BUCKFIELD – After discussing lights and bees for an hour, the owner of a bee farm, Tony Bachelder, and the town Recreation Committee reached a tentative compromise on the installation of lights at Bessie Field.

Bachelder’s property adjoins the field and he raises bees. He says when he moves in bees at night from out of town and removes the screens, the new bees will go to the lights and create a problem.

Selectman Chris Hayward asked if that would harm the bees or if they’d be lost.

Anthony Jadczak from the Maine Department of Agriculture was at the meeting and agreed with Bachelder that when he brings in new bees at night and removes the screens the bees will go to the lights. The new bees don’t know where home is, so when the lights go out, he will lose those bees.

“Bachelder is the last beekeeper in Maine that doesn’t migrate his bees. We’d like to see him stay. I’d like to see a compromise,” said Jadczak.

David Chabe brought a list of nine things the Recreation Department had agreed to work on to address some of Bachelder’s concerns other than the lights. Chabe said that he will more closely monitor noise, prohibit drinking and start the night season after June 15.

The busy months for moving bees are May and June and Bachelder wants the lights out and the noise stopped by 9 p.m.

There are nine adult leagues and two games per night Monday through Friday. Chabe says they can’t start earlier because people work and don’t get home in time. The games usually start by 6:30.

Debbie Weatherall, a member of the Recreation Committee, said that Bessie Field was a ball field 36 years ago, which was before Bachelder arrived.

Bachelder said that Bill Rich was there before him and he raised bees.

Town Manager Glen Holmes said he saw a possibility to move forward since most issues had been addressed except the time. Selectmen asked if Bachelder would consider compromising at 9:30. Bachelder said if the field was not empty by 9:30, he would still demand a 9 p.m. stop.

In other business there were several appointments.

Liz Buckley was appointed to the Beautification Committee for one year; Mary Jones was appointed to the Beautification Committee for three years. Nick Dimaio was appointed to the Budget Committee for three years and Gerard Gagnon was appointed to the Economic Development Committee for one year.

The board approved a policy update that says selectmen may not work full- or part-time for the town except in an emergency. Excluded are fire and rescue service volunteers.


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