Bees became pets yesterday in Fairfax County. And it left some county officials and citizens buzzing.

For years the law in Fairfax regulating pets allowed for the keeping of those that were "commonly accepted."

Just one problem. The ordinance neglected to define "commonly accepted."

Yesterday that was all fixed.

Ferrets, domestic chickens and geese under 2 years old were legitimized. So were worm and ant farms and chameleons and similar lizards. Not to mention the more common pet forms: dogs and cats and parakeets.

Bees left the board with a troublesome question.

The county staffer who had studied the pet ordinance for several months urged that four bee hives be allowed on any size lot in the county, so long as the lot also featured a water source and a fence. (Bees, the staffer explained, really are deterred by fences.) That was a change from the status quo, under which bees were allowed only on lots of two acres or more.

Despite the arguments of the bee-wary that Fairfax is too congested for beekeeping, the board decided to give its blessing to bees.

It sided with the beekeepers and voted to allow four hives on each lot.

Droned Board Chairman John F. Herrity: "I don't think any member of the board wants to get stung by this issue."