The League has become aware of a statement issued by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA) to municipal officials regarding restraints on municipal regulation of apiary and beekeeping activities.
The statement, dated July 14, 2023, explains that state law, specifically N.J.S.A. 40:48-1.5, preempts municipalities from adopting their own regulations related to the breeding or keeping of honeybees, and from establishing any restriction or requirement that would result in the prohibition of breeding or keeping of honeybees.
The NJDA has exclusive authority over the regulation of beekeeping activities. Within this rule, the NJDA has established statewide apiary standards in N.J.A.C. 2:24-7. While the NJDA may delegate its authority to monitor and enforce the statewide apiary standards to a municipality, that municipality must have first adopted by reference the NJDA regulations. The delegation of authority, however, does not permit a municipality to change the statewide standards.
Municipal officials should review the NJDA Statement along with the relevant law and regulation to ensure compliance. Any questions should be directed to the NJDA Division of Plant Industry at 609-406-6939.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x137.