downtown library, by KCPW’s Elizabeth Ziegler and other local media. Listen to the KCPW Radio story here. A news report in the Deseret News also includes quotes from Councilman JT Martin regarding the city beekeeping ordinance. We want to promote beekeeping and Troop 202, so it is great for the scouts to be involved in caring for the bees at the library.
In the radio piece Elizabeth Ziegler says that there is a City ordinance against selling the library honey (implying that hobby beekeepers cannot sell their honey without some sort of permitting). I am not sure that her assertion is entirely correct – I think it is more of a State of Utah issue of permitting – but regardless, this is something that our troop needs to think about. We would like to use the scout honey from the hives in the Harvard Yard as part of a fund raiser. “Roadside honey sales” are normal in other states, but the scouts need to find out what is allowed in Utah. Mayor Becker wants improved city ordinances to encourage local food production, so how does honey fit into the picture? We are in the last calendar month of honey production for 2010, so I challenge the scouts to reflect on what they have learned, to think about why the BSA eliminated the Beekeeping Merit Badge in 1995, to consider whether or not the merit badge should be reinstated by the BSA, and to think about the role that the scouts might play in determining state or local law on the issue of honey sales by hobby beekeepers. I welcome comments on these subjects.