Legality of Beekeeping in SF

Q: Is beekeeping legal in San Francisco?

A: Yes! Our health and safety code expressly excludes the honeybee from the list of wild and dangerous animals which cannot be kept within the city limits. Moreover, San Francisco does not regulate beekeeping. However, this does not mean that one should undertake beekeeping without being prepared to fulfill responsibilities to the urban beekeeping community and the community at large. Whether you belong to our Association or not, we hope that you are respectful of your surroundings and your neighbors.

California State Law states FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL CODE SECTION 29000 

29000. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:

A healthy and vibrant apiary industry is important to the economy and welfare of the people of the State of California. Protection and promotion of this important industry is in the interest of the people of the State of California.

San Francisco cannot pass a law that would prohibit beekeeping because State law preempts restrictive local laws.

Sec. 581 of the San Francisco Health Code states:

(a) No person shall have upon any premises or real property owned, occupied or controlled by him or her any public nuisance except for harborage of honey-producing bees regulated by the CA Ag Code Sec 29000 et seq. which are determined not to be a nuisance under State law.

More information can be found here:

Regulations on Beekeeping by the San Francisco Department of Public Health