The Cambridge City Council amended the city’s zoning ordinance in December 2017 to make beekeeping legal in Cambridge. The same month, the Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Cambridge announced, “A Regulation for the Keeping of Honeybees,” which created the process for beekeepers to acquire a permit.

Permit Process

Anyone who would like to keep honeybees in Cambridge—or is currently keeping honeybees—must apply for a beekeeping permit from the Cambridge Public Health Department. The permit application requirements include:

  • Consent from property owner(s)
  • Written description of the beehive’s construction
  • Detailed site sketch
  • Site inspection
  • Public hearing

Public Hearing

The health department will mail written notification of a public hearing date to the permit applicant, the property owner (if different than the applicant), and abutting property owners. Immediate neighbors will also be notified of the hearing date if the beehive(s) will be located on the premises of a multi-unit building.

More Information

If you have questions or concerns regarding permitting, human health, safety, inspections, site conditions, sanitation, or maintenance, please contact the Cambridge Public Health Department at [email protected] or 617-665-3826.


Updated: August 26, 2022