The Birds And The Bees, And The Naperville City Council

It’s been said that one vote can make a difference in an election, and that must be exactly what Naperville councilwoman Becky Anderson is banking on, if and when she runs for re-election. Here is how the story unfolded during the October 18 Naperville city council meeting.

Anderson was contacted by one resident (Joyce Brown) concerning bee hives in her neighbor’s yard. Did I mention it was one resident? Good for Ms. Brown for raising the concern to Anderson, but here is where it took a sharp left turn. Anderson thought it was worthy to be brought up for discussion at the council meeting, rather than steering the resident to a more appropriate venue, like the neighbor, or the Home Owners Association.  Council members don’t like to deliver difficult messages, especially when it’s one-on-one. Combine this with Naperville city council member’s eagerness to regulate any topic that can come to mind. The council subscribes to the theory, that states what good is a council, if not to regulate everything.

Watch and listen as resident Joyce Brown states her position:

So the issue wasn’t safety, it was concern for the birds and bees cohabiting. Apparently the birds don’t want to come abound the bird bath with bees present, and the bees don’t know how to swim in it. Doesn’t seem to be a problem in nature. But in this one bird bath, it’s a problem.

A number of folks spoke in support of bees. In fact, there were 42 minutes of support. Then another 20 minutes of discussion among council members. Almost one-third of the meeting was invested in this topic.

In the council’s excitement to pound the gavel of regulation, they were stumped when bee expert Ed Bell asked the council a question they could not answer. The question was, “what color is a honey bee?” Nobody could answer it. At least a couple of brave souls on the council made an effort to earn points with a correct answer, but no luck. It’s interesting that most don’t know the answer, but most are more than eager to regulate bee hives.

Finally a couple of council members decided to take the lead and inject some common sense into the discussion. Watch and listen to Naperville councilman Kevin Coyne as he reviews the proceedings:

How refreshing to hear a council member make sense.

This was followed by more refreshment when councilman John Krummen asked a great question:

Exactly. What problem are they being asked to solve? Good for Krummen to ask the obvious.

The problem is not the bees, and it’s not resident Joyce Brown. In fact, I applaud her for getting a council member to bite on the topic. The problem is Anderson for trying to turn a non-issue, into an issue, and for not re-directing the resident to a more worthy venue; if not the Home owners association, then how about Judge Judy.

Bees do so much good to benefit mankind, including providing great excuses for men.

And women.

And occasionally, bees can add fun and excitement.

And what was the answer to the question of the color of a honey bee? Honey bees are usually golden yellow with brown bands. Though some have predominantly black bodies, almost all honey bees have varying dark-to-light striations. If the council has an insatiable need to regulate bee hives, it would be a good idea to know a little bit about who they are, and what they do. Maybe if that happened, the need to regulate them would disappear. Probably not.

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” -Albert Einstein
Show 2 Comments


  1. Jim Haselhorst

    If a person has a single hive then I can accept that it is a hobby being used to provide for the household honey needs. Multiply hives would tend to indicate a business, not a hobby, that is producing honey to be sold for profit.

    If this is the case I am aware of (3 hives in the front yard) then what you have is a business operating it’s manufacturing process in the front yard of a residence in a residential neighborhood. Such a situation would set a precedence that would justify city council involvement.

    • Grant W.

      So for the sake of argument, if someone has more than a six pack of beer at their house, they should be considered a liquor store?

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