Please Support Changing Beekeeping Regulations in the City of San Mateo

The San Mateo Sustainability Commission will meet on Sept 14 to review the city's beekeeping regulations. We hope — but are not guaranteed — that the Commission will approve the city staff's recommendation to replace the current restrictive beekeeping regulations (beekeeping permits, hive limits and property line setbacks) with the Bee Legal Task Force's recommended policy combining nuisance reporting with conflict resolution (if you'd like to read our recommendation, you can download it). This decision is likely to influence policy in the remaining six cities in San Mateo county that have beekeeping restrictions, and may influence policy in Santa Clara County and beyond.

1) Letter Writing Campaign

We are seeking letters of support from a wide range of people, sharing why they care about bees/bee health. Letters sent by Thursday Sept 7 are more likely to be read by the Commissioners as they will be included in their pre-meeting information package. Could you write a letter, and ask bee-friendly friends, family, or acquaintances to write as well? We particularly need letters from residents of the City of San Mateo. Be sure to ask letter writers to endorse our mitigation-nuisance policy — the safest alternative for neighbors and the best for bees.

Please email letters to:


To help kickstart the letter-writing, we've created downloadable draft letters written to reflect different interests. Each brings a different perspective to the Commissioners and helps them realize that public concern for bees is widespread. Feel free to adapt them using your own words!

Downloadable Letter Templates (MS Word)

Please let us know if you have an idea for (or have written!) a letter for a group that is not represented.

2) Attend the Commission Meeting

The Sustainability Commission meeting is open to the public, and we need as many attendees as we can get. Please come and encourage others to attend! We welcome all beekeepers (from the Guild or not), and anyone else who supports this goal.

First meeting: Sustainability Commission Thursday Sept 14, 7 pm
San Mateo City Hall Council Chambers, 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

Second meeting: San Mateo City Council, date and time TBA

We particularly encourage residents of Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Pacifica, Redwood City, or San Carlos (all cities that restrict beekeeping) — success in San Mateo will greatly increase our chances of working with these cities to amend their beekeeping regulations to more bee-friendly ones.

Thank you for your support,

Bee Legal Task Force