Bee Keeping Rules

Categories:

​In Salem, you can keep bees for personal use as long as you follow the city guidelines. No permit or license is needed.

​ Where you can keep bees

  • A home
  • A community garden
  • School-owned property
  • Property owned by a government agency or religious organization

How many bee hives you can have

  • A maximum of five hives per property
  • Up to seven hives is allowed during the months of April through August
  • Every person who owns, or is in charge of five or more colonies of bees in Oregon, must register their hives with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Where on your property bee hives can be located

  • In the side or rear yard
  • Meeting minimum setback requirements

If a hive is within 25 feet of a property line, you must either maintain a flyaway barrier at least six feet in height parallel to the property line for a maximum of 10 feet or elevate it at least 10 feet above ground level.

Other beekeeping rules

  • Provide a constant supply of water for bees within 15 feet of each hive
  • Ensure comb or wax is not left on the grounds to avoid robbing from other bees or attracting predators
  • Keep hives well maintained so that they do not create a nuisance for neighbors (e.g., noise and odor)

Exemptions

You do not have to meet these rules if your property is zoned to allow the keeping of livestock or other animals (Residential Agriculture or Exclusive Farm Use).

You can check your property zone online or by calling the Planning Information Desk at 503-588-6213.

Additional Information

Salem Revised Code 50.720

Oregon State University Extension Service Residential Beekeeping guidelines

You may have up to five hives in Salem without a permit or license.