Urban beekeeping has gained popularity in recent years, and Squamish is no exception. Bees play a vital role in pollinating plants and producing honey, making them essential to the ecosystem. This blog post will guide you through Squamish’s urban beekeeping regulations and best practices to ensure a successful and harmonious experience.
Squamish Urban Beekeeping Regulations: Squamish’s bylaws permit urban beekeeping provided that no health, environmental, or nuisance problems arise. Universities are exempt from restrictions on the number of beehives for educational purposes. Here are the key requirements for keeping urban bees in Squamish:
- Beehive quantity: Depending on the size of your parcel, you can keep:
- Two beehives on parcels under 929 square meters (10,000 square feet)
- Four beehives on parcels between 929 and 1394 square meters (10,000 to 15,000 square feet)
- Six beehives on parcels over 1394 square meters (15,000 square feet)
- You must be a resident of the property where the bees are kept.
- Beehives should be situated in a backyard with a continuous 1.8-meter-high fence to ensure proper bee flight paths.
- Beehives must be placed according to the accessory building setbacks identified in the Zoning Bylaw.
- Position beehives to prevent access by wildlife, with entrances facing away from the closest neighboring property.
- Enclose beehives with electric fencing, situated at least 1 meter from the fencing as per the Zoning Bylaw.
- Maintain bees in a condition that reasonably prevents swarming and aggressive behavior, and take immediate action to end such behaviors.
- Provide sufficient water for bees, preventing them from seeking water on adjacent parcels.
- Post clear, visible signage warning of bees and electric fencing on the property.
- Register with the Apiculture Registration System for British Columbia, coordinated by the BC Ministry of Agriculture (BCMA). Under the Provincial Bee Act, you must not keep bees or possess beehive equipment unless registered.
Urban beekeeping in Squamish can be a rewarding and environmentally beneficial hobby when done correctly. By following the regulations and best practices outlined in this guide, you can contribute to a thriving bee population while enjoying the benefits of honey and pollination.
Disclaimer: The "Squamish By-Laws Explained" blog post series is intended to provide an easy-to-understand interpretation of the bylaws in Squamish for the convenience of our community. Please note that these explanations are our take on the bylaws and are not legally binding. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are not responsible for any discrepancies or misinterpretations that may arise from these posts.
For the most accurate and up-to-date legal information, always refer to the official bylaws published on the District of Squamish website at https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/bylaws/. It is the responsibility of the person using this information to ensure that it accurately reflects the current bylaw provisions.