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Beekeeping Regulation

The Cambridge Public Health Department enforces the Cambridge beekeeping regulation and issues permits for beekeeping. The regulation is intended to help beekeepers maintain safe conditions and operations of their beehives so that the health of community is not at risk.

Permitting Process

Anyone who would like to keep honey bees in Cambridge—or is currently keeping honey bees—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 beekeeping@challiance.org or 617-665-3820. 


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 promulated, "A Regulation for the Keeping of Honey Bees," which created the process for beekeepers to acquire a permit. 

Updated on February 14, 2020


For more information about the beekeeping regulation, please email beekeeping@challiance.org or call 617-665-3820.


Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
After Hours

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Derrick Neal
Chief Public Health Officer



Cambirdge Health Alliance

Cambridge City
City of Cambridge